Well, I have officially felt my first earthquake. Technically, there was this one time in elementary school in Aiken, SC when we had a 3.1 earthquake or something like that. I don't actually remember feeling anything at all then, but I remember people talking about it. I guess I've been privileged to never live anywhere that earthquakes were a problem.

Anyway, this one was definitely real, although where we live, you had to be paying attention to notice. I was sitting at my desk, on the 7th floor of my research building, writing in my notebook, and began to notice that I was just swaying a bit. At first I assumed I was just getting tired, but came to realize that I was not the cause of the motion. I looked up and noticed that the lights in the room were also swaying gently. This was approximately 6:18 p.m. local time, Singapore. 310 miles Southwest of us, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake was violently shaking Southern Sumatra, which, if you've been watching much news, you may have already known.

It's apparently not entirely uncommon for earthquakes occurring in Indonesia to be felt in Singapore, though your ability to detect is pretty closely related to how high you are in a building. At ground level, Alli felt nothing, while employees working on high floors downtown evacuated as a result of the shaking. Luckily, an earthquake has never actually been recorded in Singapore.

However, this very mild shaking got Alli and I both a little interested in the topic. I mean, since we've been here, right at 4 months now (Wow, really?!), it seems like there have been an abnormally large number of natural disasters happening all around us-- earthquakes in Indonesia and Samoan islands (the biggest earthquake yet this year, magnitude 8.0) leading to tsunamis, also in the Andaman islands off of India, the typhoon, the flooding. Singapore sits in a sweet spot surrounded by all of this destruction. As to the earthquakes, I knew this part just South of us was part of the Pacific ring of fire, but I don't think that hits home until you live close enough that each one of those earthquakes makes the news (and takes several lives).

We think you should definitely check out the USGS website, where you can follow all of the latest earthquakes happening in the world (50 per day!)