At 12.10pm today, there was suddenly a commotion in my office. As my room was tucked away at one corner while the rest of my colleagues’ rooms?were at the other end, I was quite oblivious to what was going on. All I heard were my colleague’s voices (and mind you my dept is an all ladies one) hollering for me to go for lunch. Lunch break is officially at 12.30pm and usually we adhere quite strictly to that…so I was more than a little puzzled at the apparent hurry to go for lunch. Nevertheless, I thought maybe?its because?my bosses?had left?for a lunch appointment already…so I took my time to gather my stuff….and that earned another holler from the corridor…this time a little more shrill.

Everyone was waiting for me and when you have five panicky middle aged ladies talking at the same time, you get a bit of a headache. Two of them apparently had felt tremors? and claimed that the room was swaying (or maybe themselves). One of them said the swaying was so bad she had to hold on to her table. The other one said the chair she was sitting on starting rolling back and forth, as though someone from behind was pushing and pulling it. What made them panick more was a call from our admin department asking us to evacuate the office as soon as possible. And oblivious little me was tucked away at the far side of the office, slouched over my work and felt absolutely no tremors….shucks…I would have liked to experience a little swaying….By the time we got downstairs, shenton Way was swarmed with people. Apparently many buildings had sounded the alarm and ordered an evacuation. There were so many people loitering around the lobbies of the buildings and some were just standing there smoking. Now, one would think that its most commonsensical to move away from these buildings, in the event they collapse or something…oh well maybe these people don’t know which way to go, afterall shenton way is so built up, you probably wont know which way to run if any of the buildings start coming down. Still, the images of the 911 attacks sent me walking at top speed…towards Ah Moy street, where lunch awaits. :p

Ah Moy was packed and everyone was talking about the tremors, which according to the radio news, was felt by almost the entire Singapore, esp the tall buildings around the CBD and beach road area. The tremors were caused by an earthquake that happened in Sumatra and it measured 6.5 on the Ritcher Scale. The epic centre was about 260 miles from Singapore, which is not exactly very far…too near for comfort actually. Thank goodness there wasn’t a tsunami that followed. At about 2pm, the second wave of tremors hit, followed by one more at 2.30pm. By then, everyone was feeling a little nervous…and my boss said we better make our own judgement call whether or not to leave the office if there was going to be more tremors. Earlier on, she was unfortunately having lunch with one of our tenants (to negotiate for a lease renewal) at the Chinese restaurant upstairs when the first wave hit. She said the plates on the table started to slide and vibrate…talk about bad timing….

Anyway, I was hoping that maybe the company would declare a half day off…for the safety of the staff…but I guessed not…oh well, at least it’s mid week already tomorrow.

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