Tuesday, 11 December 2007

When the walls shook

Guyana is just about on this map - bottom right and move south east. On 29th November we were invited to the VSO office to meet Matt - the regional director. He is based in London and is responsible for all the VSO countries which don't fit into a neat category like Africa, Asia. So Guyana is one of them. We were discussing VSO's future involvement in Guyana.

At exactly 3pm, the floor rumbled and the walls shook. We all thought there was something wrong with us until we realised that it was an earth tremor. We left the building calmly and gathered outside where we saw telegraph poles shaking. It lasted about 30 seconds only and it was quite an exciting experience. I don't think anyone was frightened because it was so short but it will be a day I won't forget. All of Parliament left the National Assembly and the tremor was felt all over Guyana, Venezuela, parts of Brazil and all of the Islands.

It started in Martinique and was 7.4 on the Richter Scale. Quite strong but hardly did any damage but unfortunately there was one death.

We're going to St Lucia for New Year, right next to Martinique, so let's hope it's all over. A tremor here happens about every 20 years but there are no known earthquakes in Guyana. Not so for Martinique when 30,000 were killed in 1906 with a volcano.