I’ve just been through my first earthquake experience. I was on the phone and the building started swaying. It was perfectly quiet and nearly not noticeable. But as soon as you notice it – probably one or two seconds – it consumes your attention. The building continued rolling and swaying (apparently many of the anti-earthquake LA buildings are on big rollers) for about 30 seconds and then it settled.
I thought it was relatively small but according to this official site, earthquake ci14383980 was a 5.4 Richter quake (originally pegged at 5.8) with the epicenter about a half-hour’s drive inland (at the edge of what Los Angelenos called, for some peculiar reason, the “Inland Empire”). People’s reactions were interesting. Some were excited, some a little nervous. It was very clear however who has experienced some of the big ones though.
I only got a taster for what a big earthquake might feel like, but I can imagine that if the frequency of the shaking had increased – and not necessarily by much – it would very rapidly have gone from an interesting Tuesday event to distinctly worrying.