Scared woman

The day the city swayed

2 months ago
1 min read

New York City, a place of towering steel and bustling crowds, never struck me as somewhere the earth might tremble. But that all changed recently. Just days after a devastating earthquake in Taiwan, the ground beneath our feet in the city gave a jolt.

It wasn’t a monstrous shake, but it was enough to stir unsettling memories. Memories of 1991, of the Baguio City earthquake that reduced buildings to rubble. In a flash, I was back by the riverbank, a young student celebrating a victory in the school elections. Laughter filled the air, a carefree moment shattered by the sudden movement of the earth.

The ground rippled like a wave, and the world around us swayed like a bamboo forest in a gale. Instinct took over. I grabbed a post for support, but the earth continued its dance. Fear, cold and sharp, gripped me. My thoughts raced to my family, were they safe? Panic welled up as I envisioned our parked car rolling, a potential catastrophe by the riverside.

The shaking finally subsided, leaving my legs weak and wobbly. It took time to steady myself, to push back the tide of fear. The first thing I did was head home, heart pounding, to find my family thankfully unharmed.

Back in the present, the rumble in New York was a stark reminder. We have plans for floods – seek higher ground. We know what to do for tornadoes – find shelter below. But earthquakes? In the northeast? That one left me drawing a blank. Perhaps it’s time to add a new line to my emergency checklist.

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