Quad Cities man who moved to California explains his first experience with earthquakes

DAVENPORT, Iowa. (KWQC) - Paul Kakert moved from Davenport to California about two and a half years ago. He had no experience with earthquakes until a few days ago.

Damage after multiple earthquakes in Ridgecrest, California

"You're being terrorized by nature. It's like a sneak attack, you don't know when it's coming. and you have to deal with it" explained Kakert.

Kakert's first earthquake was on July 4th, and he says he was not prepared: "growing up in the midwest, when there's a tornado or severe thunderstorm you get all sorts of warnings,' take shelter' all this and that. This was just out of the blue."

Kaykert was at home when the earthquakes struck. With no warning signs, at first, he didn't even realize what was happening. "I heard it first. The banging, the shaking, and in my mind, 'is there an accident behind my house?' And then once it really started shaking you realize what was going on. And things start falling off the walls and we just kind of stood there with things falling around us and waving back and forth and riding it out. You just don't know what's gonna happen and then it was done."

Done for the moment. The next day, another earthquake struck. This time, 11 times stronger than the first.

"It's like you're being terrorized. You have these aftershocks and after you've been through the bigger ones, they go again and then it fizzles out and that happened [Friday night] just constantly. And I was without power until about 1 in the morning and until you can fall asleep you're just constantly thinking 'here we go again'" he explained.

Since then, he's become more prepared and is getting ready for more aftershocks. "You become more aware of 'hey what do I have hanging on the wall, what can fall and break? Do I have a stash of water and some food?' because anything that can fall, will" Kakert explains.

He says regardless of where you live, the community will react the same - in the Quad Cities and in Ridgecrest. "No matter where you live, nature has some sort or form of disaster in that area - like tornados in the midwest, hurricanes in the East and everyone seems to deal with them the same way. Everyone is helping each other and watching out."

Kakert says most of the damage is beneath the surface; with leaking gas lines and structural damage to homes. So far, there are no reports of anyone being hurt in the earthquakes.