FOLLOWING the 5.6-magnitude earthquake which rattled the country on Monday morning, many Jamaicans took to social media to speak about the experience, which some described as traumatic.
“Mi traumatised right now,” one user commented on Instagram.
Another said: “I was so scared. I swear the house was gonna cave in on me, me a run and cah run good fi reach the door jam (sic)”.
“All when it stop, mi still a shake; frightening bad” was another comment.
This was a recurring theme throughout the various comments, with many users saying how scary the earthquake was as they had never felt one so strong and for that duration.
The quake violently rocked buildings, which caused some people to react with panic forgetting what to do during an earthquake. One individual said: “Sad thing is, I forgot about the door jam (sic)”. Another, who was at home at the time, said they didn’t think to go under the bed, while another who was at work, said they did not remember to go under the desk.
Others expressed disbelief about the magnitude of the earthquake, with some saying the Richter scale must be broken based on how vigorously they were shaken.
Media personality ZJ Sparks said she had never experienced an earthquake “so long and strong”.
“Anuh 5.6 and dem a call that moderate…[and] buildings [get] split up. [A friend who was on the 7th floor of a building said] it a wave like flag. No sah, anuh 5.6 dat,” she said in disbelief.
Another person, who was also sceptical, noted that “people who were outdoors say the ground was folding up and down like paper”.
An individual who responded to this comment said: “That’s how the earth plates move in an earthquake due to the friction occurring under the earth’s surface.”
In response, the person who made the comment said: “Yes, I understand the theory….to witness it though is frightening.”
“This felt like a 7, but if them seh a 5 plus, me nuh want experience 7. My belly weak same way,” another individual posted.
Still others praised God for sparing the lives of Jamaicans, and expressed gratitude that the experience was not worse.
“God is still merciful, but please let’s wake up Jamaica! Two (sic) many ungodly things man. Lord continue to have mercy on us, please, because worse than this we can’t handle,” one social media user said.
Other people commented that it was the sturdiness of Jamaica’s infrastructure that prevented more damage and stopped buildings from crumbling after the heavy jolt.
“Thankfully, we have a good building code. Most countries cannot withstand a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that don’t result in buildings crumbling,” one person said. “Jamaica’s infrastructure is very strong; houses have steel compared to brick houses…5.6 is very strong,” another said.
There was also a comedic element to the serious issue when chief executive officer of Nationwide News Network Cliff Hughes was seen on a video making its rounds on social media, doing the right thing by ducking under his desk during a live radio interview at the time of the earthquake’s occurrence. A part of that video has already become a meme.
In a video circulating online, popular Jamaican reggae artistes Tami Chynn, Wayne Marshall and his son Gio, were seen reacting to the earthquake using colourful Jamaican language, during a filming session, where they had all begun to sing a gospel song.
The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Haiti, and Cuba also reportedly felt the quake.