At 10:27 pm last night, we were rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was in the Zambales province, near San Marcelino, on the island of Luzon. In other words, it wasn’t that far from where I live in Olongapo.
I was sitting here, at my laptop computer. My wife, Josie, was lying on the bed on the verge of going to sleep. Needless to say, the earthquake interrupted whatever we were doing.
I have a lot of Filipinos as Facebook friends. Probably twice as many as any other ethnic group or citizens of other countries. The word lindol in Tagalog means earthquake and I saw that word a lot last night.
I’m not fluent in Tagalog, especially when half of what I’m reading is slang. The words earthquake and lindol stood out, however, so I know what they were talking about.
This wasn’t the first earthquake I experienced in the Philippines and the Philippines isn’t the first place I experienced one.
My first experience was at MCRD San Diego in 1979. I was in the first sergeant’s office (and I don’t remember why) and it felt like someone was trying to pull the chair from under me.
My second experience was at my apartment in Okinawa in 1987. Since the apartment, built above the Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ restaurant in Ginowan City, was made completely of cement, Josie and I headed out the door and were outside before it stopped.
I’ve lost count of how many earthquakes I’ve experienced since I moved here in 2006. I can remember three, but I’m sure there were some that didn’t shake us enough to wake me up.
Earthquakes are scary but there isn’t anything anyone can do about them except move to places where earthquakes are almost unheard of. Like where I lived in Arizona.
I’m thankful I haven’t had to endure some of the other natural disasters people experience. Like tornadoes (a typhoon isn’t even close), forest fires or massive floods.