Opinion: My first California quake was terrifying. But the Big One will be much worse

“They say you never forget your first time,” a friend of mine texted to me, shortly after Saturday’s Ridgecrest earthquake, which hit 7.1 on the Richter scale — putting it firmly into “major quake” category. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past half-decade; this was the first significant temblor that I’ve experienced, and, to my friend’s point, the sensation was both terrifying and uncanny.