Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Shaken not stirred
Shortly before lunchtime on Monday, Negros island, the next island to the west of us here in Cebu, was struck by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake. They are still searching for the missing but so far about fifty people are thought to have lost their lives. Travelling to the north of Negros island is currently pretty tricky as a lot of the bridges have been damaged.
Hopefully, if anyone was worried about us, you know by now that we are fine. Here, the reverberations from the earthquake were significant enough to be exciting, but not serious enough to be scary. Cebu is, by Philippine standards relatively safe. Negros, like many islands here is volcanic, but Cebu is a coral island so at much less risk from this kind of thing.
I can safely say that earthquakes have much the same effect on students as fire alarms do, causing much excitement and unsettledness! The students were sent home on Monday afternoon, as a precaution, which did mean some of them arrived back on Tuesday morning asking if we could "have another earthquake today please"!
The damage at TVED amounted to a couple of broken windows, and part of the ceiling falling down in one of the classrooms where we teach (although that possibly says more about the shoddy construction of the building than about the severity of the earthquake!)
The aftershocks are continuing as the fault settles back into place, one of which woke me up at 5 this morning meaning I am now quite tired. Later in the morning I think the overreaction to a very minor tremor suggested the students were just looking for an excuse for a break! Earthquakes or no earthquakes though, the teaching must go on, so if the third floor classrooms were too risky, we decamped to the outdoor areas and carried on regardless!