Monday, September 17, 2007

I felt the whole building swaying......

These past few days, I have been busy accompanying a client to view some houses. She lives on the 14th floor of a condominum on the east coast. When the 8.4 Richter Scale earthquake struck nearby south Indonesia on Wednesday evening, she had a terrifying experience. Her chandelier was swinging wildly, her apartment was swaying too. She felt dizzy, immediately gathered her kids and ran down the stairs. The next morning, she felt another tremor.

This isn't the first time she's experiencing the tremors of earthquakes in nearby Indonesia. It happened last year too. But this time she is so frightened that she insisted on getting a house or a ground floor apartment.

Well, I can't blame her because I went through that terrifying experience too, a few years back. I was living on the 18th floor of an apartment which is 22 years old and had a structural problem. It was late that night, I was lying in bed reading my papers when I felt the bed shaking.

Young Jaymes was sitting beside me, playing with his Lego. I scolded him for rocking the bed. He denied and then I saw the heavy curtians swaying. Hubby, who was in the bathroom, rushed out and asked if I felt the apartment swaying.

We looked at each other, then without a second thought, he grabbed Jaymes and we rushed out the door. Our neighbours were also outside and they were waiting for the lift!! We just headed for the stairs and ran down. There were already many others before us.

Getting down to the ground floor seemed like an eternity to me. We were on the 18th floor. The whole building was shaking! My knees were wobbly and I was feeling groggy. Hubby kept looking back to see if I was alright.

"Go!! Just go! Don't bother about me." I was very frightened and at that moment, I just wished for us to get out of there alive. The thought of the whole building collapsing and burying us was very scary.

When I finally got to the ground floor, my knees buckled and I fell onto the grass. Hubby had to run back to pull me up. The people behind us were jostling to run for cover. We finally made it to an open carpark 600 metres away. By then, a huge crowd of residents had gathered. We later learnt that residents from other buildings nearby also ran out of their houses.

We stayed in the carpark for more than an hour. The men tried to get updates on the situation but all emergency hotlines were engaged. We didn't know what to do because Singapore has never had such tremors before then.

Many people were caught unawares and most of us were in our night gowns and pajamas. I saw the worse sights of our neighbours. kekeke.......... and then, I realised I was not wearing my undies. aiyooooo.....


  1. aiyoooooo!! "jau kong" liao!!
    *closes eyes*

    I haven't experienced any earthquake tremors before. must've been quite scary, isn't it? glad you and your neighbours are ok.

    now, faster wear back your undies!!

  2. kekeke.... May.
    I'm sure my neighbours saw also lah. So embarrassed. Usually I would have just had a bathrobe. :P

  3. So glad that you are ok.

    Forget to ask:

    Now your house on a lower level meh?

  4. I felt it too..Nehh...that tsunami time lah..which year was it?..i remember running out of the condo i was staying ..scary..u bet..


  5. Waaa... what u wearing wor that time? O.o Some white lacey gown?? *imagine imagine*

    I dunwan to experience the swaying... kia si lang!

  6. hahahahahahahaha!! wahhh.. but im sure the men worse lar - those who don't wear undies. :P

  7. You sway, I sway...everybody suay. So how? Got zao gng or not? :P

  8. yenjai,
    After that horrifying incident, I got too scared and bought a landed house. :) But got 3 storey, scared also later got flood. hehe... too paranoid.

  9. Eve,
    Wah! That tsunami time, you also felt the tremors in KL! That was a horrible time, I was worried there would be tsunami in Singapore too. I live less than 1 kilometre from the beach, sure kena.

  10. My angel,
    The obiang long T-shirt. Can see, cannot see type. Lagi worse, right. hehehe....

    Imagine - damn sexy. kekeke.....

  11. terrifying.

    i never really felt earth quake before. once i was in jakarta when it happpend..but i didnt feel anyting.

    i hope it will go away soon. too many tragic happening.

    if it happens to me how? sometimes i sleep braless wor!!

  12. ehon,
    Oh yes. After the scary moment, some people .... ahem ahem .... started looking around them and sniggering at the assorted nightwear.

    Many adults dun wear undies to bed wor!!! kekeke.... so I wasn't the only one lah.

  13. Peranakan dude,
    Maybe wor. I didn't notice cause I was looking at others.

    But you know lah, under the street lamps, still can see quite a bit through the filmsy T-shirt.

    Come to think of it, the guys probably had a great night out. There were many sexily dressed single foreign ladies in our midst.....

  14. I can imagine the how scary it is. My sis was in Taiwan that time when the terrible earthquake strike over there many years back. She told us her experience over the phone & we are all relieved to see her back at home. Those are days I think she will never forget. I have personally not experience any earthquake tremors before. I think I will be like you with both legs trembling if I were to encounter one.

    Love what you wrote on your ending note. You sexy babe lah... hehe ;p

    Janice Ng

  15. winn,
    Looks like it's gonna happen quite frequent. It's like every year there's one earthquake nearby.

    I keep a handy bag near my bed in case of emergency. Better be prepared than embarrassed or sorry. :)

    Keep a thick jacket nearby. Braless still ok, not pantyless mah. hehe.....

  16. Janice,
    The Taiwan quakes were terrible. When I was in Taipei last year, I refused to bring my kids up Taipei 101 building. What if an earthquake happens? My Taiwanese friends say they have mini earthquakes every now and then. They are used to it.

    When a person gets used to the earthquakes, their alertness is reduced. They take their own sweet time evacuating and think nothing of earthquakes. Scary.

  17. The last time I experienced an earthquake was that biggie one that hit Italy some years back.. It was surreal ~ the office building was just like shuddering, and I felt like I was on a boat..

  18. Singapore is no longer disaster-free!
    I watched a clip taken by someone staying in a high-rise at east coast area and oh my, the chandelier was swaying like crazy. The water in the fish tank almost spilled out too :O

  19. That was scary. At least you were wearing something. Others might not have been.

  20. Wahahahah *rofl* laugh at others for looking their worse and you 'boh cheng kor'...kekekeke.

    But I suppose you had your dress on? :P

    Such a scary moment and people still had time to look around to scrutinise their neighbours and laugh at their dressing or lack of dressing I should say? :P

  21. I experienced an earthquake while living in Alaska ... very scary.

  22. Ooo.... LB,
    You experienced an earthquake too!? And a biggie. That's very scary.

  23. tigerfish,
    Oh yes. Singapore is no longer safe.

    My friends laughed at me for being kiasu, kiasi to go for landed property. But ALL the tall buildings in Singapore are not earthquake proof. They are not built to withstand tremors. And some of the buildings are more than 20 years old.

    The engineers and architects assured the people, everything's fine, there's no structural problems, but do people really want to believe them? Probably I'm paranoid, but I don't want to be buried under a huge pile of rubble when it happened. I have no chance of survival. :P

  24. Captain Picard,
    hahaha.... yes, at least I was wearing something.

  25. Judy,
    hahaha.... after the initial fear, of course must find something to relax mah.

    Many people also boh cheng kor at that time. It was almost midnight leh, so probably in the midst or after some exercise. hahaha.... imagination running wild.

  26. Paul Champagne,
    Alaska. Wow.

    I wonder whether parts of the world would be flooded if the icebergs break off during an earthquake. When they float down to warmer lands and melt ......

  27. looked like the tremors are indeed scary huh.

    i never experience thus cannot comment much!

  28. We had an earthquake here in Seattle, 2001; we had been here less than a year. It was frightening.

  29. Confirmed I would have noticed...keke

  30. Wah~~~ECL not wearing undies?!?! WAH~~~~didn't know you're that sexy leh. Hehehe Your neighbours' eyes all having nice nice ice-cream that evening liao.

  31. Now what were you doing without your undies.. young lady..???!!!? muahahah!!

  32. AIYOHHHHHH is this the tag of my most embrassing moment?

  33. Leonard,
    I hope you never have to experience any disasters. It was very scary.

  34. Bunny Beth,
    Oh no. I bet it was frightening. Luckily you and your family are safe.

  35. Oh my, what an experience! I have not had this tremors before. But it sounds really scary when you were on the F/18 ran all the way down to the ground floor with other panic people... Was the buliding collasped in the end?

  36. Doreen,
    There were several single and pretty ladies who didn't wear their undies too, so I'm sure I'm not the only one who got ogled at.

    But I think I heard someone say,"老师没穿底裤!"

  37. mamabok,
    I was preparing for bed.... I'm sure you know why I didn't wear them. They would be removed.. later.... anyway. hahaha.....

  38. giddy tiger,
    At night only, in my bedroom. I can't walk around the house commando, or else the young men in my house will always be 'high'. kekeke.....


    I'm writing about my scary moment when I experienced tremors and all you people want to comment on is my not wearing undies. What lah!?

  40. Wah, that must have been one kind of an experience!! Scary huh?

  41. I felt that too in Penang during 2004 when I am staying in an apartment. Really scary, really like no place to run. You just don't know where to go...

    Anyway, You mentioned to me about facebook. I am now in facebook. How to find you?

  42. I think I have only experience earthquake once when I was back in Hong Kong. I remember I felt really dizzy.

    Oh gosh .. don't you wear undies at home?!

    Gosh ...


  43. oh my ... made me remember the time we had an earthquake, too (it's pretty common here in the Philippines, but it still scares me. all the time), and I was inside the bathroom! yikes!

  44. It seems terrible. Think it's true that most of us would not know what to do. Glad that you are fine.

  45. I had my experience with swaying bed too, just like u a couple of years ago. I stayed at 32 floor. Mine happened around 12am. My first thought was GHOST!!! Later, I realised it must have been an earthquake. Got some important documents and went down to the lobby to wait.

  46. That had to be scarey. Running around with no underwear. The breeze could be deadly. lol

    I have never been in an earthquake. Has to be frighteining.

  47. Is the hazard going to be looming for the next two hundred years?

  48. I have experienced tremors when I was single... Now that I have kids, I worried so much for them and my hubby too.

    Wow! No undies?! Seems like everyone talking abt your undies than the tremors! ;)

  49. Hi. I came across your blog on ST interactive when someone highlighted your lament on teaching woes. I'm impressed by your frankness here. You are one cool mama for sure!

    Incidentally, I'd felt the tremours of the recent quake off Indon. Like you, I had told my students whom I was tutoring then to stop shaking the table. Haha! My first and I am sure not my last.

  50. The first time I felt an earthquake I was in bed.

    Unfortunately, I was alone.

    No undies.

    No nothing... just a sheet.

  51. ECL, you! You made me laugh again after that Photo Hunters paper post. I was prepared to say "how dreadful, how frightening and I wouldn't want to live in a high rise building for fear of earthquakes" until I got to the last part. Sigh...

    Do take care, ok?