I must say, these past two weekends have been quite eventful, but nothing quite as eventful as the kickoff to this very shaky weekend!
On Friday night, after my husband and I finished watching “Monuments Men” around 9:05pm, we exited the movie theater. While he went to use the restroom, I waited for him near the concession stand and checked my text messages.
My mom texted me and asked if we had felt the 3.6 earthquake located in La Habra an hour earlier. As residents of La Habra, my parents said it was a pretty good shaker. We were in a neighboring city and had not felt the earthquake.
Just as I finished reading the text message and thanking God I didn’t feel the earthquake, everything around me started shaking violently. As a native of Southern California, I’ve been through a couple of substantial earthquakes, but nothing quite like this!
As the rumbling and vertical shaking intensified, movie goers began to scream and run outside of the theater. I looked up at the walls bowing in and out and stood there frozen thinking this was it. My only thought was to balance myself and move down to the floor. I kept repeating, “Oh my God…Oh my God…Oh my God…” and before I knew it, it was over.
My hubby exited the bathroom (and he had quite an interesting experience too…but I won’t go into that!) and we hugged each other tightly. Even though the ground stopped shaking, my hands couldn’t.
We exited the theater with dozens of other people who were in shock, crying, embracing or bonding with complete strangers.
I immediately called my mom who was panic stricken, and she reassured us that she and my Dad were okay, thank goodness!
We drove to my sister-in-law’s house (which is right around the corner from the theater) to see how she and her family were doing, and luckily, they were fine too…just shaken up! They had lots of water sloshing out of their pool, but luckily no damage to report.
Next it was time to visit my parents, but not before we experienced our first aftershock on the road. A 3.6 made our car feel like we were on a surfin’ safari!
My parents met us at the door with tight hugs. My dad laughed and said, “Guess where I was during the earthquake? In the shower!” He said the walls came to meet him, and he knew there was no time for modesty.
My mom was saying her nightly prayer, and when the shaking began, she quickly stood and turned only to see my dad in all his glory!
I can’t help but giggle at that!
As they ran to the doorway, they saw things fly off their shelves. My mom distinctly saw her angel figurine fly across the room. My Grandmother’s special clock fell and broke. A vase and some other dishes shattered. There was glass everywhere, and in all of this, no one was hurt. A miracle indeed!
My Dad filled us in on the magnitude. It was a very shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 located just 2 miles below La Habra and felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County. The fault at “fault” is called the Puente Hills Thrust Fault, and to our surprise, is located right below us and runs all the way up to Griffith Park.
My family and I have never been in an earthquake that shook so hard where things actually took flight and broke. I guess that’s what happens when the epicenter is under your feet!
After we said our goodbyes, it was time to see how our place fared. Living in the neighboring city of Fullerton, my husband was pretty certain that our home wasn’t in the same condition as we left it.
As we entered the front door, the scent of red wine filled the room.
Looking at our newly remodeled residence, I thanked God that we didn’t experience the earthquake at our place. The damage was minor, but I think the sound of cracking walls, breaking glass and falling pictures, lamps and knick knacks would have increased the scarey factor!
Driving through the city, the evidence of an earthquake is evident: a crumbled brick block fence, a street shut down due to a broken water main and safety cones near debris.
Since Friday, there have been over 190 aftershocks, and as I’m typing this, we just had another one – a 2.5 this time. I don’t think Southern California got any sleep this weekend, but we sure did get a lot of exercise running under doorways!
It’s a miracle that there were no injuries (that I know of), just shattered nerves.
I know it could have been so much worse, and I think of all the places in the world that have experienced catastrophic earthquakes with high death tolls. It really makes me appreciate life and how fragile it is.
Friday night was just a reminder that tomorrow is not guaranteed, so live life for today!
Have you ever been in an earthquake or other natural disaster?