One thing I knew before leaving my hometown of Dallas, TX to move to Ecuador, was that I was trading “tornado alley” for “earthquake central.” There are several significant fault lines that run through Ecuador, making most of it prone to potential earthquakes. When I first arrived, I had been told by several people in my town that they had felt three significant shakes the summer pior to my move here. No damage was done, but they definitely knew what was happening when it was happening.
Since I’ve moved here, there was a fairly sizeable earthquake in Quito, the capital and largest city, back in August of last year. I’ve even talked to friends who have said they’ve felt tremors in Cayo since I’ve been here, but I’ve not noticed any. The only thing that has happened a few times is that in the middle of the night, I would wake up and in that groggy feeling, think I might have felt a little bouncing in my bed (like what you feel some places when a train or semi passes). But I was never quite sure if it was a real sensation, or just something I was feeling in a dream state.
But yesterday morning, I was wide awake, still laying in bed recovering from some sickness during the night and I felt it! This time, it was the same feeling I recognized, only more pronounced (I thought maybe just because I was awake) and it lasted longer. I still questioned what I was feeling – “Did a truck just go by on the road?”, even though they do all the time and I don’t feel it and my bedroom is on the second floor. I looked around to see if anything looked like it was moving. The chains on the ceiling fan were slightly, but my ceiling fan is shakey, so that is always the case. But I thought, “I know I felt something this time – I wonder if that was an earthquake?”
Then today, on a group outing, someone mentioned that there was a 5.3M earthquake near Guayaquil yesterday morning around 6:30 a.m. and I said, “I felt it!” A few others said they did too and others said they did not. Honestly, if I had not been laying on my mattress wide awake, I’m not sure I would have either. But now I can definitely say I have experienced my first earthquake – and I truly hope that will be the full extent of my experience!