Feeling the July 4th, 2019 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rattling in Long Beach, CA

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It’s Independence Day here in the United States and the morning in Long Beach started out rather boring and normal. The Long Beach area was covered with a heavy cloud layer and no blue skies were visible.

I woke up early, as I forgot to turn off my alarm and therefore went for an early breakfast at the hotels club lounge while staying at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach.

After a good breakfast, I headed back to my room to relax, as it was a holiday and I didn’t have to be anywhere. So I checked some emails and decided to go back to bed and watch a movie on my iPad.

As I was still tired from the long days before, my eyes felt shut over and over and I missed parts of the movie. Around 10:33 a.m. PDT I heard a weird noise coming from the bathroom. First I didn’t know what it was, but just a few seconds later I felt the building swaying back and forth. It was clearly noticeable and I got out of bed.

I have never been in a big earthquake. The only thing I ever felt was a short shock for only a second while standing on a sidewalk. That was it so far. Immediately I thought that this is an earthquake and I got out of the bed. The building was still swaying back and forth and I went to the window to see if I could see more. By looking out of the window, everything seemed normal. People were walking on the sidewalk like normal and without being in hysteria.

The shaking was still going on, this is about 10 seconds in. I put on my shoes, grabbed my wallet and IDs to make sure I can be identified and identify myself it there will be greater damage. I remained calm in my room sitting down on my bed.

Earthquake Warning

It only lasted about 30 seconds. Don’t quote me on that, but that’s how long it felt for me, as I wasn’t prepared with my stopwatch to stop time when the next earthquake would hit 😉 .

I think I felt it more intense than people on the sidewalks was because of staying on the 15th floor of the hotel. Don’t get me wrong, the 15th floor has amazing views and I didn’t count on an earthquake and having to run down the stairs.

The best indicator I had of the temblor was the light switch of the big light in my room as it was swaying back and forth.

A few minutes after the earthquake was over an announcement by the hotel was made over the PA system in the hallways and rooms. They told everyone to stay calm and in the rooms and if they wanted to go outside to use the stairs instead of the elevator while the staff and emergency response team would check on safety issues.

The shaking had stopped, I was confident in the staff and people to figure out and if there was any damage to the building and I stayed calm in bed and kept on watching my movie but ready to go if there is an emergency evacuation.

I think it was about 30 minutes after the first announcements to stay calm and in the rooms, until another announcement was made and the – all clear – was given. We were allowed again to use the elevators.

After the earthquake was over, I wanted to look up some facts and to see how bad it was.

July 4th Earthquake Facts

Earthquake Epicenter and my Location

The epicenter of the quake was centered 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, CA. A small town of about 29,000 in Kern County and located about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The depth of the earthquake was over 6.5 miles.

This 6.4 magnitude quake was the biggest earthquake to struck Southern California in decades after the devastating 1994 Northridge Earthquake which had a magnitude of 6.6 and hit in an urban area just outside of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.

More information can be found on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Website.


Update July 5, 2019

Another earthquake in the same area as the one from yesterday rattled the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area again. I was on the 16th floor of my hotel in Long Beach and enjoying a cup of coffee while the building started swaying. I noticed it immediately as it started to sway and I was definitely able to feel that it is more powerful than the one from yesterday morning. This time it was a quake with a 7.1 magnitude.

This quake happened around 8:19 p.m. PDT.

7.1 magnitude quake on July 5, 2019
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