Tuesday, February 7, 2012

in the height of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake...

It does take a strong tremor to make me write about something...

Yesterday, I was on my desk when suddenly I noticed the floor shaking. I thought there was some construction going on downstairs. But then in just a matter of split seconds the floor beneath me violently shook, window glasses clashed like they're ready to go down anytime. I did not waste a single moment and bolted through the door.

It was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was just 100kms away from where we are and that was the strongest I've experienced so far.

Almost a year ago Japan had it's worst temblor. Aryt, 6.9 compared to the 8-point-something-magnitude earthquake they had is not totally the same. But man, this is the PI and we don't experience as many earthquakes as our neighboring countries do and yesterday was one hell of a shock.

This morning, my colleague told me that I should join the next 42K marathon in the city. The thing is, when the tremor happened I ran past through him like a flash.

Me : ohmygod, earthquake???? meeeehhhh.... stairs! stairs!

It was like an instinct :
First, I realized there's an earthquake.
Second, I stood up.
Third, I ran through the door and sprinted outside.

Believe me, I was already outside before half of the population managed to go out of the building. Tsk!

That's right! I'm not exaggerating. I was halfway through the hallway when my colleagues realized to follow suit. They first ducked below their tables, mumbling "Lord, have mercy." But the frightening sound of the windows made them think otherwise.

I've always been terrified of earthquakes. When I was a child, I would close my eyes, say a little prayer and wait for the trembling to subside. In school, we're taught what to do in case of things like this and I knew it was a smart idea to go out when there's a way out. My adrenalin rush yesterday proved that I could still think clear even in life threatening situation (haha!)

After the quake, we were all advised to go home because they have to check the building for cracks and damages. Mid-day I was home, surfing the net for news when I read about the tsunami warning alert issued by PHIVOLCS.

PHIVOLCS issued alert level 2, which means that citizens should stay away from shores as there might be unusual waves following the shock. The funny thing about filipinos is that we easily believe in unconfirmed news, the word of mouth. I can't believe that in this time and age, with the sophistication of technology and the amount of information we could gather, we are still gullible. I'm not talking about the warning issued by PHIVOLCS... I'm talking about the irresponsible text messages that circulated which heightened the panic.

At 2PM yesterday, you could see people running around the streets from all direction. It was chaotic. The traffic was so heavy that it stopped moving. It's like in a movie scene - the ones with the apocalyptic theme where cars had stopped and people were running for dear life. These all happened for just one irresponsible text from a fucking demented person, who said that the waters were rising and there's a tsunami on the way.

Seriously? A tsunami in the heart of the city? Where did that fucking idea come from?

And these people... about 80% of them ignorant, believed the word to be true.

But where the hell was I?

In my room. Sound asleep.

But really, THAT.WAS.NOT.A.FUNNY.EXPERIENCE. It's alarming to know that a lot of people nowadays lack the basic knowledge. What's sad is that we immediately take the information presented to us without validating it. And what's even more alarming is that we forgot there is someone more powerful than this tsunami. Than this earthquake. We exchanged our faith in Him for one irresponsible text message.

While I was riding the bus on my way home after we're dismissed in the office, a song from Def Leppard played in the air while we're seated quietly pondering on what just happened.

♫♫ walk away..if you want to...

A smile puckered on my lips. I didn't just walk away...



Sey said...

I heard about the incident on the news, I am glad you're okay. in crisis like that, people should listen to news and announcements very well. That false news from the text really caused panic. I saw that heavy traffic on the TV and almost all people are holding their cellphones making calls.

But at least now, you know you can run fast. Hahaha. Be safe Jan. I hope there's no more after shock but according to PHILVOCS they're expting it to last for a week.

Gnetch said...

Glad you're safe! I was gonna ask you on FB but your FB is gone!!

Still. Glad you're safe!! :)

Philippines Natural Disaster said...

Thank you very much for this great information. Let’s pray for the people who were struck by this massive quake. God be with us all.

Phils Calamities said...

Nice post. Thanks for sharing. I hope that preventative measures can be put in place soon. One thing that can be done which costs nothing is each individual take responsibility for their garbage and put it where it belongs instead of throwing it all over the streets, rivers, and everywhere else.


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