Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Bit late, sorry.

I live very near to the epicentre (about 25km away), and was awake at the time. Pretty much straight away it was clear that it was an earthquake, and reasonably strong at that. I felt rather schocked intially, especially as there seemed to be a bang at the beginning and it felt stronger than the last (in 2002). But after about five or ten seconds, I felt that it wasn't going to get any stronger (don't know whay I felt this, just did), and I started actually enjoying the feeling of being shaken.

After it had stopped, it occured to me that it could, possibly just, be an explosion, as there a a number of refineries and chemical plants relatively nearby. I went upstairs and spoke to everybody who had woken up and looked out the windows. But there was no smoke or flames on the horizon, so it was a stupid worry really. Oddly, roadworks started outside my house today, so the earth has been shaking all day.

However, I don't think my experience has helped bring earthquakes in general into my understanding as a life-threatening thing. I mean, they are explicable, and I know that they can and do kill many people. But the sheer meaninglessness of an earthquake is difficult to process, if not impossible, when it causes death and destruction. I can only guess that it feels very emptying, as there is no reason with which we can replace our loss, and really no closure. Losing somebody, or even something, in that way must be very individual as each person seeks their own reason and understanding where none exists.

Member of the Anti-Fabulousness League since 1987.

by Ephemera on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:19:38 PM EST

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