When the Ground Shakes: Earthquake in Mexico City

“A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck in Mexico’s western Guerrero state, shaking buildings and causing panic in the nation’s capital and the Pacific resort of Acapulco. Officials said at least three people died.” – Associated Press

I am relaxing in bed, flipping through TV channels. What should I make for dinner?

Then the ground started to move.

In the first few seconds, my mind tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

What is that? Is there a big truck passing by? Is someone slamming doors upstairs?

Then the ground shakes harder. It seems angry… furious.

SH*T. Is this an earthquake? OMG. What do I do?!

Heart pounding, I jump off my bed and crouch underneath the door frame to my bathroom. The closet doors sway open and closed.

Oh my God. Is this getting worse?! Should I stay here?! What if the bathroom door slams shut on me and crushes my body?

I hear running outside of my door.

Everyone is evacuating. I have to get out of here!

I slip on my shoes, grab my keys, and run down the aisle to the staircase. Other building residents are scampering outside.

OMG. I have two flights to run down. Why are these people moving so slowly? Hurry up! Don’t you know this is an earthquake?!

We make it outside. I am shaking so bad that I’m not sure if the ground is still moving or if it’s just me.

I look up. Trees and telephone poles tower above me.

This is the worst place to be in an earthquake. Sure, we are outside, but there are high rises everywhere. We are no safer outside than inside.

We wait. I am alone. I eavesdrop on a woman talking about other earthquakes that have occurred in the city. People head back inside.

Should I go in? What if there’s another earthquake? What if this was just the beginning?

I wait a few more minutes. More people go inside. They look relaxed.

Should I be calm now? Is it safe to go back inside?

I take my chances and run up the stairs. Everything in my room looks fine. It looks like nothing has happened. Still wary, I put jeans on in case I have to run outside again.

Will there be another earthquake tonight? How does this work? WTF do I know about earthquakes?

My legs are still shaking. I open my laptop and Google “Mexico City earthquake.” No news yet. I hop on to Twitter, where first-person accounts are coming in at lightning speed. I learn about the quake’s location (Guerrero state) and it’s magnitude (between 6.4 and 6.8) in seconds.

Luckily for us, not much happened in the capital. It was scary, but there was no real damage to speak of in Mexico City. After a couple of hours, I calm down.

As I drift off to sleep, I think two things.

Twitter is the best emergency response tool ever. I will take a hurricane over an earthquake ANY DAY.

  • http://www.thelongestwayhome.com Dave

    Jasmine, I saw this a few days ago, and bad internet prevented me from commenting. Glad to hear you are okay. A frightening experience no doubt. 

    But, on the plus side, another notch on your belt! 

  • http://dev.jasminewanders.com Jasmine Stephenson

    Thanks Dave :) Now I’ve got this earthquake and a hotel fire.

  • eduardo

    Glad to know that you are ok

    earthquakes are kind of “common things” in Mexico City. People in Mexico City learn since 1985 that they have to  “no corro” “no grito” “no empujo” in such events.

    I think you did the right thing.

  • http://dev.jasminewanders.com Jasmine Stephenson

    Thanks Eduardo. I have ZERO experience with earthquakes so I was nervous for like a week afterwards :)