While I was working on my computer @ home around 7-ish last night, suddenly I felt my place (12th storeys near the east coast) was on rubber stilts. Yes, I literally felt the building was swaying. I could swear the rollers on my chair were moving. And my keyboard felt like it was on bumpy waters.
I stopped and tried to get a grip on myself.
Must have been too much late nights and coffee.
So I hurriedly got to my feet.
Sat down again, and after a few moments, the same mind-boggling sensation.
OK there’s some major constructions going on around my neighbourhood, maybe it’s all the piling.
Looked out my window. Nopez, the construction has stopped.
Suddenly I feared for my life, for my best friends Kero and Bobbi, and started to think if I should just run outta the building and what should I bring? Do I have enough time to get out?
I had a split second to make a decision. Was it just me, a hallucination, or was something really dire happening?
But maybe it’s just me.
So I decided to lie down for a while to see if it’d go away in my head.
And it did!
A few hours later, I found out that it was this (today’s papers on TODAY)
QUAKE SHAKES THE REGION
S’poreans evacuate as W Sumatra hit by 8.2-magnitude temblor
BUILDINGS shook and worried people, including late-night workers in the
Central Business District, fled outdoors.
For the second time this year, mild panic erupted across Singapore as a
massive earthquake off Sumatra triggered tremors as far away as Thailand.
But while all it may have left Singaporeans with was a tale to tell, the
8.2-magnitude quake wreaked devastation on the west coast of Sumatra –
where buildings toppled and casualties mounted.
The undersea quake struck at about 7.15pm Singapore time, with its
epicentre about 120km southwest of the town of Bengkulu.
Aftershocks followed, including one that measured 6.6 on the Richter
scale – prompting not one, but two tsunami warnings that were later called
off. Indian Ocean littoral states which fell victim to the 2004 tsunami,
such as India, Thailand and the Maldives, put their residents on alert.
In Singapore, hundreds of workers scurried from offices at Raffles Place
as buildings shook. One, Ms Adrienne Lee, said: “At first I thought it
was associated with the construction work nearby, but that is usually in
the day. This one was much worse and it was more prolonged.”
Added Ms Mary Kwan, in her 30s: “This shock was worse than the one in
March.” Then, the quake in central Sumatra – where more than 80 people
were killed – hit at about lunchtime here.
Last night’s tremors caught many Singaporeans at dinner. Calls flooded in
to emergency and the MediaCorp hotlines.
In Sengkang, Mr Seah Tong Keng, 54, a crane operator, was sitting down to
eat. He told Today: “I saw small waves form in the fish tank and the fan
started swaying very badly.” He ran out of his 16th-floor flat, joined by
Over in Jurong East, homemaker Karel Tang ran down 23 floors with her
maid and her twin three-year-olds, seeking safety in a nearby field. But
she did not spot her neighbours, who later told her they did not notice
Police received more than 500 calls. As of 11.30pm, engineers from the
Housing and Development Board and the Building and Construction Authority
(BCA) had inspected 170 of the 244 HDB, private and commercial buildings
affected, and certified them structurally safe.
Ms Tang had some concerns: How does one assess if it is safe to return to
a building after a tremor? Are there emergency numbers to call?
In the event of a tremor, the Singapore Civil Defence Force has advised
that the public remain calm. Those out in the open should stay where they
are, while those indoors should seek cover under a table and stay away
from glass items, hanging objects, naked lights and exposed wiring.
Said the BCA: “Buildings in Singapore are designed to established building
codes and are sufficiently robust to withstand tremors caused by distant
At least seven people were killed and 100 injured in Indonesia, news
There was no immediate word on the full extent of casualties and damage
because power was out and phone lines dead in many areas.
A wave of up to 3 metres reportedly struck the city of Padang about 20
minutes after the quake, one official said, adding that a communication
blackout was making it difficult to get more information.
The quake, which triggered powerful aftershocks, split open buildings
300km from the epicentre. In Jakarta, high-rise towers wobbled, water
sloshed from swimming pools and panicked office workers ran into the
OMG. Just as I’m writing this post. The same groggy sensation happened again. 745am.
I went out of my room and asked the folks if they felt it. (Strangely, the dogs seem happily asleep still.)
Nobody felt anything.
Just as I was making my way back to the room, EVERYONE in the house felt it!
But there was no panick.
As of now, it’s been more than 10 mins, and still shaking.
I seriously worry about the integrity of my building, whose very foundations are being shaken right now as I write what could possible be my very last words.
And the very foundations of my own life is being shaken too.
I’ve penned my thoughts about dying before.
But this is way too soon… way too soon for reaction.
Selfish thoughts aside for a moment, what about those out there in and near the epi-centre of the earthquake?
I can’t even begin to imagine their nightmare which has just begun.
Do say a prayer for all the victims as you are reading this now, PLEASE.