I’ve always wondered what an earthquake feels like. Ever since a friend of a friend told me about someone’s husband who was on a layover when an earthquake literally shook him from his hotel bed (he slept through the whole thing, waking up in the morning on the floor), I’ve thought to myself: “How can you not feel the earth move?”
Well, I found out today, because at about 4pm this afternoon (9th April), the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Southern Iran was felt by thousands of people (but not me) across the UAE. Even if I had noticed a tremor, I would probably have assumed it was my children, or the Metro.
It seems I wasn’t the only one who’d missed it, but plenty of tweeps did have first-hand reports of feeling dizzy and even lamps swinging. “The blinds were swaying,” my friend at work told me (we work on the 20th floor! Quite glad I wasn’t there today).
“I wonder if that’s why the dogs freaked out,” commented another friend on Facebook. ‘They ran in circles and barked. I just assumed they were nuts.”
A number of high-rise towers across the city, and in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, were evacuated, with many occupants reportedly running out of buildings and many more using the mini earthquake as an excuse to go home early (my work colleagues ploughed on, the troopers).
But, really, as I read more about it (mainstream media catching up with Twitter), I realise we’re lucky that here in the UAE it was only a very light shake that many of us didn’t notice. In the area of Iran where the quake struck (500km from Abu Dhabi), more than 30 people were killed and 850 were injured. Sad news indeed.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.