16 April 2013

quakes and shakes

Two strong earthquake tremors in a week. The first was last Wednesday, 10th of April while the second occurred this afternoon.  When I felt the tremor last Wednesday, I originally thought that I was just feeling dizzy. But after I saw the faces on my colleagues’, I knew it wasn’t me. Even though we could see that most of the tenants of our office building were going out, we stayed put. Thankfully, nothing serious happened to any of us.

However, today’s was different. It was much stronger and lasted longer (about 30 seconds), and I could see so many things moving and swaying.  It made me so dizzy!  I was already packing my bag to rush out, but my Japanese manager (who was so darn calm because they’re used to these occurrences in their country) simply told me that there was no reason to evacuate; we could just crawl under our tables instead.  I was still worried and kept calling Mama, my husband, and my sister to check if they felt the earthquake and to make sure they were alright (they were, thank God!), when we heard the fire alarm ring. I was still undecided whether we had to evacuate, but fortunately, we were informed that everyone had to get out immediately. I was the first one out from our office =) My legs were aching and shaking by the time I joined the other tenants because of the several flights of stairs we had to walk down from. Once we were out, we just stood and waited. Many people were calling their families and friends, while others took pictures. A while later, we returned to our offices. Immediately, we checked the internet for any news about the quake, and as expected, it occurred in Iran (just like last week’s). This time though, the magnitude was 7.8 whilst last week’s was 6.3 on the Richter scale. Scary! I sure hope the next one comes after a long, long, long, long time.

Having been born and spent a few years in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea where earthquakes were practically a common occurrence, you’d have thought I was used to the shakes. But apparently, this is not the case. After coming across news of deaths and injuries caused by strong quakes, my cautious and nervous self is always worried of the worst that could happen. Dubai may be far from the epicenter, but I can’t help but wonder, what if Mother Nature hits out her fury in this part of the world?  Apart from being ready, I guess the only thing we can do is pray.

Stay safe, everyone!

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