Friday, April 13, 2007

Earthquake rocks the night

Friday the 13th in Mexico City got a little scarier at about 12:45 a.m. We had just crawled into bed about a half hour earlier when a tremor --that measured 6.2 on the Richter scale-- made the city tremble.

I was half asleep when I felt the matress and bed frame shake. Not knowing if I was still dreaming or not, my first thought was that Jeremy was moving the bed. I asked him, "What's happening?"

"An earthquake," he said as he jumped out of bed to inspect how things were looking outside. That woke me up.

Our bedroom doors kept making a clicking sound as they banged against the doorway. Luckily in our neighborhood the power stayed on and things returned to normal after a few minutes. But in other parts of the city, especially downtown, panic grew as people had flashbacks of the deadly 1985 earthquake that struck the megalopolis.

Guests at hotels ran to the streets in pajamas, some, like me, had never have experienced an earthquake before. The Mexico City daily EL UNIVERSAL reported people slept in the street, just in case.

What many people forget is that Mexico City was built over water. Back in the day, our neighborhood of Coyoacan, was considered a suburb on the outskirts of the city and has always been land, which makes us feel a little better. But the night's quake made me realize we are not completely in the clear.

We fell asleep listening to the local radio's extensive reports on the quake's effect on the city. People shared their stories-- a reporter spotted someone leave their apartment, wearing only a sheet. Another reporter touched a woman's arm after an interview and told listeners that she was still trembling. Somehow I could sleep better after listening to their stories. I was not alone.

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