Sunday, December 16, 2007


Just before 5 am Thursday, December 13:

“Cale. Earthquake.”
“I bet Gal* is sleeping right through this.”
*Gal is from L.A.

I couldn’t get back to sleep right after the quake. It didn’t feel like a very big earthquake. It was big enough to shake the hotel and the bed. We definitely felt it, but it didn’t feel like anything serious. I base this one all my earthquake experience and expertise…oh wait, I don’t have any.

However, it did get me thinking. What do I do for a big quake? Stand in a doorway? Run out side? What about tsunami? How will I know? The Peace Corps has an emergency system in place. The islands are divided into regions and each region has a lead volunteer who contacts all the other volunteers in their area. However, we are new. Our emergency coordinator might not even have our phone numbers yet. We aren’t even out at our sites right now anyway; we are at the hotel.

I know that if there had been an emergency, we would have been contacted. Everyone in the office knew we were in the hotel that night. Our safety and security officer was actually late picking up the Savai’i volunteers who were heading out to their sites at 6 am because he was monitoring the situation from the office. Initially a tsunami warning or watch was in effect, but it was quickly cancelled.

Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about at five in the morning the day after our swearing in.

Here is some news on the quake, I think they have the day wrong, maybe because China is on the other side of the international dateline:
WELLINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- A magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook the South Pacific Samoa early Friday morning without causing damages.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning center said after the earthquake at 1551 GMT was 210 km off American Samoa's main island of Tutuila.

Meanwhile, Samoa's earthquake monitoring office said the quake, which was 171 km south southwest of the capital Apia, was the strongest felt there this year.

The quake did not generate a tsunami and there has been no report of damages.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck in the vicinity of the Fijian Islands on Sunday caused no damages as well.

— Sara

1 comment:

Barb Carusillo said...

You know, somehow, in all the reading I have been doing about Samoa, I have not come across any bits about earthquakes, or tsunamis. I guess I will just have to put that threat out of my mind, pretend it's not on the radar screen, that it won't likely happen again. Just glad you know how to tread water.