7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Simeulue In Indonesia

There is a sudden spike in this blog’s traffic today. The entry with the most hits according to WordPress’s Blog Stat is Earthquake In Penang Update. That was the worst tremblor that I experienced when I literally saw the main door rattling like someone was desperately knocking on it from outside trying to get in. I knew it was an earthquake and wondered if the building would collapse as I felt the floor swaying like never before.

The previous one was on Boxing Day in 2004 when an earthquake with a magnitude of between 9.1 to 9.3 in the Richter scale shook Sumatra and caused the mother of all tsunamis in recent times. The waves decimated coastal villages from Acheh to Sri Lanka to Madagascar in the African continent. It was the greatest disaster many of us had known in our lives.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck off the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island close to Simeulue island at 4.08pm just now, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). A tsunami warning was issued. This was the cause of the spike in traffic. People were looking for information on “earthquake” and “Penang”. That page came out topmost in Google for those two keywords. I pray that no lives are lost in this calamity. The people in Sumatra have suffered enough from previous earthquakes.

For people who are living in high-rise buildings, it is imperative to evacuate at the earliest possible opportunity. There are a few safety tips that people who are caught in an earthquake should observe. I have summarised them into 12 points in an entry titled Earthquake: What To Do. That was in 2004. I knew that I could not evacuate like other people and I thought it would be good increase my chances of surviving a devastating earthquake by reading up on measures that I should take in such instances.

Who Is The Bigger Moron?

According to Jeff Ooi there are bigger morons out there. Here is what he has to say in Malaysia in spotlight… right reasons:

Both Peter Tan and TV Smith have been picked up by media watchers in the US and France for their blogs about the Richter 8.7 Nias Island quake.

For those who don’t understand French, here’s the bebelfish.

If you think Peter is a self-confessed moron (read Instapundit‘s one-liner and Jeff Jarvis‘s accolades), the bigger ones are here.

Thank you Jeff. It is comforting to know that I am not one-of-a-kind. When “breaking news” has to go through all the layers and layers of protocols and approvals from higher ups, it becomes stale news. Bloggers may not be trained journalists but we get the news out fastest. Judging by the speed that our broadcasters go about disseminating information like this, many will turn to blog aggregators like the Project Petaling Street for the latest updates.

I Am A Moron, Let Me Gloat About It

When I wrote Bloggers Are Morons, little did I realise that it will create such a stir in blogosphere. I stayed back because taking the elevator was not an option I fancied especially during and immediately after an earthquake. There was no way I could go down thirty eight flights of stairs. Stayed back I did.

The only way to calm my fraying nerves was to occupy my mind by blogging about the moment. As the floor continued to sway under me, I was pounding away at the keyboard. I had gotten the maid to open the door just in case we needed to escape; to where I had no idea.

Those two minutes or so felt like it would last forever. I was still anxious but there was nothing much I could do. During the tremor, there was a commotion outside. I looked behind me out the door. My neighbours were scurrying off into the elevator. I mumbled a silent prayer and hoped they would not get stuck between floors and continued to type. And a moronic blogger was born. That entry made its way around the globe and into some very interesting blogs.

Here are excerpts from some of them:

Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine in Quake: ‘Bloggers are morons’ called it “this great post.” Someone commented in the same entry that “only people who think bloggers are morons are the bluehaired, antiquated Marxists of the legacy media who are still living in the Great Depression.”

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit with this one line entry
MORONS? I prefer to think “brave.”

Norman Geras of Normblog in Does blogging damage the mind?
Quite possibly.

Crook and Liars in Blogging thru the Earthquake
Blogging has fried our brains.

Will of MSNBC’s Blogs etc.
Peter Tan has been helpful. My particular favorite: “Bloggers are morons.” Also handy, What to do in an earthquake.” Jeff Ooi and Mack Zulkifli were mentioned in that same entry.

pointblog.com, a blog in French, in Blogueur ? nos risques et peril

Mack Zulkifli of Brand New Malaysian in Malaysia Service Desk -Lost and Found announcement
So last night, the good Peter Tan experienced the quake, like many of us. It was terrifying, yet he blogged as the building was shaking violently. he questioned his wisdom. I question his building management.

Jordan of Macvaysia in A Whole Lotta Shakin’
Peter’s certainly no moron. He’s confined to a wheelchair and had no quick way out anyway (this country is WAY behind in accessibility for the disabled), so he might as well blog, right? Keep blogging, Peter!

Imran Idris of What’s Up Doc in Earthquake Alert!
One interesting outcome of the earthquake was to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt how crazy bloggers are. Peter Tan, a Malaysian blogger who resides in Penang, actually kept on blogging throughout the minute or so his apartment was shaking.

Updated March 31, 2005 – 1344hrs.
Flaming Duck in Live moron earthquake blogging
This is a must read post! Peter Tan was blogging during the earthquake at The Digital Awakening. Pay special attention to the post titled “Bloggers Are Morons” because it begins

“Blogging has fried our brains… ”


The Sock Diary in Bloggers in Malaysia Warn of Earthquake
This guy, Peter Tan, goes above and beyond the call of duty… and makes a good point. How the hell was he supposed to get out with no working legs and authorities with no plan? Jeez.

First Kid on the Blog
The Digital Awakening claims the distinction of being the first in Malaysia and probably the world to blog about the earthquake. Yes, let me gloat about it since I risked life and limb to do that.

Jeff Ooi of Screenshots in 8.7 earthquake near Medan under the subheading The Online World Rules, Again!
Peter Tan has the first blog on the earthquake at 00:17hr, and scores of other bloggers ooze from their vantage points reporting to PetalingStreet.org.

miss-information.net, a bi-lingual blog in French and English in Blogging the earthquake
Peter Tan is in Malaysia and probably the first blogger to have posted about the earthquake.

Bene Diction Blogs On in Earthquake and tsunami warning
The power of blogs. Peter Tan of The Digital Awakening was probably the first person online blogging about the quake. Peter is in a wheel chair.

Danny Lim of SunBlogs Bazaar in The Quake Response
Peter Tan clocked in at 12.11am, two minutes after the tremors started with the briefest of postings: “My apartment is shaking now.”

Updated March 31, 2005 – 1347hrs.
Other blogs that linked to my earthquake entries:

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog in Peter Tan Blogs the Quake

Andy Carvin’s Waste of Bandwidth in Peter Tan Blogs the Quake in Real-Time

Mack Zulkifli in Global Voices Online in Bloggers in Malaysia Warn of Earthquake

auyongtc’s blog in Felt tremor!
(auyongtc was the second blog to ping PPS about the earthquake right after me.)

CheeV’s Useless in Weblog Tremor?

cityrag in asian bloggers on tsumani watch

Tiago D?ria in Meu apartamento est? tremendo

TheBenitoReport in “There was a strong vibration at 12.15 am”

Blue Fuse in Asia quake blogs (MSNBC)

Updated April 3, 2005 – 1555hrs.
LIONEL.blogs in Easter Monday earthquake

This entry will be updated with blogs that linked to the earthquake entries from time to time.