Why have there been so many earthquakes lately? Do you think it’s a sign that the end of the world is coming? How should we prepare? — Jackie

 

Oh boy. If you’re looking for signs that the end of the world is coming, you can find more convincing ones than earthquakes. From what I understand, earthquakes happen all the time. The Earth’s plates get the urge to shift, kind of like when you get the urge to turn over in your sleep, and so they do, producing seismic waves that most times go unnoticed. Only sometimes do they damage local infrastructures, and that’s when we hear about them. It’s heartbreaking — the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile are devastating in objective terms of damage and loss, and devastating on the internal landscape of anybody who has a heart…. More…

 

 

When I’m working on my computer, my nights tend to stretch until daylight, and that’s how the earthquake found my girlfriend and me still sleeping. We were jolted awake: The wardrobe door was banging, the walls were shaking, and the whole building was wobbling. Outside we could hear screaming and glass shattering. Momentarily, I thought of diving out of the window, then remembered we were on the fifth floor and decided to take my chance down the stairs. We reached the willow tree in the middle of the courtyard and stood there, transfixed, as the ground convulsed, the building swayed and rattled, and bits of concrete spewed out. I could smell dust. And as the ground juddered, for more than five minutes, the thought that I was going to die became more distinct.

Then it was over,… More…