Rock and roll in the early morning hours!

pic from a USG site

pic from a USGS site, depicting where Boquete is in relation to the volcano peak

So, a question for everyone — what would YOU do if you were woken at 4:40 am to a bed moving across the floor and a sound quite similar to that of a truck driving through your kitchen?? That’s what happened to us on Monday. Mark and I mumbled something like “Hey, this is an earthquake”, and “Yeah, I think so”, then turned over and went back to sleep — after the shaking stopped and we realized nothing had fallen or broke.  (It’s hard to imagine that less than 2 years ago, going back to sleep wouldn’t have been an option. That’s the time Mark had to get up in the morning to  make his very long commute! Lucky me, I got to leave the house two hours later.)

You would think, since Boquete is at the foot of a dormant volcano, and on the edge of the continental divide, that this would be a common thing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Yes, there have been earthquakes felt in the area, even in the last year and a half since we’ve been here (although I’ve never noticed) ,but  apparently those don’t generally register more than about a 5.0, on the Richter scale, which just doesn’t get much press.

Relief map of Panama

Relief map of Panama

But, this one registered 5.6 on the Richter scale – it was definitely noticed! The social networking site set up for the community was immediately abuzz  (people started  posting within a minute or two) with reports, and of course, with people checking to make sure they weren’t imagining things! I read somewhere that two houses were damaged close to the epicenter of the quake, but don’t know if that was really the extent of it, or if there were any injuries.

That’s one Panamanian experience we hope not to experience again.