Not my first time

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I was getting updates on Twitter before any official sources. Image via Wikipedia

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that we had an earthquake here on the East Coast today. It was a 5.9… barely enough to raise an eyebrow in places like California that experience them all the time. But for us East-Coasters… well, it was the biggest quake experienced here since 1944. There’s a major novelty effect for us.  Plus, apparently it struck close to the surface, so it was felt pretty far away. Epicenter Virginia; reports were coming in about people feeling it as far north as Toronto.

I was at my desk, when allasudden the building shook, as if it had been struck by something, or a jet had passed by in close proximity, catching us in its wake. I felt it as two tremors, right on top of each other.

Around me, no one said anything. I started to wonder if I’d imagined it. I walked into my boss’ office and asked her. She was sitting there, motionless, trying to figure out what she’d just felt. Within a few minutes, instant messages were coming in from other locations: Did you feel that? What was that?!? Twitter had the scoop a bit before the news, but not by much.

There was no damage where I am. But it does give pause, when we stop to consider that the building I work in is notoriously poorly made, on top of the lack of earthquake-ready construction in general out here. But we were fine. Not everyone even felt it.

This wasn’t my first earthquake. My first earthquake woke me from a sound sleep, in a hotel in Central America. The bed was shaking, and at first I just felt out of time and out of sorts, like a dream. But it continued as I came awake, and I remembered the tour guide mentioning that quakes are common there. I laid there, wondering what I was supposed to do. Probably I should have checked to find out what the evacuation process was, as soon as I checked in. But (1) who ever does that? and (2) it’s unlikely I’d have understood it, since it would have been in Spanish. I listened for sounds of alarm of any kind, heard none, and fell back to sleep.

In the morning, a bunch of us compared notes about the earthquake. The locals, and the Californians, had not even noticed it.

So, yeah. I get that from a lot of angles, our little earthquake hardly counts. But for us it did.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

One Response to Not my first time

  1. I assumed incorrectly that the earthquake had occurred on the west coast when I first heard the news. 5.9 isn’t huge, but I get that it’s a big deal for you guys on the other side of the country.


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