The usual peace and calm with which Barbadians generally awake and usher in a brand new day was suddenly broken this morning, as the island was served a not so gentle reminder of the brute force of Mother Nature.
It was just three seconds shy of 5:30 a.m. when the shaking began. For some, it felt like a lifetime, but mere seconds was all that was needed by Mother Nature to issue her strong warning. From St Lucy in the north to St Philip in the east, the tremor was felt, bringing consernation for some, including
Melissa Murray of Hillaby, St Andrew, whose home was already made vulnerable.
“We had cracks in the house from before due to land slippage up here, and actual dust was falling from the cracks. So we were really scared, you understand? Because, you never know, we thought the whole house was going to come down,” she told Barbados TODAY, while suggesting that the cracks were made worse by the early morning tremor.
Her nine-year-old daughter Shania Murray-Wiltchire admitted to feeling quite afraid.
“I heard the cupboard doors slamming in, and I shouted out for my mummy and tell her that the house was shaking. And then we ran outside in the gallery, and then the shaking stopped.”
Lawson Reid, also of the same area, noted that St Andrew was generally subseptible to slippage, adding that with the quake, the troubles for residents were compounded.
“In this kind uh area where we does got slippage and t’ing; it does got yuh scared, because, if it does got people in the rocky areas frightened, wuh yuh say ’bout the people in this kind uh area. It had yuh a little tense and what’s not.”
This morning’s 6.7 earth tremor also brought with it flashbacks to 2007 and an earthquake which still weighs heavy on the minds of Bajans.
As news spread across the 166-square-mile island of the latest occurrence, many took to social media, in particular the Barbados TODAY Facebook page, to share their experiences.
Bentley Williams was in disbelief that there was actually a tremor, and he asked if people were sure it wasn’t really a slight tremor that was mostly unnoticed. Responding to him, Corey Watson agreed, stating that it was an excuse for half of the country to stay home from work.
Others like David Windoze blamed the “usual media hype” for exaggerating the “non-event” by stating that it “rocked” the entire island.
“Maybe a few people felt it; but to say it rocked Barbados is a bit much. Tomas rocked Barbados,” Shane Lewis Well said.
Angela Gray also said she felt nothing and was adamant that it did not even make any dogs in her neighbourhood bark.
“So true. Usually when there is a storm, all the dogs around here go crazy; but not a peep out of them before or after,” Greitcha Smith added.
But others –– some of whom would have felt the 2007 tremor, as well as this morning’s –– were not willing to take it so lightly.
Faith Phillips warned: “That’s probably what the people said in Haiti before that fateful morning. The fact you are experiencing something underground is because Barbados is affected by the shifting of the earthquake plates. Don’t tempt fate and mock the size or whether it was a non-event, because you got away this time; but there could be something extremely major waiting just around the corner. Check out Haiti After Earthquake on YouTube. You really don’t want that . . . .”
Eleisha Ashby added: “Some people make jokes, but if it had hit, that would have been devastating. I read somewhere that the Caribbean islands are going to get hit with a tsunami. If you ever see your animals running take that as a sign something is coming.”