Sunday, May 16, 2010

Puerto Rico Earthquake

1:15 am.  I was sleeping.
1:16 am.  I woke up.  My bed was trembling.  I heard a train rumbling, my two story cement house was trembling, the windows trembled,  the night table trembled, I shook my wife:
"I'm awake"
  Trembling happens all the time, but this one wouldn't stop.  I was still feeling brain fog, my brain not yet awake, but aware of everything in my home trembling.  The roar of the train was underneath.  I was not afraid yet.
Then it stopped.
I live in the mountains, and I hear things from afar.  Car alarms in the valley below, and in my neighborhood were screaming.  Dogs barking.  I have 5 dogs. One lives inside, the other outside and they were quiet.
I ran downstairs to my computer to find the local  seismic web site.   Their office is just a few miles away.  They was nothing on the web.
I received a call from my son, who lives with his mother on the other side of the island:
"Did you feel that?!"
I checked my twitter account.  Sumares Twittered "WTF earthquake?"
I kept refreshing the seismic web site and the earthquake finally registered:
From Earth Quake
5.8 north of Isabela.  There was a flurry of Facebook and Twitter posts mentioning the earth quake.   Posts from all over the island.  I posted the link to my Facebook page.  I received responses from my friends in the states.
My wife turned on the television.  There was no mention of the earth quake but, atop the screen Facebook posts were flashing across like a ticker tape.  There were too many to read, but they gave you a sense of panic.
Our villa is on the coast of Rincon.  I called my brother.  He lives in a wooden house and he was in a panic.  He said the house felt as though it was on a truck and wobbled side to side.
I found information on the seismic site saying no tsunami was expected.  The area where the earth quake occured in in the Puerto Rican trench, one of the deepest areas in  the Atlantic.
I refreshed the seismic website and I found this:
 
From Earth Quake
 
The earth quake did not happen in the trench, but in Moca, just a few miles north of Mayaguez and east of Rincon.
I posted this information in Facebook, and I noticed my friend's postings.  Postings first started
 out tinted with fear.  But now many were joking:
Christian M. Frank Fas "Wow, my sub woofer is really powerful!" "I'm going to do something relaxing before I go to bed, I'm either going to watch the Exorcist or Fire in the Sky, while I get sleepy."
Someone posted Mr.Whiffle with  Charmin toilet paper in his hands and commented  "Earth quake tools."
It's almost 8 am now.  I returned to the seismic web site and discovered there was a smaller tremblor 3.2  within the same area of the big one.  I read an article some time ago saying Puerto Rico trembles continually, sometimes up toward 300 times a month.  This is good, as it relieves pressure from the Teutonic plates beneath us. 
The Hatian Earth quake  is recent and they haven't recovered.   They're a worst case scenario if something as powerful hits.  I will keep my fingers crossed.

US Seismic NetWork

Rincon Puerto Rico