Thursday, September 03, 2009

Jakarta Earthquake 2009

All is well here with the Qld family, just another unusual experience to be filed away in our memories! Depends which news you read but yesterdays Jakarta earthquake was between 7 and 7.5 scale earthquake...this is apparently pretty big!

As per usual, there was no immediate news online or on TV, but Twitter was instantly full of with the bombing here and in Mumbai it only takes seconds for the info to start rolling out. This morning I can find out more details; villages closer to the epicentre have been flattened and there was a landslide which killed people. There are no reliable details yet on the number of people killed or injured, Aljazeera has got good coverage with images and video here. It is tragic how much Indonesia suffers from natural disasters, my heart goes out to those who are suffering.

At 2.55pm the kids were still at school, finishing their after school activities. Georgia was on the sports field running and fell over, luckily no grazing just a shock. Chelsea was in the computer lab when all the screens started to jiggle! Ben was the worry for me, he was in the only 2 story class room, one that has a rickety steel stair case bolted to the only exit. A teacher ran up and got all the kids from Mad Science and then all were assembled on the field like a fire drill; good thing we did a fire drill practise last week at school! The driver and the nanny were one block away from collecting the kids and felt nothing as they were driving!

Georgia is still a little freaked out, she is now old enough to suffer from the “what if’ syndrome. She had trouble going to sleep last night in case there were aftershocks - which there weren't:- well that we know about or felt. Georgia had her new phone in the car and was able to ring me just as I went back inside after the earthquake. Poor thing was shook up (literally and figuratively).

The feeling was really sitting in an inner tube going over irregular waves. It was definitely not a rattle type of shake. I can see a roof top and a building out of my office window, both were swaying...but in different directions! That was freaky. I had no idea what was going on at first...Once I realised it was an earthquake I waited for it to stop, but oh my gosh it did not! The eerie thing is that the quake was silent…I expected to hear loud noise with so much movement. The glass was rattling in the window, but that was all.

My study is upstairs and standing in the door way (remember the old advice always stand in a door way-bollocks) was ridiculous. It never occurred to me to get under the desk; it seemed to start to slow down so I decided to get outside...the huge window over the stairs has always been a concern. We have discussed in the past with the kids that it is the weak point...the glass falling would be super dangerous. Of course as soon as I got under the window more waves came, I ran down those last steps! I met up with the staff and guards and the next-door neighbours in the street just as it stopped. Over 1.5 minutes of rocking and rolling! I was shaking so badly...but I did manage to plan cocktail party for next week with my neighbour (I am Martha Stewart to the bone). Only a week ago we discussed earthquakes with the kids, under my bed is our upstairs safe is so solid. There are more cracks in the house, but no damage. Only a few light things fell over, and the pictures are all crooked.

I was very pleased to find that the power stayed on but after an hour the internet went very slow, probably as everyone rushed on the get info.

So all is well...what an experience to talk about when we are all old and gray and in the retirement home!

Below is my stairway of potential doom, the cracks that have been around the window for the last 2 years and the view from my office window.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Book Week

I've started to do some painting for book week at school.
Can you recognise these famous childrens book characters?

I'm still working on a big yellow bus and a colourful elephant for next week!
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