What’s That Shaking?

Suddenly the whole apartment is moving. Shaking. The windows rattle as if a big truck would be driving by. But there is no truck, and the shaking doesn’t stop. I run to the window to check what is going on, totally aware that I have no clue how to act in the event of an earth quake. On my computer a video is blaring, and I run to turn it off. Why? Not sure. I’m looking out over the ocean, thinking – will there be a tsunami? Should I film this? And then the shaking stops as suddenly as it had started.

I email Eduardo: “Was that an earth quake?” And minutes later, after checking the news, “Yes it was. A 5.9 degree earth quake in the jungle.”

My first. Weirdly enough just a day after an earth quake on the East Coast of the USA, where we used to live. And even though I had anticipated experiencing tremors in Lima, which is in a seismic zone, it caught me totally unawares. I was clueless. Should I stay in the apartment or run out? Should I hide under a table or under a door post? Instead, I was moving around like a headless chicken. Maybe not so much frightened as excited or confused. But nothing broke and no one was hurt. Luckily this was an earth quake “light” that didn’t cause any real damage anywhere. A good training situation for me.

Next time, and hopefully there will be no next time, I will know better. Stay calm. Stay away from the windows and from the big lamp in the high ceiling of the living room. If it seems to be a severe one, try to calmly leave the apartment and walk down the stairs. Screw the video camera. Don’t worry about not turning off the computer.

Just stay safe.

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