We have tremors now and then that cause us to be anxious, but this morning in the mission office we could tell immediately this was not an ordinary tremor. Mike and I were in the office with three missionaries and we stowed away in the hallway during the quake. The lights went out after the shaking, so we headed outside where all the medical people in the building were gathered. There is a laser eye surgery clinic adjacent to our office and they had just finished a surgery before the earthquake hit. Our building has a generator for that purpose, but it was knocked around and wouldn't work. The cell towers were down for an hour or so and the power was out about that long before the very capable guys who manage our building got a repairman here to fix the generator.
There wasn't any noticeable damage here. A few things in our apartment fell off shelves and a little plaster on counter tops, but nothing major. We walked to the grocery store/mall at noon and saw that some glass had broken loose from the 2nd floor wall and had crashed to the floor below. Glad I wasn't there, or in the elevator in my apartment building at the time of the quake. They perform maintenance on our elevator every month, but being stuck in an elevator is not appealing to me at all. I did that once in Venezuela and wasn't impressed.
The earthquake was a 7.4 magnitude near Lake Atitlan which is a short distance from the coast. It worried me that my family might not know we were all right, so as soon as the power came on I started to write an email to the kids. About the time I was ready to push send, the power went out again. Earthquakes or none, we're preparing for the time of year that the power routinely goes off for several hours, sometimes for the better part of the day. I don't understand why, but it happens here before major holidays. The locals say it's to store electricity, but I fail to understand how that works. Since we've had a volcanic eruption now and an earthquake, maybe we'll be home free for the next year.