News Anchor Hides Under Desk During California Earthquake: Video

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
July 6, 2019 Updated: July 6, 2019

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck southern California on July 5 prompted a news anchor to take shelter under a desk while on air.

Video footage showed CBS Los Angeles anchors reacting to the quake in real-time.

The quake was revised to 6.9 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey but later revised back to 7.1 magnitude by the agency. It hit around 125 miles northeast of L.A.

KCAL9 news anchors Juan Fernandez and Sara Donchey looked around as the quake hit. Donchey told viewers, “We are experiencing quite a bit of shaking if you bear with us a moment.”

“We’re making sure nothing is going to come down in the studio here,” she added, before Fernandez said, “It is going for quite a bit, everybody.”

Donchey was soon gripping Fernandez’s arm as he said, “It continues to rattle very strong here.”

“This is a very strong earthquake,” Donchey said. “8:21 here and we’re experiencing very strong shaking. I think we need to get under the desk.”

“We’ll be right back,” she said, as she ducked under the desk.

Mike Rogers, a news assignment editor at CBS LA, wrote on Twitter, “Very scary moments in the CBS LA newsroom when the quake hit.”

Donchey later took to the social media website to explain what she was thinking at the time.

“As a parent, the first thing I thought of was my infant son at home with my family and I was praying he was safe and comforted. Thoughts go out to all in Kern County right now,” she said.

She also joked about gripping her colleague’s arm, writing: “Poor Juan’s arm. I almost broke it.”

Fernandez responded to a user commenting that “it was very sweet that she grabbed your arm,” by saying, “She’s terrific.”

“We’re fine. Just quite the jolt,” he added in another post.

Other users also shared scenes from when the quake hit, including an 18-year-old who filmed the effects on a pool.

Another video showed an apartment shaking in MacArthur Park.

The footage was filmed by someone watching the KCAL newsroom on television.

Pictures circulating included ones showing roads ruptured by the quake.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.