Thursday, August 09, 2007

We felt it

Yep. We sure did. It was just after midnight. I was asleep and Chad was awake. I slowly became conscious with a feeling that something was wrong, and realized that it was the sensation of the bed moving under me. Chad said something like "Sweetie" and I said "I know." (Isn't it annoying how I always say "I know"?)

Our building was gently swaying from side to side. Gentle swaying is generally nice, unless it's happening to a structure you're on an upper floor of. I couldn't decide whether to stand under a doorway (old advice) or in a corner (new advice) so I wandered into the living room. We were both wrapped in random blankets. A long minute later, as the quake subsided, I stepped out the front door to check on the rest of the neighborhood. Everything seemed fine. A few neighbors were in the street but I couldn't tell who they were because I didn't have my glasses on.

We went down to the third floor to check on our friends there. Then we came back upstairs to monitor the news. When we heard magnitude 7.4 or 7.5, I started making a list of things to pack. We were braced for the worst, but as far as we can tell (knock on wood) everyone has gotten a reprieve this time. No flattened buildings, no screaming people on TV, no hectic and ill-planned reporting trip to a disaster zone. Even as I type I'm breathing a long sigh of relief.

Now, if I could just get back to sleep, seeing as it's 2:30 am and all.


michele said...

well, thank goodness it wasn't worse than that...
I heard the quake report on npr today but they made it sound like the epicenter was located so far underground, and out at sea, that it could barely be felt by anyone on land.
glad you guys are ok!
ps - also glad to see your blog up and running again. woo hoo!

Jose said...

We are glad you are both ok. I still remember the earthquakes where I grew up. They were common and some of them very strong (specially if you live above the second floor in a building). I cerainly remember my parents telling me to stand under a doorway, the corner though, I never heard that one before.

Murphy said...

Good to hear you are ok.

My first quake here in Seattle was a 6.8. After I realized what was happening, I remember feeling very small and vulnerable.

MK was visiting at the time and was out running. I think it was her first quake too.

kopisusu2 said...

You must not have caught Chad's NPR spot, Michele, because in that one you could hear me whimpering in the background ... heh ...

Yes, the new orthodoxy is to crouch in a corner. I guess they decided doorways were a good idea only up to the point where the door beam falls on your head. So now you're supposed to find a corner far from any big Victorian wardrobes, and hope that the junction of two walls is strong enough to keep anything from collapsing on you. I can't say either scenario fills me with confidence. I do feel good that our building is steel-framed, though. I have a vague notion that's good for quake resistance.

I didn't realize Lima had lots of earthquakes, Jose. I guess it's another of the many things it and Jakarta have in common, eh?

Small and vulnerable pretty much sums it up. And somewhat shaky, in a too-much-adrenaline way. It raises your appreciation for all those other moments when the earth ISN"T moving around, though!

Mary said...

Earthquakes do make you feel small. My first ever earthquake when visiting Murphy - she was in a parking garage I think - that seems creepy. I was outside jogging when the streets and sidewalks started rolling, cars were bouncing. Some woman grabbed a hold of me and some others and started praying. In fact, I think that qualifies as my first ever prayer circle too.
Glad you are okay and that the damage around you was minimal!