And Now, Emotional Aftershocks

Survivors must cope with losses and a new sense of vulnerability

As the veterans of untold small tremors and countless mock drills, Californians have long been convinced they were psychologically ready for a big quake. Last week that comforting belief was demolished. "I'm scared," confesses Sarah Ford, 43, who with her three-year-old daughter found temporary shelter at an Oakland high school. "I need a stress pill. When I walk, I'm like tipping. I'm looking to see if anything moves."

The physical shocks may be waning, but the psychological reverberations are just beginning. In the next weeks and months, residents will have to cope with an array of symptoms that are increasingly recognized...

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