A good thing about moving is you never really stop and think about the work involved. It seems like you’re just going to pack a few boxes and the rest will be a cinch. It always sneaks up on you! You know, the hours of packing making certain nothing rattles. Bags and bags of “peanuts” along with lots of tape and foam wrap.
Some OCD’s will even add the bubble wrap around that! You could probably drop such a box off the roof and it wouldn’t get damaged. Sorta depends on where the roof is, but under normal circumstances that would work for most houses.
The key here is to make sure when you jiggle that box, it doesn’t jingle back! Silence is golden in such instances. That sound normally means that whatever’s in that box of breakable items is going to get where it’s going with everything in one piece.
It was a Saturday night right around 7 PM. We were watching one of our favorite musical programs, relaxed for the evening. We had spent the last two weekends wrapping and packing a seeming unending number of breakable items to be stored in our warehouse. This weekend we were taking off as just a few furniture pieces were left to wrap in blankets and plastic wrap.
The room started swaying and jerking back and forth. The T.V. went off momentarily, and we knew what was happening. This continued for over a minute and gradually subsided. EARTHQUAKE! The worst we had ever experienced in all our years in Ecuador.
It was like we had gone to a nightclub to dance, only the building was making with the moves while we looked on as mesmerized onlookers! Being on the 3rd floor by the time we came to our senses it was over.
People had run out of the building in a panic, nervously standing in the streets. If the building were going to collapse, which none in the mountains did, we would have never made it out. Some of those in the street had sprained ankles and other minor injuries while we were tucked away all comfy cozy in our room.
A few pictures on the wall askew, and believe me it had been a real good movement. Strange as it may seem it was more of an undulation than a shake, and that may have been because the epicenter was over 100 miles away.
Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale made it one of the worst ever in Ecuador’s history. It was felt the worst on Ecuador’s coast, due in large part to poor construction using sand with sea salt. While that may not seem like an important factor, keep in mind the force felt in the mountains was just as great. Not one of the bridges, 12 and 18 story buildings were damaged. A few cracks here and there, and that was pretty much it.
On the coast the devastation has been epic! Worse than a hurricane or tornado! The destruction comes with no warning and only lasts a minute. The aftermath will last a lifetime for many, and put an end to scores of others. The only structures on many parts of the coast that endured, were those made of bamboo! Go figure.
So “Shake, Rattle and Roll” did not have anything to do with music. The sounds heard instead were the worst imaginable. They will echo for years to come as the recovery, reconstruction and survival demonstrate the resilience and unity of people damaged, but never defeated.