Kid Reporters experience earthquake
I was at Sunshine Academy, a summer school camp in Virginia when the earthquake struck. We were in the middle of math.
Rumble rumble went the building. Just a bit of construction, I think to myself, and I return to my math packet. A few minutes later, I hear a faint rumble again. I don’t notice. The rumbling continues, getting louder. This time, the floor is shaking slightly, and then shakes ferociously. Someone yells “EARTHQUAKE!”
My math teacher seems to not even notice, until we’re shaking so much we can barely stand. “Get under the desk!” someone else shouts. We’re so panicked that we actually obey. A minute later, it’s over. “Get in a line. I WANT A LINE!” my math teacher hollers. In my brother’s class, a lot of textbooks fell down on his head and body. Fortunately, he didn’t get hurt. The intercom above us crackles to life, to announce an evacuation of the building, where we stayed for the remainder of the day.
In my mom’s office on the 11th floor, everything was flying and everyone was panicking. What do we do? What do we do? “We run,” said my mom, and they bolted for the door. They had to sprint down 11 flights of stairs to evacuate the building since they couldn’t get into the elevator. A woman actually started praying in Spanish as they were running.
When the shaking started, my dad was in his office and he saw Secret Service running to the White House with their big guns. This sighting led to the theory that the White House was being bombed. Everyone evacuated the building, since the Department of the Treasury was right next to the White House.
We ended up missing math, and spending the time instead running races and playing soccer on the field because it too dangerous to go back inside.
This was my first earthquake I’ve ever felt, and it’s an experience I will never forget.
I myself was in Bethany Beach, Delaware at the time. The earthquake came as a totally unexpected (and not exactly welcome) surprise, as it did for a most inhabitants of this small oceanfront town, as I found out as I conversed with some of the people on the beach.
Garrett Piel, a life guard who was on his chair when the earthquake occurred, commented that, “‘An earthquake’ was certainly not the first thing that came to my mind!” At first, Garrett thought that maybe a rogue wave had slammed into his chair, but when that theory was debunked, he then, like many others, turned around to see if there were some kids shaking the bottom of the stand.
In the high-rise condos of Sea Colony that line the beach, some of the first floor inhabitants reported barely felt the earthquake at all. But on the ninth floor, where my friend Tyler and I were getting ready to head down to the beach, it would have been impossible to miss. My parents, Tyler, and I braced ourselves in doorways as the floor swayed like a boat, and the rocking chair in the sitting room pitched back and forth and the chandelier tipped dizzily to either side.
All in all, for a few intense minutes on a sunny afternoon, an unexpected earthquake defied the commonly accepted idea that late August days are relaxing and stress-free.