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19-S

September 19, 2018

 

There was an earthquake drill, then there was an earthquake. It's been a year since I experienced the major earthquake in Mexico City at 1:14:40 pm.  It changed me a bit as I became jittery, reacting to every sound in the city and the city is always very noisy! It was hard to sleep in the three-floor penthouse with two elevators facing Torre Diana. After the quake, by the bedroom elevator I placed a bag, ready to evacuate with emergency needs.

 

Here's what happened that day... I was on the computer on the second floor, on one side of the elevator and the maid Nati was in the kitchen on the other side. I got up to check on her cooking and had to stop in the middle, by the elevator due to the uncontrollable shaking.  It was a safe place to be as I had checked on this possibility when I first moved there. I analyzed the situation, yelled for Nati to come to where I was and we rode it out, not sure how long it would last.  Our small high-rise building had a courtyard in the middle and the screams by others was loud and could be clearly heard.  My view during the earthquake included the dining room with colored glass fixtures, glass tables and a lot of art that shook wildly but withstood.  To my right was the living room, with wood fixtures moving side-by-side, with statues, ceramic pots and other items crashing to the floor, breaking everywhere.  When I felt it was safe, I asked Nati to close the water she had left running, turn the stove off with the beans cooking and join me at the top, outside terrace floor to observe the busy street and wait for any after shocks. If the building was damaged, hopefully we would fall on top of the pile. We had earlier discovered, during the earthquake drill, that it would take too long to go down four flights of stairs after hearing the warning siren, so there was no way to leave the penthouse. Plus, the siren did not ring for the real earthquake, hours later because the activity was centered inland and the siren only monitors coast activity!  

A lot to absorb back then. Very thankful to be home in California where I do not live in a concrete high-rise and feel prepared to survive. 

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