Early Saturday morning (0530 to be exact) we had an earthquake! There have been small earthquakes since we moved here, but this is the first one I've felt. It was pretty good size (6.9) and about 50 miles off Okinawa. It woke me up first. I was confused as to why everything was rocking, then the rocking turned more into shaking, and our dresser with mirror was shaking pretty good! Then the earthquake alarm on my cell phone went off (side note: I find it hilarious that my cell phone has this function, like I need an alarm to let me know when there is an earthquake!) I woke Carrick up. I'm fairly certain he would have slept right through it if I hadn't done this. Yoshi was barking too. It lasted probably 20-30 seconds. Afterwards everyone was outside. It's funny how as humans when something like this happens our reaction is to get together and talk about it. It reminded me of tornadoes in Iowa when the neighbors would stand in the middle of the street and talk instead of going into their homes!
Over all, Okinawa and surrounding islands suffered very little damage. I read online only two people were injured and the only structural damage was water pipes breaking.
The other surprise was the "tsunami" today. You've probably heard about the 8.8 earthquake in Chile and the resulting tsunami sent through the pacific. News reports used words like "waves racing" "barreling" and "surging." However, these have proved to be exaggerations and have mostly just scared residents. The tsunami was predicted to produce waves of 6-9 feet. In reality it was more like 3-4 inches, but I guess better safe than sorry right? The military evacuated residents in low lying areas for about three hours today. They even had to evacuate an entire base on the island. The base we lived on was not in one of these areas, but I feel bad for the many families that had to hang around higher areas on base today. I spent my day hanging out at the pool with friends, and listening to the reports of the tsunami being blast across the loud speakers. Carrick was called in this morning to help take down tents and equipment that were set up for an operation near the beach, and he joined us at the pool when he was done.
Before moving here, I never imagined that I would ever experience typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Different places bring new experiences though, and I can now say I've lived through a quake.
In other news: I start my classes tomorrow! I'm now on the path to becoming an elementary teacher! My first class is a 15 day "orientation" to the online program I'll be using. I'm excited to complete it so I can start my degree program.