At about 1 AM on Jan 8, 1997 I was awaken by my partner who was terrified because the house was shaking. She later told me that I was muttering to her, what is going on, what's happening.
What was happening is that the house was trembling in the longest earthquake I've ever experienced -- perhaps a good 30 seconds. I live in St. Louis which is on a major fault, and have experienced dozens of minor tremors, some large enough to shake dishes in my parents' dining room to where they made loud noises. But, this was the scariest quake I've ever been in.
We were in a 4 story house, and the top floor was new. We were frightened that the house might collapse -- like a pancake as my partner described it. But, nothing happened, and the house stood firm.
Later we heard that the center of the quake was in the area around the French Hospital. Did any of you hear or read about this quake? What was it on the Richter scale? Evidently it didn't too much damage in Port-au-Prince.
Government web site lists an earthquake in the Haiti region on the 8th. It has a hot link, a GIF map of the region which has some of the stats. The site seems to be right off the south coast of Hispaniola, not far from the Dominican border.
They claim it happened at 6:43:07 at 17.67N 72.18W at a depth of 33.0 km and they list it as a 5.0.
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