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Friday, 22 July 2011


I’m Irish; Ireland doesn’t do earthquakes or anything like earthquakes. Indeed, the only time I’ve ever ‘felt the earth move’ was when there’s been a lovely lady involved. Not so any more though. Yesterday afternoon I was happily sitting, drinking coffee, and trying to persuade my brain to restart. I was in the middle of a happy daydream when I suddenly heard glasses beginning to rattle together. “That’s odd”, I thought. Especially given that there were no cars/tractors/loud explosions around to cause such a vibration. But the glasses didn’t stop rattling and I felt more and more confused. This went on for maybe 7 or 8 seconds until things started to get interesting and the shaking intensified enough that I realised it wasn’t just the glasses rattling, the entire bloody house was at it, myself included!

Instinct told me to get up and get to a doorframe. I don’t know how I knew that or whether it was even the right thing to do, but I did it! I wasn’t entirely sure just how much of a joyride this was going to be and I knew enough not to go outside in case of falling debris. Thankfully/sadly after only a few seconds the entire thing (the earthquake that is) came to an end. I was left feeling slightly stunned and oddly, a little disappointed that it was over before things had become interesting. Yes I am a selfish, sadistic, inconsiderate bastard, with a clear adrenaline addiction problem! I promise to seek immediate treatment upon my return to Europe. It was very impressive to know that the entire earth, for many kilometres around, was shaking because deep underground two tectonic plates had just shoved past each other like rushing commuters.

While people came out to chat about what had just happened I went back to my coffee, which was getting cold after all. One has to have their priorities in order. So just to add yet another once in a lifetime experience to the plethora of memories I already have from my time here in Chikuni, I can now add minor earthquake to the tally. I love this place!

1 comment:

  1. As a follow-up to this post I've since discovered that the earthquake epicenter was about 160KM from me and can be seen on this map:
    The nearest town to me is Chisekesi towards the bottom right of the map. The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.2 and occurred 13.5 km (8.4 miles) underground.