It was just after midnight, I was playing with one of my 8 cats, Baby, on the sofa when I felt like the sofa’s swaying.
At first I thought I was having a headache or something, I stood up and felt weirdly out of equilibrium. Stepped on the verandah, checked outside and all I heard was this techno doofing off somewhere upstairs. came back in and I saw the lightstand swaying. It hit me that the whole building was shaking, so I went outside.
My neighbour Richard was already at the grilles, unlocking it and headed toward the road. I followed him. “You felt it?”, he asked. I nodded grimly and he said it’s a big earthquake happening somewhere. About 20 people from the tall apartment beside our building came down and started staring at their building. I’ve never seen most of them before. Then my friends from the top floor of our building came out onto the tarmac. And we stood there talking about what we felt. Apparently Kenneth was sleeping and missed the whole thing.
After a while, I went back into my space and sms-ed I-Lann (in Manila) then I checked the net. Nothing. Cooked dinner, had dinner, watched some TV and went into my office. The phone rang and it’s my American friend Tom Radio staying at the Katari Hotel near PuduRaya asking me if I felt it. Apparently he was on the 8th floor of the hotel and sensed the sway. He and other guest went down to the road. He saw on TV 2 a brief report on the quake.
It happened in Sumatra he said and he has friends there. We chatted for a bit before he hung up. Immediately after, I-Lann’s sms reached me. She’s watching CNN and apparently the quake registered at 8.2 richter. I surfed to CNN site and sure enough, reports started to trickle in.
here’s the latest update:
Quake strikes off Indonesia coast
Monday, March 28, 2005 Posted: 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
(CNN) — U.S. officials were urging residents to evacuate coastal regions in the Indian Ocean after a earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off the coast of Indonesia Monday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration urged residents within 1,000 kilometers of the epicenter to evacuate coastal regions.
The quake was centered on the same fault line where a December 26 earthquake launched a tsunami that killed at least 175,000 people.
The director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said scientists there feared another tsunami might hit the area.
Charles McCreary said he could not be certain that the quake, which was 203 kilometers (126 miles) from Sibolga on Sumatra Island, would cause a tsunami.
Experts agreed the quake was massive.
“This earthquake has the potential to generate a widely destructive tsunami in the ocean or seas near the earthquake,” NOAA said in a statement on its Web site. “Authorities in those regions should be aware of this possibility and take immediate action.”
Asked whether evacuations are taking place, USGS spokesman Don Blakeman said, “I certainly hope so.”
Thailand issued a warning that the quake could bring a tsunami to its southern provinces. The warning, which was carried on national television, cautioned people in the six provinces to be careful and vigilant, but did not order evacuations.
USGS spokesman Doug Blake said there had been no reports of tsunami activity nearly 90 minutes after the quake struck.
“We’re still waiting for any kind of reports,” he said.
“At this point in time we don’t know what type of fault occurred … and that is critical information we just don’t have yet,” he said. “It is in the aftershock zone of the December 26 quake. It’s a little bit south, but it’s on the same fault.”
The quake occurred at 11:09 a.m. ET (1609 GMT), and is considered a “great” earthquake, the largest of seven grades.
The grades are very minor, minor, light, moderate, strong, major and great.
Tsunamis are distinguished from normal coastal surf by their great length and speed. A single wave in a tsunami series might be 160 kilometers (100 miles) long and race across the ocean at 960 kph (600 mph).
When it approaches a coastline, the wave slows dramatically, but it also rises to great heights because the enormous volume of water piles up in shallow coastal bays.
The December 26 quake, measured at magnitude 9, triggered a massive tsunami that devastated Asian and African coastlines in nearly a dozen nations.