Saturday, March 12, 2011
It was quiet. Maybe for a few seconds before the low humming started. And then the building let out a deep groan and everything started to convulse. Cracks appeared and quickly spread across the large glass panels, which then exploded into a hailstorm of shrapnel.
The incessant drone of the alarm interspersed with panicked screams. Everyone was on all fours, assaulted by undulating ripples on the floor. We watched as the chandelier swayed wildly like a pendulum counting down to apocalypse. And then everything went dark.
We clung to the carpet as the world gradually regained it's balance. The ground may have stopped shaking, but we could not. We followed the lighted signs out of the potential death trap, and the cold spring air and muted sunshine eased the claustrophobic feeling that was suffocating us.
The alarms continued blaring, but there was relief on the faces of the crowd on the street. Then a shroud of panic descended on everyone as realization set in. Worried voices competed with the drone of the speakers, but with our rudimentary local language skills, we could not understand a thing.
Until we heard a familiar word.
Based on accounts, not personal experience. Glad to have finally confirmed that my partner's family and my friends in the affected areas are safe. Prayers for the country and its people.
photo credit: twitpic.com/48dazv