Friday, December 7, 2012

Earthquake warnings

Last night the cats, Choco and I were settled in the warm house and knitting (well, I was knitting) when the TV started beeping.  From the other room my cell-phone started beeping and ringing too.  The cats all sprang to action and dashed under sofas and arm chairs and Choco started whining.  I was a little slower to react and realized that we were having earthquake warnings. We haven't had earthquake warnings in months!  I quickly turned off the kerosene stove and removed the boiling kettle to safer ground when the house started shaking.

It is nice that those earthquake warnings give a few seconds to turn-off, run-under or get-away-from. The cats, true to Pavlov's theory, hear the alarms and know exactly what to do. I settled in a chair (farthest from piano, bookshelves, cupboards) and waited as the shaking got harder and things started falling (light things.)  Oops.  Forgot to open the front door!  We have been educated to secure a route of escape in the event of a large earthquake by turning the lock in the front door so that it doesn't close completely.  If the house frame shifts the door will supposedly still open...

That was all for last night's earthquake, (magnitude 7.3), the epicenter being near the same spot as last year's earthquake, but tsunami warnings went out.  For the next two hours the news focused on alerting people in the coastal areas to run for high places.  In this cold too!

I have never been particularly scared of earthquakes...  In Japan, the house shakes regularly and one watches their head, but usually these things are short and mild.  But maybe last year's earthquake has effected me more than I thought.  I sat in my armchair watching the news with my heart thumping in my chest for quite a few minutes.  When the cats came out from their hiding places I figured I could go back to my knitting... but I left the kerosene stove off for those two hours...  Cold here too!

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