Thursday, August 16, 2007

Earthquake in Peru - Report from Maria Ximena

Here is an eyewitness report of today's earthquake in Peru from our friend Maria Ximena, whom we met on our cruise. It's a very emotional letter, and it's interesting to read her "English as a third or fourth language" description! (Japanese, French, Peruvian {Spanish}, English) "Replique" must mean aftershock, don't you think?

Wow, what an experience..We are so glad that her family is all OK. We sat with her and her father at dinner on the cruise, and Maria Ximena hung out with us during the day. She and Jana really hit it off. Her father does not speak English.

Here is Maria Ximena's account of the earthquake in Lima. Sounds like a very emotional experience for everyone!

From: Maria Ximena Wong []
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:54 PM
To: Jana Steiger
Subject: Re: It takes an earthquake!


Thanks for the note :D

I am fine, thanks, we are all fine.

Let me tell you about the moment itself: I was going back home from visiting some friend and since all the buses were full I decided to walk (30 min distance to my house... ok with me... though it was cold) I was crossing 2 main avenues going through the residence of the ambassador of Japan (which new house is very protected in some many ways since some terrorist attack their other house) and then a lady standing in the street told me: the earth must be moving very hard... look at the street light... so I look at it and saw it moving!!! and a few meters away I stop and felt the earth moving... but I guess at that moment it was starting (or the structure of the residence avoid me to feel it the way it really happened) cause I thought it may be a earthquake that may be over soon and didnt pay much attention (it last more or less 2 minutes!!!)... the lights went off for a few seconds and a big yellow light appear in the sky... what is that??... I havent heard about it in the news yet.... so I kept on walking and everyone was outside their offices, houses, aparments.... I thought: it may be longer than I thought since everyone is outside... but nobody was scared or talking about it, just outside waiting... I arrive to my house and the girl who helps us in the cleaning said: did you feel it????? I was horrible!!! and she was red almost crying... so I told her what I just told you and she said that it was good that I didnt really feel it cause it was horrible!!! she felt that the walls were going to fall over her and she run to the garden and felt like walls where gum moving toward her!! then she told me that my mom called to see how we were and she got worried when she knew I was outside... phone lines were dead, cell phones dead too... we turned on the radio to listen to the news: 2 earthquakes in the south of Lima 7.5 and 7.9 that where felt in all the country!!! the wave even reached Colombia... later I heard that the wave reached Chile too... we were in the kitchen and she showed me that the earthquake open 2 furnitures full of plates... she saw when they opened and went so scared, that the plates may fall, that didnt wanted to even try to get the key to get out of the house so she stayed in the garden. Then while we were sitting in the kitchen listening to radio and also trying to contact my mom brrrmmmm!!!! the first replique!!! course we took the key and walk out from the house!!!... in front of my house theres a new building and all the people who lived there were outside really scared cause the construction materials weren´t the best and they were scared of going upstairs again... can you imagine how they may feel the earthquake??... like the entire building was going to fall!!! before going to bed we turn on the tv and heard the news in cnn and also in local channels: tsunami alarm has been cancelled (dont know why honestly!!!) also be prepared for more repliques in the next days.... it was 11.30pm more or less when I felt one of the 140 repliques that were registered... this morning my cousin felt another one at her job and she told her mom that all her co-workers run desperately

A church in Ica, south of Lima, was destroyed.. also all or most of the walls of the new/morden buildings were affected... also the ones from old buildings.... the windows of a university which has windows instead of wall were broken

My dad was at his office and he had to close all the doors and stay inside to prevent any thief to take advantage of situation
My mom was with her friends and all of them panic and start shouting (you never know how you will react)... she told me that she thought it was the end...
My bro call us at midnight, from France, after reading the email and listening to the news
My aunt, who lives with us, called from Mexico
Some relatives went out from shower, one was in pijamas, a little niece we have was in her door scared unable to move...
One cousin was coming back home and the friend who was driving the car was scared about his sister who was somewhere with his nephew and suddenly in the news he heard that something happened to a building near that area and panic and my cousin try to calmed him by tellking everything was going to be ok. Also her classmate panic cause she has a kid and cried worried about her kid
Also some relatives we have in Spain called us in midnight
A cousin called telling us that she heard in Japan suffered another earthquake... later in the news we heard that the first earthquake was in Japan, the wave reached Bahamas (I think), and then this ones that had nothing to do with the others

Thanks again for your note, take care!

Maria Ximena

pd I may start my MBA soon :D