Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Scare! Earthquakes and Fake Tsunami Alarms!

I can't imagine how scared most people were. A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city around lunchtime sending people running out to the streets. I was outside walking towards the office when the earthquake struck. I did not feel anything. Maybe I was to close to the ground, to close to the environment. ;-)

I even did not know what was happening when I saw them running out of the building and asking what went wrong. At first I thought the building was on fire then I asked one fellow and he said it was a powerful earthquake. About 30 seconds they say.

I called Mariposa to check on her because she's in another neighboring island. The epicenter was on her island but she was safe. Called my mom and sisters and they too were ok. Then the lines went down. The communications network was flooded with numerous calls. I can't call anymore but the internet was still accessible.

I went back to the other office to get my things. Work was already suspended at time. Nobody was allowed to enter the building. I saw my friend and she offered to clean my nails of which I said, "ok ;-)". A few minutes after, text messages started coming in. There was a tsunami they say. People started running like crazy looking for higher ground. I on the other hand continued with my activity not knowing the mayhem happening outside. When we were done, I went to the plaza and saw some of my friends and asked, "Why is the plaza empty?". He said, "all of them have fled to higher grounds because there is a tsunami". The office by the way is near the shore, so I went out to the shore and checked. It was clear! It was a fake tsunami alarm. I was laughing then got upset a few minutes after with the thought on how people believe these stories.

First, you can not out run a tsunami if ever there was one. Second, the only thing that you can do is look for the nearest higher ground or hold on to something and pray. Funny thing is it's impossible to have tsunamis in our place because, first we are not facing a large body of water or an open ocean and second we are surrounded by other islands. Tsunamis also happens just a few minutes after an earthquake. They got the alarm a few hours after which I find oddly stupid.

It really is a big advantage if you know your environment well or you get to know the environment you live in. We are responsible for our own actions and we have to give people the right information, not take advantage of the panicky situation. With that you don't have to panic like most did. It did more harm than good. ;-)

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