More than 1,000 people are now feared dead in Monday night’s earthquake on the Indonesian island of Nias off the coast of Sumatra. The tremors were felt even in Singapore. Buildings shook not only near the sea but deep inland. Hundreds of residents in Toa Payoh, which is nowhere near the sea, rushed out of their homes. The panic passed soon enough. But it was unsettling. Singapore is so small there is nowhere to escape. Maybe that’s why we don’t want to brood on such calamities. People were going about their usual routines next morning. Commuters went to work, shoppers went to malls, radio disc jockeys chattered and bantered between records. But though it was business as usual, of course, one feels worried. It’s barely three months since the Boxing Day tsunami.
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