Monday, January 18, 2010

Tsunami Watch

Tuesday night when the earthquake hit Haiti, we were sitting on the beach in the Dominican Republic oblivious to it. We were in Punta Cana which is on the east side of the island about the farthest you can get from Haiti and still be on the island. We were at a resort there right on the beach. I heard the word "tsunami" a few times by other guests talking amongst themselves. After hearing it again at breakfast on Wednesday, I asked Brock if there was a tsunami somewhere near. He thought that maybe they were talking about the earthquake that hit California a couple of weeks before. We were on vacation, so we were not watching the news or anything.

Brock picked up a newspaper, but it was all in Spanish. He could make out a few words and he talked with someone whom knew some English to decipher what had happened. There had been some sort of earthquake in Haiti, our neighboring country at the time. (Haiti and Dominican share an island.) We later found out that we were on a tsunami watch and should have evacuated. Nobody told us. I did not hear any announcement or anything. Even if I did, it would have been in Spanish and Brock and I would have been lost.

On that Wednesday afternoon, we traveled to Santo Domingo as planned. When we got to our hotel which is owned by the Belgium Consulate, he told us more about what had happened. He also told us that they felt it there in Santo Domingo as well. It was about a 3.5 there. However, it did not do any damage in that city. Port Au Prince was a different story, though. To our astonishment, we found out what had happened right down the street from us. More about the earthquake and how it was being on the island tomorrow...