The 26th Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration was held this past weekend and my wife and I were there when a 4.7 earthquake hit.
We had entered the festival and met up with friends at the various tents that were set up for music and dancing. We walked around and saw lots of familiar faces while we explored our shopping ops, food finds, and drink deals. The mojitos were rockin and we scoped some cute clothing at the Tung Gear clothing booth. We made some donations and signed up for some mailing lists, and listened to people talk about equality, substance abuse, legal aid, and other issues affecting LGBTs. The food booths offered a good variety and there was plenty of pride gear for sale all around.
Around 8pm we made our way over to the main stage to watch Jazmine Sullivan perform, who has an amazing voice and recently released the hit song "Bust Your Windows", which is a must for your iPod.
She did an awesome job performing her songs and keeping the crowd pumped. She was very gay friendly and told the crowd not to let the haters get to us and kill our dreams. Closer to the end of her performance she fell on stage, and after standing up and removing her shoes she said she was happy that she had her first official stage fall in Long Beach because we are so supportive.
Just after her performance, we were waiting for Sara Bareilles to come on stage when we felt the bleachers start to sway from side to side.
Everyone who was sitting on the bleachers froze and held on until it stopped a few second later. The woman who was speaking on stage didn't skip a beat, and the crowd below seemed not to notice anything. We walked down the bleachers to the ground and some of the people below were asking each other "Did you feel that?" "Was that an earthquake?" We could see that the street lights were still swaying and instantly knew that it was in fact an earthquake.
Most of the people went back to what they were doing un-phased and continued to walk around and shop, eat, etc.
My wife and I started to leave immediately, trying to get a hold of our babysitter at the same time. The cell phone lines were all tied up and we could only reach people who had land line numbers, and everyone in the family networked messages that everyone was okay.
On the drive home we listened to radio which told us that the earthquake was located southeast of Los Angeles and was felt as far away as San Diego.
The quake measured a 4.7 on the Richter scale and lasted about ten seconds. It was followed by a 3.1 magnitude aftershock and originated from the Newport-Inglewood Fault which is about 10 miles from our home in Carson. When we got home we had some broken dishes and and excited pets, but luckily no broken windows like some had been reporting in the area. The kids were a little scared and so we did our emergency preparedness talk and drill, and made sure everyone knew the plan if we had an aftershock. At the end of the day, we were all safe, and grateful that it all worked out.
If you live in California and are looking for information on what you can do to prepare for an earthquake, you can visit www.earthquakecountry.info.
About the Author: Julie Phineas is a work at home mom of 2 who lives in Southern California. You can find out more about her by visiting her website at www.juliephineas.com.