Basilika Sto. Niño

Basilika Sto. Niño Cebu

It should be a long weekend. I came back from school on Saturday as a German teacher and was looking forward to report for work next on Wednesday only. On the night of Monday to Tuesday I suddenly felt very bad. I immediately thought of a food poisoning, because we had eaten fish in the evening. That was not a nice imagination, because I knew of such a food poisoning that can persist for several weeks. A few years ago I had experienced such a poisoning, and it took me two weeks to get back on my feet again. So I was hoping that there is something else and I can recover from on the following Tuesday.

On Tuesday was no work because it was a holiday (a Muslim holiday that was declared as a national holiday in the Philippines). In the morning I struggled out of bed, because my family was already up. It was about 7 am, and I was pretty broken through the sleepless night. After a diet breakfast for the sick I thought: Fortunately, today is a holiday. So I go right back to bed and I can hopefully recover.

Said and done. Shortly after 8 am then suddenly my bed started to shake. I woke up. The next few seconds ran off like in the movie. The shaking grew stronger, the whole house was moving. I thought it falls right in on itself I could only shout: “Get out , get out!” and ran down the stairs and with my family outside.

The neighbors ran all out in panic. Slowly I realized: This was my first “real ” earthquake. After the earth had calmed down, I got me a towel from the inside, because I had put on almost nothing. Then I tried to reach friends and acquaintances. It was not possible to call. The nets were probably overloaded. But one could send text messages, which I did . Friends responded that they are fine. A friend wrote that the bell tower of the Basilica Sto. Niño had collapsed. Of course, there was generally much nervousness. I got my chair and laptop outside to get more information.

I found out very quickly that it was a quake of magnitude 7.2 with the epicenter on the neighboring island of Bohol. I was surrounded by many neighborhood kids who wanted to know more about what was actually happening. Someone then said it would have been fatalities at the fish market in Cebu, which unfortunately was later confirmed .

Otherwise, Cebu got mostly away with a shock. About 30 buildings collapsed or were no longer habitable. In Bohol, it looked much worse: over 200 fatalities, nearly 700 injured persons, 13,217 totally destroyed and 52,598 partially damaged homes. By the quake were also many old churches in Bohol and Cebu damaged or destroyed.

There are now two weeks since the earthquake on October 15th passed. There were lots of aftershocks, but they are now hardly to notice. Next week continues the normal life in Cebu, since then the suspended schools will open again. In Bohol, it will probably take a year to return to something like normality.

For me so far is inexplicable that I felt really so bad on the night before the big quake, but after the quake, it was like blown away. Howeve, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake I will never forget. It showed me again how quickly everything can be over. Therefore, one should live consciously and make the most of each day.

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