We are from California. Earthquakes are nothing new to us. But … last night at 11:45 p.m. when Panama was hit with a couple of quick but decent-sized jolts, it felt a little new.

Our concrete bunker of a house jumped significantly. This is NOT a California quake-code structure that sways with the movement of land so it doesn’t fall down. Our house is a big block of concrete. No give. No sway. It jumps. The whole house moves and it is not a fluid movement.

Last night’s seismic activity was a 4.4 on the richter scale if you look at earthquaketrack.com (run by the USGS), but some sources here in Panama say it was as high as 5.4. Early this morning there was a 5.3 quake in Chiriqui (closer to Costa Rica).

It took a few minutes last night for our California quake training to kick in, but it did. We checked for damage. None. We checked the gas tanks outside and the stove in the kitchen. All good.

And as I went back to bed, my thoughts were on that quake training. Does this mean that once again I cannot hang things above my bed? No shelves, no framed pictures, nothing that can fall on you while sleeping. Where did we pack the quake wax?

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