Our friend Christine sent us some links, to which we woke up this morning after a quiet night. Apparently, it was a 5.8 or 5.9 magnitude one, located some 100 miles northeast of us.* Our friend Dragos at @rgumente and Kit have commented on it too. I have to agree with Kit -- 20 seconds seemed like an eternity. It was enough time to wake up from a light slumber, wondering, realizing, saying "Doug?", hearing the answer "earthquake!" from the study, running to the kids, getting them out of bed and standing in the doorway. Time does stretch. For me, it also awoke memories of 1977. That big Romania earthquake? I lived in Istanbul with my family back then and I remember that evening clearly. Everything shook heavily and we, too, stood in the doorway with my parents clutching us children. The next day, we had huge cracks in the walls of our house. Not this year - our house here is built very earthquake safe. It also means that you cannot get a nail into the walls if your life depended on it, which used to annoy me mildly a number of times. Yesterday evening, though, I was quite content to live in such a sturdy house. My nanny didn't sleep all night. She, too, was plagued by memories of 1977. She used to live in a house next to a huge empty patch of land. After the earthquake, all the rubble from the flattened houses was brought there. She remembers seeing body parts mixed in with the concrete and pieces of buildings - arms, legs, heads. Gruesome pictures, guranteed to keep one's mind far too busy to sleep. Ceausescus Romania was an awful, awful place. *That's pretty close to Zabola. I wrote them an email, hoping to hear back from them soon. Update: Reuters reports that "Romanian officials said buildings, such as the historic Bucharest city hall, had suffered mostly cracks in walls and falling plaster and some roads were slightly damaged but utilities were functioning normally." The strength has also been upped to 6.0.