Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sumatra Earthquake II

This is not my idea of a fun series, but...

Last night, for the second time since our arrival in Singapore seven months ago, an earthquake (magnitude 8.4) shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra next door to us. Then, barely giving the aftershocks time to die down, another quake (7.8) struck this morning in the same region and was followed a few hours later with yet another (7.4). Thursday evening, a fourth earthquake (6.2) struck, this time farther east, near Sulawesi. Edit: Friday saw still more quakes (ranging from 5.0 to 6.4), again off the coast of Sumatra.

The first and strongest was the one most felt in Singapore. Downtown, tall buildings swayed, as they are designed to do to withstand the shockwaves. A few were evacuated. In others, people living on higher floors crowded into the lifts voluntarily after their chandeliers swung back and forth, nearly bumping the ceiling, or they realized their sudden “dizziness” was caused by the real, though very slight, movement of the room.

As for us, we were home at the time, unaware of events until we read about them. While the tall buildings do have a certain glamour and prestige, this was one time we felt fortunate to live in a short one.

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