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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Quake ... it's old news

There was an earthquake in Bhutan on Sunday 18th September, 2011. The quake is known as the 2011 Sikkim Earthquake. Wikipedia has information on it here.

This is my report, which I sent to my friends in Christchurch this morning. I know. A little late!

Dear Elaine and Terence

Thanks for the nice photos. Stephanie sent me some photos from her trip into town last weekend, and I have seen some videos of the damage. Then all those aftershocks. Shocking. Our shock was a oncer. I was watching TV and then that familiar noise began. A rattling of the doors. The TV kept going, and the power. I thought, oh yeah, another wee quake. I continued watching TV. I'm from Christchurch. Tough as old boots. The shaking kept going. Oh. What to do? The TV did not worry. Ugyen was down in another room. Angay was in the altar room, probably spinning her prayer wheel a lot faster. There are no dinner tables to dive under. The construction of these tall apartment buildings with lots of bricks worried me. At least if I were in Christchurch, buildings would not fall down. Oh, maybe they would. I headed down to the bedroom. It was still rattling. Not furious, but constant. I have a table that this computer is on. But it stopped before I got under. Ugyen and Angay appeared. It annoyed me that I had been more concerned about my own safety than theirs. There was little damage to the place. A pile of magazines in the sitting room had toppled. The books had fallen off the bookshelf in my bedroom. The TV was still going. I changed over to BBS to see the reports. There were none! The live interview was continuing, and they never broke away to report on the quake. Very strange.
People from the apartment were gathering outside. I watched them from the window. It was more interesting than the TV. Power was still on. Water was still on. This was nothing compared with Christchurch. Our apartment is tucked up into a valley, and we cannot see town. I imagined places having toppled. Piles of bricks. Cracks in roads. Hillsides sliding away. I saw no point in going outside. Ugyen told me I had to. Ludup, who had returned from town, came in to the room to ask if I was coming out. I said no. A belligerent no. No, obstinant. Intractable. Well, dogged and brave. Not at all pertinacious. (Thanks Mr Thesaurus). "Is someone going to tell you when to come back inside?" I asked, in a very friendly way. Ugyen said that her friend had told her there might be an aftershock at 10 p.m. Oh, I said, and went to bed. There had still not been any report on the TV. 
The next day, we had to fill up our big red bucket with water. The owner said the water tank had cracked. That was all we suffered. A day without water in the tap. Oh, and I had to straighten the pile of magazines. Nobody helped me! And the books. I got a little tired doing that. There were no landslides to negotiate on the bike ride to school. No piles of bricks that used to be apartments. Things looked about the same as pre-quake. There were lots of cracks in the school buildings, but the owner assured us they were not structural. School as normal. But we did have an earthquake drill. The sign for that is a long ringing of the bell. We all run outside with a book held over our heads. Some of us have to stay back and pretend to be injured. I wonder if we have to do this in a real quake.

The blog has been dormant for some time now. I may just post this wee message. 

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