Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Earth's Shaking

I was in my deep sleep when the 7.5 Richter earthquake strike Indonesia on August 9 at 12:04AM. My sister text me from Toronto in the middle of the night asking whether we’re all OK. I bet the EWS works well on that part of the world. (Tentunya aku si belor ini tidak terbangun untuk membalasa sms-nya karena tidak merasakan apa-apa.) Follow this link for August 9, 2007 earthquake and tectonic summary.

But, when the 7.9 Richter earthquake shook Indonesia on September 12, I was still in the office. Follow this link for September 12, 2007 earthquake and tectonic summary. I hope there won't be many casualties.

Many people in the office have left for home to prepare for their first day of ramadhan. I stayed on because I still had many things to do and I was sure that the streets on the night prior to the first day of ramadhan are always jam-packed.

I heard the beating sound to my window glass. At first I thought it’s the rain that beat the window glass. But, wait… the blinds were shaking and no way the wind could enter the window and made the blinds swinging strongly. I stood up and looked for Kezia – the only one in my team that’s still in the office. I said to her, “I think we have earth quake…” She felt it too and said that she felt dizzy just by looking at the swaying blinds. Soon we felt the floor beneath us swaying quite strongly.

We heard people screaming on the other side of the office, so we approached them. They’re all panic. I and Kezia didn’t say anything but took it as ‘let’s get out of here now.’ We went back to our desks to fetch our bags before went out to the front door and climbed down the stairs. There were about couple minutes passed before I really started to ascend the 18 floors (later, I found out it’s actually 19 floors).

As a former geologist I knew Jakarta should be OK – unlikely to be affected directly by tsunami or landslide. But what I fear was the building construction. Well, I live in Jakarta long enough to doubt the quality of the building construction. But, then… there are many Japanese companies in this building, and Japanese is very peculiar about safety and security. It should be OK. All the while I thought about ‘what ifs’... what if the building cracks and collapses and we’re trapped inside.

With high heels (damn, why I did wear these shoes in this particular day!) and my heavy-stuff bag, I safely delivered myself to the loading floor. My body was wet with sweat – hmm… thinking about going to the gym. I was separated from Kezia and wanted to call her soon after I arrived on the ground. My goodness! I left my cell phone on my desk. Saat-saat kayak gini baru ngerasa pentingnya punya ha-pe.

I walked and then stood by the lobby of MidPlaza II. Well, there I met Kezia… safe and sound. (Good that she changed her shoes with sandal jepit.) There were already lot of people in front of the lobby’s door and many people went straight out. Pak Parimun brought me my cell phone. I got several miscalls. I thought all the calls were asking about the quake – but I was wrong. Pipiet called but didn’t ask about the earthquake but to ask about going to Bandung during the weekend. *smile* My sister in Singapore told me that she could feel the earthquake too and was asked to go home. My boss in Singapore also text me asking about the office and staff...

Emang merasakan sendiri jauh bedanya dengan membaca dari koran…

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