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I woke up in the middle of the night last night to the sensation of my bed swaying back and forth. It was quite different from the near-constant vibration of traffic rumbling along the street below. I’ve been trying to determine whether what I felt was an earthquake.

Both the U.S. and Mexican authorities report several earthquakes in the vicinity over the past twelve hours, with one of them being over a 5 on the Richter scale — 5.1 per the USGS, 5.3 per the SSN Mexico. The USGS had at least one report of the earthquake being felt not far from where I’m staying. Unfortunately, I didn’t note the exact time I woke up.

Earthquakes are taken quite seriously in Mexico. Almost everyplace where more than a few people gather has posted earthquake instructions, including illustrations for people with limited Spanish reading skills like me. When Kathryn and I attended a baseball game in Mexicali a couple years ago, one of the last announcements before the national anthem was about what to do in the event of an earthquake, including a video on the jumbotron.

From my research this morning, it looks like minor earthquakes are quite common in this part of Mexico. A major fault line apparently runs along much of the length of the Pacific coast, just offshore. So this may not be the last time I’m shaken awake at night while I’m here.