I got a little lie-in on a Sunday a month ago. (Since we’re in Bogotá, with the usual waking hour at 5.30am, a lie-in means sleeping till 8am..) Just as I was putting on the kettle and sorting out the kitchen mess from the night before, my intercom rang.
‘fifjv nkdlvn htoeq rtiqrq pwfnp qfnp.’
Huh.. It’s really too early for me to deal with that. In my drowsy state and with my broken Spanish (yes, still, despite having already been here for more than 2 years), I picked up 2 words: ‘earthquake’ and ‘9 am’.
‘EARTH-QUAKE’!!?? Immediately my brain tried to make sense of the info. Are we going to have an earthquake!? But if we are, how could we possibly know it’s coming on at 9am!!?!?? Huh..
‘Sdoa fidlkfj lakjdl kajw oiwe tsdf klajf.’ This time, I picked up an extra word: ‘simulation’.
Argh! An earthquake drill!
‘OK, fine, thanks.’
But hey, wait. Then, I thought to myself, why are we having this drill? What’s the likelihood of an earthquake in Bogotá?! Are we actually at risk?! It had never occurred to me that we were in a risk zone! I’d never put Colombia and earthquake together!
Upon some research, I found out that we are actually in a risk zone, next to a few fault lines! The last sizable earthquake happened in Neiva, a city 200 km away from the capital, in 1967. At 7.2 Ritchter scale, it was also felt in Bogotá. Apparently we have to prepare for another one that can happen anytime soon!
P.S. Subsequently I was asked if I’d felt earthquake 2 weeks ago. Apparently a Richter scale 5 quake was measured in Guachetá, some 100 km from Bogotá. But I never felt a thing! Should I call that lucky?