I was at work when we felt the tremor. It wasn't particularly strong in Lima, but it lasted a while. We felt it at around 7:15 pm, and it shook the institute for a good ten minutes. I thought it was me, maybe getting an inner ear infection and losing balance, then students began to scream and cry in the courtyard. People ran for the main entrance to get out, and people from the streets were trying to escape the swaying buses and cars by running inside. That was the most dangerous place, a bigger threat than what the tremor caused here in Lima. Panic all around. I was mostly just standing there enjoying the odd feeling of the ground moving under my feet, not really getting that this was actually a much bigger quake somewhere else. I haven't heard much of the news yet - just what was on the radio in the bus on my way home last evening. What I have heard is that the epicenter was in Pisco or Ica, and reached a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale. Four hundred-odd people dead or missing, around 350 confirmed dead. Edited at 10:40 pm - 510 confirmed dead. Wounded being airlifted to Lima hospitals. Military medical teams and civil engineers have been mobilized to extract and treat people as they are found in the rubble of their homes.
Here in Lima, there are some cracks in the walls of some buildings and things fell off the shelves on the higher floors, but no one was killed and no homes or buildings came down. A man came to inspect the apartment building and found a few minor cracks, which were repaired, but nothing else. Celeste weathered the tremor in her crate and in her magic camo jammies, safe, secure and happy. She bounced out of the crate and went out to play with us. Celeste's buddy, Galo the beagle, came outside upset and was still trembling an hour later. The cocker, upstairs, stays in the bathroom when his people go to work, and all the bathroom shelves emptied themselves on the floor, where he was. Happily, he made himself a bed of the towels that landed on the floor.
Thanks to all for leaving your comments of concern and good wishes. We appreciate them so much! We are all safe here. O.'s cousin, Fanny, lives in Pisco and she and her family are safe, although the rear portion of their bed & breakfast inn collapsed last night. Luckily, the portion that they live in and the restaurant are intact.