Monday, October 16, 2006

All shook up

Power's back!

For those of you who haven't heard, either from the news or from Leslie or my mom calling around (they were two of four people I was able to talk to today because the phone circuits stayed busy), Hawaii was hit by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake around 7:07 this morning. I was already awake; I'm used to getting up around 5:20 to get ready for the bus during the week, but Sundays I take my time. Only today was different because Zeke started freaking out around 20 minutes before the earthquake hit. It was very unlike him; usually if he's mad at me because his litter box is nasty or because he's out of food, he'll cry for 2-3 minutes before he gets distracted and leaves me alone, but today he cried louder and louder, and when I came out of the bedroom, he was pacing all over the place. I think he probably felt something strange.

I was in the process of emailing Jeff when it hit, and when the first little shakes hit, I deleted the first message to write something along the lines of "Waitasecond, was that an earthquake?" before the house started shaking to the point that I was wondering if I'd gotten on the bus, fallen asleep and dreamed I was inside the house. I leapt from the couch and ran for a doorway - isn't that what they always tell you in middle school? - and waited there for the shaking to stop. After that, I had just enough time to send the email to Jeff and do enough Googling to find out that earthquakes are often a natural tsunami warning...then the power went off!

I didn't think it was that big of an earthquake; then again, I had nothing to compare it to. I heard some of my neighbors moving around, so I went over to my neighbor Jan's house to see what was going on - she grew up here, so I figured if anyone knew about earthquakes in Hawaii, it'd be her. No one really knew anything at that point, but we checked on each other from time to time. She got a little crack in her wall from the shaking. Our place appears to be completely fine. While it was shaking, the biggest thing I was worried about was the enormous, heavy Dali print that was a real pain to hang up, but Dali made it through just fine, as did Zeke, Kitsune and me.

The house was pretty dark all day because it was pouring rain; I think that probably had a lot to do with how long the power was off. So while I had daylight, I studied for the chemistry test, and once it started getting difficult to read, I cleaned the house some, well, as much as I could do in the dark and without using much water. Jan had lent me a little radio, so I knew that we shouldn't be using much water because the treatment facility wasn't running at capacity, people weren't leaving from the airport, etc. This was the hardest I've missed Jeff since he's been gone; I was thinking about what people did to entertain themselves in the evenings before there was electricity, and things came to mind like checkers, chess, poker, bridge, maybe some crossword puzzles, live theater... That stuff's a lot better with two! I kept listening to the radio; the numbers kept crawling up, "Power's been restored to about 5% of the island...10%, 20%, 35%..." So now I know we're toward the end of the line when the power goes out and has to be turned back on methodically!

I dozed off aroudn 35% while reading some biology with a flashlight. It hardly seemed like the sort of reading you would sneak after lights out at camp, but that's what it felt like. From what I understand, class isn't canceled tomorrow except for at ten schools on the Big Island (I hope this doesn't affect our trip next week!), but I am one of those rare people who is happy about it; if the test were rescheduled, it'll probably be Wednesday, which is when I am picking Jeff up - and needless to say, I would much rather spend time with him than take a chemistry test!


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