Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Shaking" Skopje

Thursday, an earthquake occured about 60km away from Skopje. It registered 4.9 on the reichter scale, a small quake, but it was noticed by many. I personally did not notice it, neither did our babysitter or the kids, but several of my friends felt the tremor or noticed furniture shaking. I recall Nermin, the nurse at the Embassy, saying that they happen all the time and it is just like a loud truck rumbling by. Oddly enough, my friend Ella thought that is what it was, until alerted of the quake by her neighbor.
I know that Skopje sits in an area of great seismic activity and experiencing an earthquake is probably one of my biggest fears about life here. In some ways, Thursday's quake was a relief as it went completely unnoticed, but it also was a bit disturbing. I realized how unprepared we are in the event of a potential catastrophe. Yes, I believe our home is a very sturdy structure. Yes, we have an earthquake kit in our home, but I don't even know what is in it! I have no stock of fresh bottled water or canned foods, no spare medical supplies, no batteries in my flashlight. I am not even completely sure what I should have ready! I suppose I will be reading up a bit on earthquake preparedness in the next few days and doing lots of shopping! Maybe a few practice drills with the kids too. Stay safe everyone!

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