At 8am today there was an approximately 6.6 (US) – 7.0 (China) magnitude earthquake 71 miles to the south-west of Chengdu. I thought I would post about it just in case you follow global news. Andrew and I are fine, nothing fell off the wall in our apartment. Class has been canceled for the day at our school.
We start teaching at 9:30 on Saturday mornings so Andrew and I were up getting ready for work this morning when the earthquake hit. I had just showered and I was laying around in a towel. Andrew was in the shower. When I realized what was happening I yelled out to him “earthquake….” unsure at first and then “Earthquake!!!” Being from California, earthquakes are not unfamiliar to us but mainly as a child I slept through all of them, including the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Here we live on the 5th floor of an apartment building, the ground was wobbling as I walked to the bathroom door. Andrew and I stood in the door frame in our towels as we waited for the initial shocks to pass and watched the strange glass balls on the living room lights swing. I could hear people in the hallway running down the stairwell. Andrew and I remarked to each other that being naked during an earthquake is not the best.
In 2008, in the same region called Lushan county where the quake was today, there was a 8.0 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands of people . For many people I think that earthquake was clear in their memories as they ran downstairs into the street and courtyards. There was a flow of many people in our apartment complex just after the first shake and initial aftershock. Here is a picture from our balcony of families in their bathrobes and doing their daughter’s hair. I think most people went to the street and the adjacent middle school because it has more open space. Everyone is still out an about rather than hanging out in their apartments.
As I write this we feel another small quake. At school I was told to cover our new DOS’ first class because she had to run down from her 26th floor apartment and then walk back up to put the rest of her clothes on. When she arrived later she told me she was thrown off her feet, as it would be expected you feel the effects more the higher up you are. These buildings though have been designed to withstand the wobble. As I was talking to the class about what they were doing when the earthquake hit the whole school ran out of the building because of another small tremor that neither my class nor I felt. At this point the classes were canceled for the rest of the day. All the other foreign teachers were freaked out about the earthquakes, having never encountered them before because they are from the UK or Wyoming. From my count there has been four aftershocks now, possibly more that we have not felt, in the four hours since the first earthquake. School may or may not be canceled tomorrow. In someways it’s nice to have an extra day off but not at the cost of peoples lives. We will be watching the news to see more updates on the situation. You should know that Andrew and I are completely safe.
Here is some global new coverage of the earthquake:
4pm Update, school has been canceled tomorrow as well.
Here is a picture of the initial earthquake and this website has a lot of good updates of the subsequent ones.