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'Earthquake Nerves' Could Impact Mental Health

BEL-AIR ( — The 4.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the Southland Monday has rattled residents' nerves, which could impact their mental health.

Bel-Air mom and entertainer Kiki Melendez told CBS2's Lisa Sigell that she's still shaking from the quake.

"I thought it was a bomb. I thought it was an attack. I did not think it was an earthquake," she said.

It wasn't until Melendez saw that her twins were okay that she calmed down.

"When my little girl said to me, 'Mom, that was cool,' it kinda helped me to get over it a bit," she said.

Emotionally, however, it was a tremor she will never forget.

"I actually cried for an hour after. I'm still shaking. Like, I have not been able to get that feeling out of my head," Melendez said.

Psychiatrist Charles Sophy said it's important for people to talk with other adults or professionals about their experience—not just about feeling the quake, but the lack of control.

"If you're not able to go to sleep, look at that....if you're not hungry today. All those emotional signs that you're still very upset are red flags that you need to do something, which is either talking to an adult or call your doctor. Talk to your husband, your partner, whatever, but you've got to talk about it, " he said.

Sophy also said parents should talk to their children. He said adults should not to minimize the seriousness of an earthquake.

"Do the only thing anybody can do, which is to be prepared. Prepared in your home, prepare your children, prepare yourself emotionally and physically in the house," he said.

Sophy said people should get back to normal activities as soon as possible.

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