Earthquake! July 12, 2011

We experienced the earthquake that hit the Visayas region of the Philippines today at 4:47am.  The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.2 on the Richter Scale.  I’m certainly no earthquake expert, but that number seemed a bit high to me.  [I have sinced learned that the quake measured around 4.2 here in Dumaguete.]

I had risen early and was already downstairs; my husband was upstairs still asleep.  Seated on the sofa, I suddenly noticed very light vibrations underneath my feet.  This feeling increased in intensity, and the sofa began swaying from left to right. I stood up and could feel the entire room moving, gently rocking back and forth.  Earlier I had opened our wooden front door (which opens inwards), and I watched as it also shifted back and forth.  I would guess the earthquake lasted for about :30 seconds.  (My dog, meanwhile, had freaked out and hidden himself under the table.)

Curious if the earthquake had woken up my husband, I was about to call to him when I saw he was already making his way down the stairs.  We couldn’t stop talking about it — he said the bed was moving, and his glass of water on the floor next to the bed actually tipped over.  We turned on the television hoping to hear reports and checked online for any news about the quake.  It took awhile for the news to come out – here is a link to the first report I found  on MSN.com:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/dyfi/events/us/c0004u5w/us/index.html

You can see where our hometown of Dumaguete is located at the bottom of the island.  Effects of the earthquake were felt on the nearby islands of Cebu and Mindanao.   While we did experience two very small “aftershocks” shortly after 5:00am, all is now quiet again.

If you have never experienced a minor earthquake, it’s an incredibly odd sensation… kind of exciting, actually — provided there are no injuries, of course.  I am relieved to add that there were no reports of injury or damage of any kind on the island of Negros.

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