Thursday, 11 October 2012


So today I experienced my first earthquake! According to the USGS, it measured 5.5 on the Richter Scale, and 17.22 UTC, which is 14.22 my time - just as lunch was finishing. I was in the office doing some marking (/on Facebook) with the others, when the floor started shaking like someone was playing really loud, bassy music below.

(You can see more info from USGS here)

Initially, that was exactly what I thought was happening until people started getting under desks and someone mentioned it was an earthquake. The shaking got stronger and then stopped after about 15 seconds. Although it was definitely noticeable, nothing was falling off the walls or toppling over, so it was hardly chaos.

This kind of thing happens really frequently in Chile, given their unfortunate geographic position, and so there are established drills for earthquakes, just like we have fire drills in England. Everyone knew exactly what to do (except me) - we all went into the playground and counted the children. Maintenance then inspected the buildings to make sure everything was alright, and we went back inside.

Such fun.

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