Thursday 15 December 2011


wow. My first real earthquake!

Living on the Rim of Fire, we get plenty of tremors, but this one, a 7.3, was the real thing. The 1998 earthquake that resulted in a 59ft high tsunami was only 7.0.

The epicentre was only 55 miles south of Lae but, thankfully, it was deep, so no tsunami this time.

I was at my desk, trying desperately to follow the seisemic political situation in PNG, when the house simply started shaking. From side to side.

Now, for someone who KNOWS they live on the Ring of Fire, but has never experienced a quake, my first thought was a huge truck was driving up the street.

The noise was incredible!

I raced downstairs, the stairs being like the old Turkey Walk game at Luna Park. I guess right about then I realised that we were in a serious quake.

Outside, it was surreal. To be standing on 'solid' ground, watching your house hake from side to side, but the trippiest thing? The water in the pool was sloshing around, splashing up in the air and flooding the downstairs.

Your mind simply refuses to accept what it sees.

I reckon it lasted 45 seconds to a minute, but the trembling of glassware and the falling of pictures off the wall lasted longer.

We had no power, genset or mains for a couple of hours.

So thanks to all who sent concerned thoughts. I'm fine, Bubbles is fine, we're all fine.


Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Just visiting your blog which I happened upon in posting about my husband's life in Popondetta in the '50s. I'm really enjoying your posts about life in PNG -so much is familiar from my life there in the '70s (only worse now I imagine). I can relate to the off cream (we used to dip our fingers into it in Steamies in Moresby -if it was okay, you took it, if not, who else would want it).

I empathised with yo on the guria. I experienced my first one in Alotau and also thought a truck had maybe hit the house before the penny dropped. A friend used to grab his stereo, his wife grabbed the baby. Life's priorities ;-)