Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquake in Peru: My first sismo en Lima

Today the ground moved, literally when an earthquake struck Peru (sismo). It happened just before 1pm Peruvian time (1pm CST). 

The earth moved once while I was at my desk talking to one of the administrative assistants. She asked, ¨Was that an earthquake?¨ I responded, ¨I think it is¨ and at that time another tremor struck. We could feel the ground shaking beneath our feet and chairs and the desks and furniture in the office moved.

We all followed quickly and efficiently the predetermined evacuation route. Luckily for me, (not for them) Peruvians are used to tremors and quakes. I have experienced a couple of earthquakes in Costa Rica but this was my first one while living in Peru. We all evacuated to the main plaza on campus (USIL) where you see the large ¨S¨that stands for zona segura or safe zone.

We in Lima were quite distance away from the epicenter of the quake in Pucallpa which is located along the Peru/Brazil border. But we still felt the tremors. The phone lines were overwhelmed for a few minutes. The best way to send and receive information was via facebook and twitter. Social media proved to be invaluable to both find out and convey information. 

The experience was a shock but a good learning experience for what to expect the next time we experience a quake here in Peru.

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