So there I was, just before 3 o’clock this afternoon, happily directing a video shoot. We had just finished one setup and I was walking down a flight of stairs to get to the location for the second scene when I heard the crew on the lower level yell “EARTHQUAKE!” Since there were children on the set, I assumed that one of the grips had come up with a game to keep them entertained. I quickly realised this was not child’s play. Everyone, from the kids right up to what we in Trinidad call “big, hardback men” looked positively terrified, frozen, unsure of what to do as the tremors got stronger and louder.
“Should we go outside?”
I was strangely calm. “No, the safest place is under a door jamb.” I walked over to one and stood there, expecting everyone else to follow my lead. SHHHHAAAAAKKKKEEE!!!! All man Jack (including me, I might add!) quickly ignored that piece of advice and headed outside en masse, looking up at the sky as if for answers. And then, a voice from on high. One of the workmen who was doing repair work up on the roof of the house steadied his voice and said, “I think we got even more of a sway up here.” He looked relieved that it was over. So were we.
Almost immediately, cell phones started ringing. My husband, my mother, the PA’s boyfriend. Where are we? Did we feel it? Are we okay? And then the information gathering began. In a situation like this, Trinbagonians are full of news – you’d think we were working for the U.S. Geological Survey office, we’re so full of facts – the ‘quake’s epicenter was somewhere off the island of Martinique; over 7 on the Richter Scale; the aftershocks are expected to be strong, so be prepared.
Naturally, as soon as our shoot was over, I headed home to my computer and went online to see what the regional blogosphere was saying. (I remembered that Steve’s Dominica had posted a piece yesterday titled Little Tremor. Hardly newsworthy, I thought at the time. Well, that earthquake sure showed us! Steve’s most recent post titles include HUGE Tremor and 7.3 Earthquake!
first time i felt a quake/shake.
like being on a boat in the water…this is the first time in my entire life and for most bajans as well i bet, that i’ve been through this. thought i was feeling dizzy and i was sitting down.
That about sums up what it was like: a strange sensation, leaving many of us in the Caribbean feeling off kilter. Stay calm and keep safe!