April 9, 1942

Adding to the tension caused by the almost constant zoomings of the giant flies that sweep towards Bataan, were the earthquakes which caused as much terror as did the bombings. I have experienced some of them in my twenty-three years stay in this country, but never so much in one day. According to the observatory, 16-20 shocks rocked the country in the last twenty-four hours.

The first tremor, which was the strongest, shook everybody out of bed shortly after midnight. It was so violent that the seismograph needle jumped off the paper, rendering the apparatus useless. Our first impression was that we were within the vicinity of an intense and nearby bombing. Our subconcious has become so sensitive after being subjected to bombings for three and a half months, that we attributed any noise to them.

However, everytime we scampered around and heard the beams crackling and the ground shaking, sending us toppling down, we realized it was a violent earthquake.

Buildings swayed like inverted pendulums or like ships blown about in a storm. Fortunately, aside from some faintings and nervous attacks, there were not many casualties. Nor was there so much damage aside from cracks in some tottering walls in this already devastated area.

The seismic tremors recurred with disturbing frequency, though diminishing in intensity. A number of them were hardly perceptible, although many felt them every moment. According to the old folks, they have never experienced such frequently repeated tremors since the eruption of Taal in 1911.

There is a consensus that the quake are due to the bombings at the other side of the Bay. The flash of light which illuminated the horizon in the direction of Bataan left a deep imprint in my eyes as I watched it from the room where I was during the earthquake. I then associated the quake with the explosive lightnings in Bataan. I learned later on, however, that in certain parts of the city, there were big electric arcs due to short circuits in high tension wires.

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