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Earthquake in Haiti Resurrects Ghosts of the Past in the Philppines
Earthquake ravaged Haiti
The very powerful earthquake that rocked and devastated the poor Caribbean country in Central America, the Haiti, brings back the memory of the same fate...
our province felt in July 16, 1990. Indeed the northern part of the Philippines, particularly the provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet and Nueva Ecija, and the cities such as Dagupan, Baguio and Cabanatuan, experienced a powerful earthquake which is measured at an intensity 7.7 magnitude that flattened and destroyed many houses and buildings, tore down bridges, and created numerous cracks in paved roads just like what is seen in the Hollywood movies. Worst, that poweful tremor claimed thousands of innocent and hapless lives. I remember that tragic incident occured when I was just a sophomore high school student. At that time I am gazing at the window at around 4:26 PM in the afternoon, ala home alone, in the afternoon daydreaming and enjoying my day since I intentionally skipped my last subject. We are residing at an old wooden house then, an antique house as it is, that was worn down by time and feisty termites now. Then all of a sudden the earth was beginning to move, giving me an instant shock, and as seconds goes by the shaking becomes stronger and stronger and my first reaction that time is to get out of our home as quick as possible (to avoid potential falling debris or getting caught inside the house just in case it collapses, fortunately these presumptions didn't materialize, thank goodness) and seek refuge to open grounds, and very soon enough I just did that and was been be able to turn off our circuit breaker, a great presence of mind to boot at the time of struggle like this (Indeed adrenaline rush is afterall useful especially when danger and troubles are imminent ).
Images / Pictures of devastation left by earthquake in the Philippines.
From a neighboring house my Auncle also managed to get out together with his son's wife. We proceeded to a place near a pond about 15 meters away from our homes and 7 meters away from a nearby electrical post, whoa, the experience was so unforgettable since I saw our home being shaken just like a bamboo or a tree being swayed by a very powerful typhoon. The sound emanating from the trembling grounds was indeed hair-raising. The pond's water was moving back and forth as if you're in the beach seeing turbulent waves of the sea, the feeling of dizziness and nausea subsides and the frightening experience lasted for 45 seconds, the longest and most horrifying 45 seconds ever in my entire life. The thinking of end of the world was on my mind that time and even think that God was so angry that's why he unleashes such powerful and furious earthquake that was so overpowering and overwhelming as buildings, bridges, houses and other man made infrastructures was bamboozled and damaged. The terrifying earthquake paralyzed and had whipped at Dagupan City (GeneralHowitzer's bulwark) black and blue for almost one month. There were no potable water and electricity, no open shopping centers or grocery to buy your needs and wants. Transportation around the city was halted. Many were relocated to evacuation centers and there were more than ten thousands of them. My family, and relatives slept outside our homes out of fear that aftershocks may cause another scary and formidable earthquake, true enough a very powerful intensity 5.3 magnitude aftershock did appear and sends chills and fear to us again in July 18 at dawn. Trauma seemed to be in the minds of every people ravaged by this nature's form of anger. The City was in complete destruction and rubble and the damage to properties was so huge it took statisticians and soothsayers that our city will never recover its past glory again, but this was proven to be wrong since Dagupan now is one of the premier City in Region 1 (Northern Luzon Region) and one of the best north of Manila (Philippines' capital) thanks to the determination and resilience shown by her people, the Dagupeños. The damage to properties was huge in our city, as 17 casualty was posted. Chilling and sad news was reported in Baguio City, as an estimated 1,000 people were killed by the menacing earthquake. The five-star Hyatt Terraces Plaza was not spared from the onslaught as about 50 people were left dead. The hotel crumbled down to earth, as if being intentionally demolished. Other hotels in the city sustained great damages such as the luxurious Nevada Hotel, and Baguio Park Hotel. Many lives perished with this tragic incident and if there are great consolation, that would be the lucky survivors that was still miraculously unearthed alive beneath the rubbles of the ill-fated hotels. Almost similar scenario happened in Cabanatuan City, where about 154 students were trapped and killed in Christian College of the Philppines that collapsed during the earthquake. Many even jumped out of the second floor just to escape being crumpled in the collapsing building.
The sad story that just happened in Haiti reminds me of the earthquake that happened in the northern Philippines. The scene in Haiti right now is indeed breaking my heart, an estimated 200,000 people were feared dead and projected to increase as days pass by. Video clips being shown in television about the incident was shocking and very pitiful. Some were seen being pulled out from fallen debris or rubble alive and not alive, thousands and thousands of people were killed, numerous private and government owned buildings were seen crushed and badly damaged, many people were displaced, and alas, countless people were shown crying, seeking any help they could get and angst was indeed apparent with their actions and what their eyes says. I feel for these people since I feel it first hand how to feel like in a situation where you are being shaken by a powerful earthquake, terrifying as it is, and see your compatriots being trapped and killed in rubbles in national television and newspapers.
My heartfelt condolence to all of the bereaved loved ones of those who perished in this twin quakes that happened 27 years apart.
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