February 22, 2011 Earthquake in Manila
Two hours prior to this blog post, Manila suffered an intensity 4 earthquake.
I was sleeping. I didn’t feel it. But then again, at around the time the earthquake began, I woke up unceremoniously. I was wondering why I woke up early (I was still two hours short of my 8-hour beauty rest). I wonder if it was the quake that roused me.
I’m still living on the eighth floor in the Southern suburbs of Manila, but I shall be moving to the bustling part of the city – and to the 26th floor of a 40-floor building. Should I be scared?
Just a few days ago, I’ve been telling my friends that one of the things I look for in a home is security and safety even in the face of a major calamity. What happens if a stronger earthquake hits and I’m sleeping? Will I survive? Will the 26-floor building even survive? Here’s what I see when I look out the window (yes, that’s how high up my view is):
I remember the earthquake from twenty years ago, last July 16, 1990. Dagupan City was hit big time. About ninety buildings in Dagupan City were damaged, most of which actually visibly sunk into the ground. Twenty buildings collapsed – and none of those buildings were 40 floors high.
I was in school when the earthquake hit last 1990. On our way down to the ground floor, the earth started to rumble loudly.
I was at the foot of the stairs when everyone on the stairwell fell on top of me. I’m fond of the domino effect – just not this one.
While I was trying hard to breathe with the twenty or so students on top of me, the ground right under my face cracked and started sputtering brown mud. One word kept flashing in my mind: patay.
Ah, yes, there’s nothing scarier than the earth opening its jaws to swallow you whole while your face was flat on the ground. It would have been poetic, if not for the Oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-die feeling that was lingering at the back of my mind.
So now, I ask the question: should I be scared? Have I made a rather deadly decision to live on 26th floor? I do not want to look like a pancake when I die! I want to be pretty even as I draw my last breath. Is that really too much to ask?