NOT the Big One

About noon today we were in the office (aka Starbucks) when the building started to shake, just a little at first then more and more, back and forth. Everyone’s reaction was the same: dawning realization, then looking around to see if anyone else felt it, then looking at each other with the thought, “What do we do?” There seemed to be a bit of a letting up and everyone went downstairs and out. The dumb gringos? We moved away from the window and talked with the few others who stayed. It was strong but not so strong anything seemed at risk of damage. One of the others there had lived through the Mexico City quake in 1985 which killed untold thousands. This was the strongest quake to hit Mexico since then. When things stopped moving I jumped onto the US Geological Service site of recent quakes (ours is in red; look at all the aftershocks, which we didn’t feel). It registered a 7.9 quake in the state of Guerrero. 7.9! That’s about 150 miles from us. It was amazing how fast the information was there, less than five minutes after the quake, I’d guess. So, naturally I tweeted it. There’s no point on trying to call people when that happens; the cell network immediately gets saturated. The quake wasn’t apparently bad enough to worry about the kids at school, or Ethan or Eddie in Pueblo Nuevo. So we got to play “watch the quake numbers”. Eventually USGS rated the quake down to 7.6, then 7.4 which it currently is. UNAM (the university in Mexico City) rated it at 6.6 in a slightly different location, but it looks now as if that’s been increased to 7.?…. On the way home with the kids the news on the radio was that damage was minimal and no injuries or deaths had been reported, not even in the biggest town only 15 miles from the epicenter. I hope that holds up. We got home and there was no damage, nothing on the floor or out of place.

We’re thankful for God’s providential care, not just for us, but for the millions who went through this.

Finally, here’s a US news story (Puebla makes it at the bottom).

And for our friends in the Great Northwest, this was nothing to what could be up there (short version). Scary. Prepare!

Update, 3/21/2012: The news here is calling it a 7.8. There are reports of 9 injured, 1 seriously, and damage to buildings in the vicinity of the epicenter (Guerrero & Oaxaca). Pray for those affected.


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