The day the Earth did NOT stand still – Barbadians (and the Windward Isles) were shaken not stirred!

MY STORY – How do you photograph a quake? I was at work, listening to Jude Eastmond mangle “Stand By Me” while Kimberley Skeete and Veoma Ali proved they could sing on Love FM.

I felt the first vibrations just before three, I remember asking what is going on and everyone asking me why and I said the ground is shaking – just as I was about to be accused of being insane? The ground MOVED – we are in the top floor of an old building, not very reassuring! I watched my Manager‘s door shake by itself and I screamed at him to get the hell out of his office, his secretary yelled at her children to run down the steps and don’t wait for her…

Idiot me made sure to pack my laptop up even as I felt the National Petroleum building sway! I just crammed every damn thing in the case though, no neat packing away, LOL

Every last person from that building was in the parking lot, then I realised so were the folk from the building across the street when the roof flew off earlier this year – then calls on those whose mobiles were working came through sporadically….

It was felt in Bagatelle, Grazettes, St Philip, Bridgetown – the damn thing was island wide! I tried calling the wife and mother on my cell and I kept getting “ERROR IN CONNECTION” show up on the screen, and in order to reach both I had to use a landline at the guard hut, there was no way I was going back in that building!

When I called Mom, she said she felt as though a giant hand grabbed her bed and shook it, my Mom thought it was the construction crew dynamiting behind us as they did more work on the housing for Emmerton residents; the wife was actually answering the Hilton‘s phone – she said Management had to steer key posts as staff waited outside, what crap I roared at her; I ordered her to get her butt outside and she replied “Yes, dear” and knew she would wait until the all-clear!

MEDIA’S STORY – I eventually left the parking lot of NPC, and checked the radio stations while driving home which was like New York at rush hour – all CBC stations linked up as did Starcom Network. However, it was Starcom who kicked massive butt in giving community coverage!

Between David Ellis, Denis Johnson & Vic Fernandes – they had Grenada and Trinidad on the line to get their view as I learned the event was Caribbean-wide and they also used speaker-phone to relay to listeners a number of items – a website to monitor for any further tremors; the Digicel Fugitive was immediately postponed to next Friday; the team got in touch with Police’s Public Relations Officer Inspector Barry Hunte who had traffic advice.

Starcom also had a people on the street report and indicated that tiles fell from the Royal Bank Of Canada building and hit the ground on Broad Street while a piece of Parliament crushed a parked vehicle!

CBC in the meanwhile was moaning how they cannot reach the reporters as most mobile services were shot to hell, and their announcers were just talking to each other about what they felt when it happened – it was rather pitiful.

BLOGGERS’ STORIES – I reached home and looked over the house – it stood firm. I looked in on VOB’s website and they had nothing, CBC‘s did not update ’til after the Evening News. I checked the other blogs and here is some of what they had to say…

— we exclaimed that something was wrong and then felt the floor (about 8ft thick) start to move. A look out the window was the final straw as we saw that the building was shaking. Up off the chair, down the stairs and out of the building was the only thoughts that could come to mind, with others following. On reaching the ground floor corridor, we met others who were making their way out as well.

On outside, we saw a large SUV bobbing like a small toy in the bathtub. Thinking that something was wrong with the building, we made our way to a point some distance away still not knowing the cause of the shaking building.

That’s Simple Bajan back in action after a month, here’s Amit from Pull-Push

At around minutes to 3 pm (or minutes after) this afternoon, I felt my house shake. At first, I thought it was me feeling dizzy. I had just taken a tablet for a headache and I was sitting on the couch watching TV. This dizziness was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was like being on a boat in the water, gently being rocked by the waves. I looked at the metal gate by my gallery door and it swung every so slightly. But what really gave it away, was a little stuffed dog on large shelf, the one where the head bobs up and down at the slightest movement. The dog’s head was bobbing quite a bit. I left the living room (in a hurry) and went outside in the open. As I left that room, I could hear the TV creak on the small wooden stand on the floor. I went outside in the open and I could hear kids screaming from a school close by. Neighbours were outside as well, they felt something. Another neighbour told me her mum called from Trinidad and said that a quake was felt there.

Notes from The Margin explained a tragedy occurred in Guadeloupe, while Barbados Underground has been as almost as thorough as Starcom –

4.14 – Grantley Adams management gives all clear the the airport is OPEN

4.25 – Reports indicate that there is gridlock in Bridgetown. Police Force issues a warning to the public to avoid Bridgetown

4.55 A sense of calm and normalcy starting to return to the island

5.15- Several public pre-Independence events have been canceled including the Democratic Labour Party meeting in Independence Square previously scheduled for 6.30 PM

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