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My first earthquake

1966. I was seven years old and I had never heard of an earthquake before. Suddenly everything started shaking and the noise was menacing and loud. The teacher panicked and ran out the door, unconsciously closing the door behind her.

My classmates and I were locked in because at that time the doors could not be opened from the inside. Strangely, we didn't panic. Together we picked up a table, broke the door, and ran like crazy in the direction of the main entrance.

It was a very old school and the courtyard was very big. When I was in the middle of the courtyard, I remembered that I had forgotten my coat and my big, heavy bag full of books. I returned to the classroom and ran again in the direction of the exit, and this time with all of my belongings. When I was in the middle of the yard my coat dropped. When I picked it up I saw that the huge wall of the school was moving like a leaf in the wind. At this point, I got very nervous and started desperately running to the main door.

I remember many people at that main door were screaming and encouraging me to run even faster. In the exact moment, I reached the door, the wall collapsed, almost brushing my heels and suffocating me with intense dust. It was terrible - everything was dark and I heard sirens and cries for help. I was confused and in shock. I started screaming repeatedly: “I don't want to die, I don't want to die, I don't want to die...”. I ran for my life and I escaped death. Even at that young age, it became clear to me that I’ll never give up in life.

eRocha, Jan'20

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