At approximately 6 PM last night just as were sitting down to dinner the ground started shaking violently. We all scurried under the dinning room table to wait the earthquake out as we heard glass shattering and things falling all around us. When it was all over, we emerged to find our house in shambles. Many things on shelves had fallen off or been knocked over, pictures fell off the wall, our bookcases in the living room had toppled over, smashing our coffee table and there was glass everywhere from the broken china, windows, and picture frames. Thankfully, there was no major structural damage that we can see. At least two houses on our block will need to be completely demolished and a small fire broke out a few blocks away, but it was quickly contained, thank goodness. I remember seeing pictures of San Francisco burning after the Great Earthquake of 1906 and feared that would happen here too.
We all slept outside on the back patio last night because my children are afraid to be in the house or alone in their rooms since there have been a few sporadic aftershocks, and frankly I’m scared too. While I am thankful we did not lose our home, I have no idea how we are going to afford to pay for the repairs needed. We have just a little bit of savings we were able to withdraw during the recent run on the bank. Al and I decided it was safer to keep the money under our mattress rather than potentially lose it all if it were in the bank, but in light of the earthquake that destroyed so many homes, I don’t think any location is safe. Besides the banks have been closed since March 6th, due to the nationwide Bank Holiday and who knows when they are going to open.
It looks like the children will be out of school for while since their elementary school, as well as several in our area, was severely damaged. People are saying that all of the Los Angeles area schools will have to be rebuilt with more stringent building codes because they sustained some of the most damage. It was estimated that the death toll would have been far more catastrophic if the earthquake had happened a few hours earlier while the children were still in school. I’m just happy our family is alright.