Saturday morning, March 29, three of us were slowly waking up with our first cups of coffee when we first felt, then heard our first earthquake. Tom, Peter and I were sitting at our game table in the front of the house, while Meghan and Mary were still in bed. Tom immediately yelled to get out of the house. The guys ran out the front door, and I ran down the hall the get the girls. Meghan said she literally dragged a sleepy Mary out of bed, and when she came into the hall, we all ran for the front door.
We stood outside on our driveway, well away from any walls, and just waited. The intensity was enough to get our hearts racing, and lasted only about 30 to 40 seconds, but certainly felt much longer. It sounded, and felt like the world's largest jack hammer pounding the street. Early that morning both girls has been woken by a less intense tremor when the bathroom window popped open, and the sliding doors in Meghan's room shook.
Tom and I were totally unaware of the early one, as was Peter. The girls didn't realize they were earthquakes, but now do, and will get us up the next time with their own, "Get of the house, now!"
When we checked later the early morning quake was centered north of Lima, intensity measured at about 4.4. Our 7:30 morning quake was centered south of Lima, close to the August "terra motto" and measured 5.5.
Compared with the August 8.0, Tom said it was a baby one. Still, all in all, it was a "gentle" introduction to the Pacific ring of fire earthquakes. The only casualty was me spilling hot coffee down my front getting to the girls down the hall. I didn't even realize I was still holding onto the cup until after we were able to come back indoors.
Just about 1 1/2 hours later we were at our weekly Bio Feria (organic farmer's market) and everything was normal.
As a funny side note, because of the nighttime heat, and lack of air conditioning, sleeping often involves as few covers as possible. All I can say is I'm sure glad it hadn't happened about 2 hours earlier! Trying to grab a robe, get out the door, and the kids to safety could have raised more than a few eyebrows! ;-)