Earthquake terrifies family — but the 1-year-old sleeps through the whole thing

Amer Chaudhry, 19, in wheelchair, waits to be checked by a doctor at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, after she was injured while running down stairs at her home when the earthquake hit. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Chambers household was in holiday mode when the shaking began.

Kevin Chambers and his 5-year-old daughter, Kailyn, were rotating their vanilla cake on a turntable and layering on the chocolate frosting when the pictures on the wall started to vibrate and the refrigerator started to move. Kaitlyn froze.

“She just stopped and was like, ‘Uhhh,’” her father recalled with a chuckle.

Some family photos fell off the walls, and a drinking glass broke, but overall the family and house weren’t worse for wear, Chambers said.Though Kevin has felt earthquakes before, Thursday was Kaitlyn’s first and she seemed to handle it like a pro.


Soon after the shaking stopped, she resumed her frosting duties on the cake, her father said.

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But his wife, Jazmin, remained slightly rattled hours after the initial quake. A Texas native, she’d only seen earthquakes on TV and in the movies.

She and her husband are military veterans who moved to Ridgecrest last year from Washington to raise their growing family.

“Oh my gosh, it was the scare of my life. I’m still waiting for another one,” said Jazmin Chambers, 34. “I need to get some PJs and get some tennis shoes on — end of the world kind of thing.”

While her husband and daughter were frosting the cake, Jazmin was cooking bacon and eggs for the rest of the family there to celebrate the day.


“They were not scrambled, surprisingly, but everything inside the refrigerator was scrambled,” Chambers quipped. “It was just crazy. I thought it was maybe a helicopter or a plane flying really low. But then the refrigerator started to move.

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“This just got real,” she thought to herself.

She checked on her 1-week-old daughter across the kitchen, but the quake hadn’t stirredher. She slept through it.

“You only see this in the movies and stuff. I never thought I’d experience something like this,” Chambers said. “Afterward, I couldn’t even concentrate. My body was shaking.”

But the rest of the family joyfully marched on Thursday afternoon.

Said Kevin Chambers: “We’re proceeding as normal. I got the chicken, some steaks, some pork chops we’re going to put on the grill. I don’t think that’s going to stop the show.”