24 February 2010
Yesterday night, at about 1.30, we had another cracking earthquake – the are called aftershocks, because they follow a bigger earhquake, even if they come 6 weeks later, but they are of course also earthquakes in their own right. This one was 4.7 on the Richter scale, not much, but apparently very shallow, and it did shake the entire house, badly. It woke up my flat mates, everybody in the neighbourhood and no doubt greater Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and other towns along the coast. My flat mates were up and ready to leave the apartment. Outside dogs were barking, people were screaming, many kept talking throughout the night, didn’t go back to sleep anymore.
The quake was followed by a second one a short time later, and towards the end of that second one, I woke up, too. I decided that this was a lot milder than the aftershock the night before – which did wake me up, was also 4.7, but somehow not as dramatic as the one last night -, turned around, and fell asleep again.
I missed it all, my description above is second-hand. But I do believe every word of it, I could see it in the faces of our house staff, Molly and Legrand, who turned up in the morning, dazed, visibly shocked. There are still enormous traumas to be dealt with here.
next: the city
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just hope that this was not your first earthquake. Can't believe that you, as a geologist, just slept through it. You should have gone out to take some notes ! Remember my first one in Damascus (still talking about quakes). Some interesting background reading on the seismic activity around you from the USGS: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2413
JP, having lived in Aceh for a year, this was indeed not my first earthquake. My first one (indeed, talking about earthquakes..) was in PNG, whilst on a geological field rip with former Shell icons like Roel Murris and Willy Ott – three geologists, at least two of them brilliant, who all three didn't feel the quake. In reality, a mild earthquake doesn't feel very different from a heavy truck driving through the Kerkstraat in Didam, and I sleep through that, too. Thanks for the link!