Saba Earthquake Takes Bill Gates by SurpriseIf coffee isn’t enough to wake you up on a Monday morning, how about an earthquake?

As Joel was pouring his second cup of coffee this morning and I was happily tapping away on my computer, I began to feel a rumbling at around 10:30 am. The door to our bedroom started to shake and my chair along with it.

This was not a cause for alarm, because it was a gentle shaking…the kind that feels like it could come from someone’s overly loud music. You know what I mean, that teenager proud of his new Camero complete with loaded stereo system. As he drives around, he’s king of the road and wants everyone to know it. He treats us all to his latest taste in music. It’s always some kind of head-banging rock and it ALWAYS has lots of bass.

You can hear him long before he comes down the street. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. Your floor shakes. Your house shakes. And you sit in wonder as to how this person will make it to the age of 20 with his hearing intact. (Joel calls them the “hearing aid fast trackers”)

Well, sometimes these fine upstanding citizens make it to adult age with the same penchant for loud music and we have a few here on the island of Saba. So it wouldn’t have been surprising to find that our house was shaking from the generosity of these individuals sharing their music with us.

But no, it was truly a little earthquake. We got about 5 rumbles, then a 2-minute break while Joel and I discussed the different things it COULD have been besides what it really was.

Within the span of that 2 minutes, several neighbors poked their heads out of the always open doors and started to ask, “What was that?”

And then the second tremor hit.

Another little rumble, hardly worthy of notice if only because our loud-music-playing friends would do the same if they cared to drive by in that moment.

This time, our neighbor Tom yelled out that his kitchen pans were shaking.

Our neighbor Eddie, a local Saban, shared the updates that yes, this was an earthquake. And while there is no organized local news here in Saba, no warning that these things were going to happen and no quick line of news from our neighboring — bigger and more modern — islands, you have to sit back and marvel about this place.

There’s just nothing like the state of the art communication that can happen from one neighbor passing word on to the next without leaving his front porch.

Here in Saba, you realize the value of the people around you. The word of mouth communication. And the knowledge that if you need someone, they’re right there, ready to lend you a helping hand.

Added January 19th:
We just found a reference to a Dutch report on the rumbling today. The report goes on to say the Jan 14th morning excitement was due to two earthquakes that occured this morning with a center 6 km South-Southwest of St Maarten and registered 4.1 and 4.4 respectively. I still haven’t heard anyone report of any damages – anyone else heard differently?

Here we go again:
More quakes on Saturday night January 26th – around 10-11pm.