Public Address | Southerly: "Refugee Status | Sep 08, 2010 22:28
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake, as we discovered on Saturday morning, sounds rather like a thousand empty wheelie bins being trundled over cobble-stones.
We'd had difficulty getting our three-year-old son to sleep the night before. Several books (one novel-length) had been read aloud by my wife; soporific ukulele music had been played until my fingers had cramp; there'd been sobbing and tears of frustration (mostly from me). Eventually, around midnight, our household slipped into a fitful slumber.
I suspect, therefore, that we were more traumatized than most to be awoken at 4.35 am. The heaving and plunging of the floor reminded me of being in a storm at sea. It's a sensation that I don't much enjoy in a boat; I absolutely loathe it on dry land.
The movement was so violent that my wife had some difficultly picking up our son. We huddled in the doorway in total darkness as pictures fell from our walls and crockery smashed in the kitchen. A series of aftershocks kept us in the doorway for an hour."