One of the worst places to imagine getting stuck during an earthquake is an elevator.
Wednesday, as the 5.4 earthquake hit the Coachella Valley, fewer than a dozen people at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa say they experienced the scare of their lives.
Two elevators shut down automatically due to an earthquake safety mechanism, but everyone made it out without injury.
“It was pretty wild,” said Carol Pfannkuche who was at work when the quake struck.
“Like, time stops,” said Anthony Figueiredo.
“I got my butt under that doorway and I just stood there,” said Joy Maxfield, who lives in Indio.
The windows, walls and books swayed all over the place at Latino Books Y Mas in Palm Springs.
“A statue fell,” said Luciano Ramirez, owner of the bookstore. “Some books fell, my glass case just rattled like crazy.”
Surveillance video showed staff members at Crystal Fantasy grabbing what they could and hustling out.
“I didn’t know if the ceiling was going to fall down, (be)cause it just kept on getting louder and faster,” said Sara Meredith, manager of Crystal Fantasy.
The quake caused $500 worth of damage to the building, according to Meredith.
“We lost this fossil,” she said. “I had a wizard in the case that fell.”
Anthony Figueiredo was visiting his girlfriend in downtown Palm Springs.
Figueiredo lives in France, and has never experienced an earthquake.
“Just like when I saw the glass start moving and stuff, vibrating too I was scared a bit,” he said.
His girlfriend was busy parking the car.
“Here’s Anthony like, ‘Did you feel that? Did you feel that?’ Like excited and I was like, ‘No, what happened?'” said Eli Menendez.
Cameras inside the News Channel 3 building shows members of sales department rushing outside seconds after the quake struck.
News Channel 3’s Mike Daniels was seen ducking under his desk for cover.
Meanwhile, digital content director Erik Sandoval — calm, cool, and collected — stayed put, tweeting out that the valley just shook, and he wasn’t the only one.
Tye Olson tweeted that there was an “earthquake in Palm Springs… [and] I survived it.”