August 20, 2008

Fear of Shaking

Over the extended weekend a latent fear resurfaced: the fear of earthquakes. You see, last Friday, while I was lazing on the bed and dreaming up plans for the three-day break, there was this sudden jolt. And then the earth started shaking.

It wasn't like one of those little tremors that we attribute to Mount Mayon or to Bulusan. Minor quakes we have learned to live with. Instead, it was quite strong, the way the quake in Baguio was strong. (A dear friend lost an uncle in that quake, an uncle who, a week before, gave me a Midnight Oil album. For five or so years, I'd always get sick every time I'd go up north.)

Anyway, last Friday's quake had me immediately eyeing the beams for cracks. Finding none, I fed on my neurosis and thought of a thousand what ifs. What if there are hidden cracks? What if the roof caved in on us? What if this happened when the little girl is all alone in the room? What if...

We cancelled the weekend trip to the beach and to the mall in Legazpi amid fears of tidal waves and volcanic eruptions. You can never really tell in these parts: the earthquake on Friday registered 5 on the Richter scale in Sorsogon; 6 in Legazpi. Besides, motherhood has made me more cautious. More paranoid.

Similar quakes--albeit less shaky--were felt on Monday and, again, just minutes ago. Scary, really, the way they strike in seeming regularity. I don't know, but this growing fear of quakes has me shaking.

2 comments:

kayni said...

I do remember that earthquake in Baguio too. Have the authorities said what was the cause of this recent earthquake?

Rudy said...

Ay, tell me about it. I live in a decades-old, 8-story apartment building where my biggest worry is not from fire, but whether it can still stand a quake similar to the big one that hit Luzon in 91. Maybe I should have moved in QC where geologists say the ground is firmer...