Monday, September 19, 2011

The (hopefully not "a") Earthquake

Late last night, at around 7pm, I was in a chair tripping off heat and mosquitoes, minding my own business. When suddenly a mammoth tractor size monster started rumbling outside making my room shake. The fan that was spinning above me looked like it could dip down and cut off my face.

That’s when I noticed. There was no tractor monster. The building started to sway from side to side like a jenga set with a loose brick. I was on the 4th floor of this 5 story building. And as luck would have it, Bulbul decided to go home the day earlier and Muzi and I sent the cook home so he could take care of his sick wife. So it was just me and Muzi, and the sky was falling.

I immediately jumped into public health mode. I have such an unchecked hero complex. I ran to a doorway. “Muzi, are you ok?!” I said with the calm of a thousand Hindi cows. “Muzi go into a doorway.” “A what?!” “Come down here and share my doorway!” And Muzi and I stood in my doorway inwardly shaking at a counter rhythm to the building. When the swaying/shaking stopped my brain thought “news, facebook, call moms.”

Nothing on the news yet so I called my parents. They teased me about being a bad scientist and not leaving the building, warned me of aftershocks, hyperbolized about tsunamis and then both went on a news hunt. After about 10 minutes Muzi and I did feel an aftershock and ran downstairs to stand in the pouring rain. The guards laughed at us—which is nothing new, and gave us umbrellas. All the phones were tied up but when we got reach of some Bangladeshi’s they claimed it was the strongest earthquake in 50 years!

The earthquake actually hit Sikkim, India, near the Nepal border and so far has killed 48 people. It was a 6.9 on the Richter scale.


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