As we sat drinking I thought to myself "What's that noise?", a strange low rumbling sound outside; and then all hell broke loose. The building began to shake violently, stuff started falling off the walls. People screaming. Someone shouting "Get out of the building". We were already on our way.
Luckily we were close to the exit. The floor was moving under our feet, the doorway rocking from side to side, the whole thing was moving in three dimensions, and we were being thrown around. There was a lot of panic around us but I managed to keep my wits about me and remain relatively calm; perhaps it's a lifetime of solving problems, as an engineer, that gave me the tools to do that, or perhaps a lifetime of adventure that allows me to allows me to assess, and respond to, danger very quickly; who knows? I'm thankful for it now, whatever it is.
I was though still fighting the urge to panic.
We had to cross a small bridge, descend some stairs, and enter the street, before we could even consider anything else, and with debris falling all around us each split-second decision was gut wrenching.
I was shaken, like the buildings around me, to my very foundations.