Monday 12 May 2008

How did I not feel that?

News agencies across the world are reporting that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central China this afternoon. It seems I was running on the elliptical machine at the gym at the time and didn't feel a thing.

I did notice construction workers streaming out of a tall building across the street and it seemed like people in the street (and even some of the gym staff) were looking up at something on the building. I even stopped running for a moment and turned off the mp3 player to see if there was a siren but couldn't for the life of me figure out what was so interesting.

Upon getting home I found two text messages on my phone asking if I had felt the earthquake and, having smelled a slight gas smell in the lobby on my way in, decided to grab our documents and head over to a coffee shop for a few hours just to be safe. The coffee shops at the business park near our house all seem busier than usual and I've overheard a few snippets from people who felt some significant shaking. I think people must have left their office buildings after the quake and many decided just to stay in the coffee shops.

Early reports suggest damage in Chengdu, the closest major city to the epicentre, is minimal though there seem to be some deaths and injuries in the smaller towns; I'm pretty sure there won't have been any damage in Beijing where it was apparently felt as a 3.9 magnitude tremor.

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