Tuesday, April 17, 2012

6.7 this time

Last night  Santiago was hit by another very nice earthquake.  
The epicenter was only 150 km away, give or take a few, right next to the town of Maintencillo on the coast, and around hereabouts it felt a LOT larger than the 7.1 we were hit with two weeks ago, and it certainly seemed to have it lasted longer, which says interesting things about subjective time dilation under stress, because it official lasted about the same as last time.
The  strength is officially 6.7 now, which is nothing to sneeze at, and it being so close,  No WONDER we shook and bumped! It could have been worse -  we have friends down in Maitencillo whose house is about 1.5 kilometers from the epicenter, give or take a few inches.  They are feeling somewhat shaken up, right now, thank you.  And possess rather fewer breakables than last night.

The earthquake hit just on midnight .  I still wasn't quite asleep.  I felt SOMETHING, a mild jouncing, and half asleep, thought 'Ohh....  I'll wait and see.'  
Mr Tabubil started shouting "Get UP! GET UP! GET UP! NOW!!!!" - and by the time I was on my feet the room was shaking and heaving underneath and all around us.  We got to our pre-selected solid corner and I swear that damn apartment tried to rattle itself loose around our ears. Every single wall and bit of floor was fighting on a different axis. Our drawers rattled open in the kitchen and I began to imagine that I could hear our glassware resonating in the cupboard - but the sound grew and I realized that the quake had set off all the car alarms outside in the street.  And the quake built and built and went on and on, and I was purely terrified. 
Far lot more than I had been last time.

When that 7.1 earthquake  hit on the 25th of March, I flipped right into a frame of mind where there was "NO time to be scared, NO time to be SCARED - What are our evacuation routes?  How will I find shoes if this place is covered in glass?  etc? ETC, Tabubilgirl, ETCETERA?"  Afterwards I was frightened, but not nearly as frightened as I could have been had I not used up all my adrenaline on emergency planning.

THIS time, my forward planning was done and dusted and there wasn't anything to do except sit back and appreciate the roller coaster!!  Mr Tabubil and I had our arms wrapped around each other as we braced in our little corner in the stark dark and I could feel his heart beating like a hammer right underneath my own.

After it was all over i just lay in bed and shook.  I spent hours trying to get back to sleep. Outside in the street, half of Santiago was milling around and talking, their voices all high pitched and  thoroughly freaked out.  We were deeply gratified to learn that everyone who had been through the 8.8 quake in 2010 was as comprehensively terrified as we were this time around as well.

My Mum and Dad are here in Santiago this week, and they did NOT have a nice time of it.  Their room was on the 10th floor of their hotel.  One of the only things I could think during the quake was "Oh god, they're on a higher floor.  Oh god, they're on a higher floor."  At their height  the quake was less of a rattle and more of a roll - their building was swaying from side to side  with a noticeable pitch.  As it began they rolled to opposite sides of their bed and dropped off into the safety triangle, and just lay there, getting seasick and praying that they wouldn't get brained by a falling bedside lamp!

 I have a friend from Columbia whose mother hasn't quite grasped that there's about 150 km  of desert and a whole range of mountains between Santiago and the coast, and calls her and tells her to RUN FOR THE HILLS! Every time! 
And again, we are all okay.  And thanking goodness that we didn't have to up and leave and really head for the hills for a tsunami worry, like all those down on the coast last night.

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