A Lima tremor

I have been working at the school for just over four months and so far we have had three earthquake drills. The first time, I knew we would be having a drill so I treated it appropriately. The second time I was walking back to my classroom from the printer when the siren sounded. There was a little jump in my chest, my steps quickened and I briefly thought, "Alright, here we go..." But alas, another drill. Two weeks ago was National Earthquake Drill Day so I was obviously prepared for the sirens.

Last Wednesday, I was sitting in my classroom, eating my lunch when the sirens sounded. My first thought was, "Another drill? Seriously?!" I rushed out of the classroom to my designated concentration zone and waited for my children. Less than ten seconds later, I felt the ground move as if there was a wave beneath the concrete. Simultaneously, I looked across the courtyard and saw the windows shaking.

During a drill, once everyone has gathered we move to a final evacuation point. But on Wednesday, the director simply said, "Nobody move and please be silent." In that moment I knew, this was for real.

I would later learn that the tremor we felt in Lima was an effect of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Pucallpa, Peru, in the Amazon. Thankfully, there were only two dozen reported injuries from the quake. It was an interesting experience because it was my first tremor. I spent my childhood in Florida and college years in Tennessee so I am more familiar with hurricanes and tornadoes. Earthquakes are a whole new challenge for me.

What we felt in Lima was so minor, that a lot of residents didn't even feel the movement. To be honest, the sirens heightened my awareness of the situation. Had they not sounded, I too might not have felt it. I was however, relieved to know that I was calm throughout the whole event. I had feared that my first earthquake would be a traumatizing experience. Thankfully, Peru was spared from major damage.

Natural disasters seem to be all over the news this week. Thinking of all my fellow Americans along the eastern seaboard who are currently braving Irene's winds.