I’ve learned about the 90s Luzon earthquake mostly from recollections by my family and relatives, which they share from time to time in various conversations. Hearing these stories makes me gloomy, yet I feel even worse when I read about the damage and casualties of the tragedy. It is hard to imagine how the people at the ground zero felt during and after the earthquake.
The Bohol and Cebu earthquake stirred up the same feelings in me – no, I was even more horrified. Perhaps because this time, there are more accounts on the disaster being shared online. I saw video after video and photo after photo of collapsing heritage churches and homes. And seeing the emotions of terrified survivors during the aftershocks are just heart-wrenching.
Then I’ve heard an earthquake occurred today. I didn’t feel it so I’ve only learned about it online, including that video about the damage to the Taal Basilica. A part of me gets scared, yet another part also remembers that I have to prepare. Earthquake forecast isn’t available in this age (yet), so all we’ve got to do is to prepare. Isn’t this why we’ve had several earthquake drills in the past?
Duck, Cover, and Hold
In grade school, we were taught to hide under a sturdy table during an earthquake or to stay under a door jamb. While safety experts are not disputing this, they are stressing a more basic rule: Duck, cover, and hold.
So I’ll keep repeating it: Duck, cover, and hold. Until my subconscious remembers it. Until I embed it in my muscle memory. Until it becomes my instinct.
At a time when something intense occurs, the conscious mind starts thinking about a lot of things, so I have to rely on my instincts to keep me safe.