Yesterday's 4.6 magnitude earthquake did more than just frighten hundreds of people in the Capital City.
It asked searching questions about how prepared we are to face such a natural disaster.
Most importantly, are we prepared for the next big one? Yesterday, police confirmed there were no reports of damage caused by the quake which struck the Central Division at 2.43pm.
It shook buildings in the city and sent workers scurrying for high ground fearing a possible tsunami which thankfully did not eventuate. The people of Suva deserve to pat themselves on the back for their show of concern and awareness of the dangers associated with earthquakes.
However, in the face of what appeared to be a good response time in the wake of the quake yesterday, there remain questions over how prepared we are for the eventuality of a major earthquake and the likelihood of a tsunami. When the quake struck, hundreds of workers could be seen making their way out of offices around the capital and heading to higher ground. Some obviously had earthquake evacuation drills in place in their respective offices and followed them well.
What was worrying though was the fact that there was nothing in place to warn thousands more who were in the city at the time. We would have to consider the hundreds of vehicles in the city including fully loaded buses and pedestrians on the streets and inside the many shops and malls. Bearing in mind that Suva is a city by the sea, we wonder whether an early warning system for the peninsula should be considered.
Thankfully yesterday's quake caused no damage. We may wonder whether this should be considered an eye-opener though. While efforts to move to higher ground should be commended, it is perhaps important that we are reminded about the need to be mindful of a few basic safety issues concerning quakes.
If you are inside a building, be aware. Stay clear of windows which could break and hurt you. Stay away from heavy wall hangings which could also fall and again hurt you. It is important that you remain calm.
If you are outdoors, watch out for powerlines and glass shattering from the windows of buildings. If you are driving, stay away from bridges, powerlines and trees. If you are near the sea, head for high ground.
Be alert for aftershocks. Perhaps the best course of action is to be prepared.
If you are at work, learn about your company's emergency evacuation drill, and route to follow during an emergency. At home, keep an emergency supply kit handy. This should include medical supplies and food, water, a phone, battery operated radio and a torch.
Natural disasters happen. It pays to be prepared.