The morning of December 16th 2008 I woke up as my bed was shaking. No, not just my bed: the whole building was moving and the window panes were making a strange, rattling sound. When I looked at my DAB radio I noticed it was ‘dancing’ around on my bedside table. What the …?! Then, it was quiet for a few seconds before the vibrations started again.

I figured lots of things were possible. Perhaps a gas explosion? Or maybe a truck ran into our building? No, that would have had to be eight or ten trucks to last that long, and there really aren’t that many of them around here, anyway. I ran through a few possibilities and discarded all of them, including the theory that it must be my upstairs neighbour who perhaps kept a medium size pet elephant which was in the process of learning how to dance flamenco. The following day I heard that the 5-year-old daughter of one of my friends thought it was Santa Claus flying by their house! The one thing that didn't cross my mind then and there was that it might have been an earthquake. Even the dancing elephant seemed more realistic than an earthquake in my part of the world. But it was, in fact, an earthquake.

It’s not the first earthquake I have experienced, but certainly the first one I experienced at home in Copenhagen. The epicentre was near Ystad in Sweden, about 65 km from Copenhagen. The quake reached 4.8 on the Richter scale. For people who live in areas of the world in which they have serious earthquakes, 4.8 won’t really seem like anything at all. But for those of us who are used to the ground beneath us staying where it is, it was a lot! In comparison, the tremors caused by the collapsing twin towers in NYC were 2.1 on the Richter scale. We are surrounded by water and I have occasionally been on sailing boats which were tossed around at the mercy of mother nature. That’s what we can expect. But I would appreciate if the ground under me stays where it is, thanks

I did not hear about any serious damages or injuries. Just minor cuts and bruises when falling pictures hit people in bed, etc. There was one casualty, though: a turtle named Mimi was killed when a cupboard toppled. Requiescat in pace!

Breaking news:

Turtle killed in quake!

© emenel 2019