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The end of the world - what a 7.1 magnitude earthquake feels like at 4.35am


Never have I felt totally powerless against the awe of Nature, before the might of God.

I awake up with a jolt. Pitch black. A roaring sound in my ears and the house shaking on its very foundations.

I do not comprehend what is happening.

My heart thumps like a hammer on an anvil.

I draw the curtain, and what I see stops my heart. Darkness...and a sudden flash of light... like something exploding in the distance... And then the heater suddenly switches off. And the street lights blink and die. My mind still does not know what forces are assaulting it.

Earthquake? But what was that explosion?

Was it a plane crash?

Is is the end of the world?...

Total pitch darkness.

And the roaring continues, filling my ears with cacophony and my heart with dread.

The house continues to shake in waves.

With no electricity and the outside temperature being 1 degree Celcius, my mind starts to panic. No electricity in Malaysia means a pitch black night of sweltering heat, sweat, and no TV. No electricity in NZ in late winter means a pitch black night, and no heating, which means shivering in the cold hoping the morning would come soon.

And it does.. eventually.

I am in shock...

Christchurch is in shock.

Never has it been hit by an earthquake in before, let alone one of 7.1 on the richter scale.

The day has passed.

We are all recovering, but it will be a long night ahead.

A storm is brewing, due to hit Christchurch in full force starting tonight. Temperatures as low as -2, but feeling like -12 degrees due to windchill. Gale-force winds blowing at 120km/hr.. all starting tonight.

Even as I type this I hear a deep rumbling, and the house shakes for a few seconds. It is an unnerving feeling, just waiting for the aftershocks to come... If anyone has ever lived near a quarry, they would be familiar with the incessant blasting of rocks using TNT... Except this time the ground you walk on is doing all the exploding.

It makes you feel small, and realise how powerless you are before the Majesty of God... How you can have totally no control of the events unfolding before you... And you lay totally at the mercy of the Creator, to determine what will happen to you in the course of every nerve-wracking second. 

It is a sobering feeling.

I pray to the Lord to protect me from all harm.

Comments

penawar said…
.... wah...
take care sir. may Allah always bless and protect you!
Razee Salleh said…
Hi Abdullah,

Glad to hear you are well, heard about it on the news today and thot to myself, isnt that where Lobo is? hmm.

Stay safe bro! Insyaallah He will protect you from all harm
Abdullah said…
Thanks Penawar.. And Razee.. thanks bro.. long time no see
Jordan said…
My only earthquake experiences have been when I happened to be at home (we live on the 18th floor) when Indonesia was hit by quakes. Scary stuff! Take care, bro.
Abdullah said…
I know mate.. scared the living daylights out of me.. cheers bro
mokjadeandell said…
May you and our fellow countrymen and students in NZ be in safe hands.Doa makcik untuk semua diperantauan.
Cat-in-Sydney said…
Uncle Abdullah,
We were thinking of you when we heard the news yesterday, as well as Vincenzo who rows the boat at the Botanical Gardens. I hope all is well now. You take care, OK? purrr....meow!
Abdullah said…
Makcik - terima kasih atas doa makcik..

Cat - Thanks for your kind thoughts.. for me and Vincenzo..

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Aku, Bini dan Ginger Beer

Aku haus...

Tekakku yang kering ini menginginkan rasanya yang menenangkan jiwa itu...

Perasaannya apabila ku menggenggam botol kacanya yang sejuk dan berwap-wap dan mengangkatnya keluar peti ais kecilku, perasaannya seperti seorang kanak-kanak Taman Keramat memegang aiskrim Malaysia 10sen pada hari yang panas membara...

Riang... Nikmat... Penantian yang menyiksakan, tetapi penantian yang lazat...

Dengan pergerakan yang perlahan seperti 'slow-motion' dalam sinetron Indonesia kegemaran surirumah-surirumah di Malaysia, muncung botol Ginger Beer kegemaranku mampir bibirku yang terketar-ketar sedikit, sehinggalah aku dapat rasa cecair yang sejuk membasahi tekakku...

Nikmat...

Sedap tidak terperi...

Aku menghulurkan kepada biniku, dan dia juga meneguk kenikmatan...

Aku menadah tangan meminta kembali Ginger Beer kesayanganku yang berjenama Bundaberg buatan New Zealand.

Saat itu tidak tiba-tiba...

Aku tertanya-tanya... Mata terkebil-kebil...

"Ni saya punya ya Bang..." ujar …