Lucy Popescu

freedom to write, review, travel…

Plagued by pestilence and earthquakes

Posted by lucypopescu on April 27, 2009

It feels rather as though my private terrors have rained down on me all at once. A brush with a scorpion, followed by a flu epidemic and now an earthquake! I was convinced that today would be quiet. I would not venture out, I would not play tennis – I presumed that the courts, as everything else, would be closed. I would just sit quietly, so nothing could go wrong. I had enough food, tea and coffee to last the day. One book review to finish, another to start, and frequent updates on the flu epidemic to watch – of course.

But as the Mexican minister of health briefed the press this afternoon, an earthquake registering 5.8 on the Richter scale ricocheted from the southern city of Chilpancingo through the south of Mexico’s capital and beyond. There was I, holed-up, in what I thought was my safe haven in the south of the city. Fortunately, it seems in hindsight, I was so paranoid about the epidemic that when I felt a little nauseous I wondered if it was the onset of the dreaded flu… Then I experienced a sliding sensation in my chair, but still it did not register. I saw the light-shades swaying as if in a light breeze and sat gazing, open-mouthed, at this strange phenomenon, before rushing to the window. Two neighbours were outside, but I thought they were gardening. By the time I realised that this was an earthquake, my first, it was all over and too late for me to evacuate. The lines were down, or engaged so no way and no one to call.

Thankfully, there were no casualites reported.

Today brought the news that the flu has spread. The deaths in Mexico are a tragedy. But internationally everyone seems prepared and it seems to be a weaker strain wreaking its havoc outside Mexico. Things aren’t all bad. Today a friend in Australia offered me refuge – should they close the borders to the UK…

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One Response to “Plagued by pestilence and earthquakes”

  1. Pauline Cannon said

    I remember the first earthquake I experienced. We were living in Cyprus and in 1999, it was the time of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey that killed a great many people. One evening whilst watching TV with Rog, I accused him of messing about, I thought he was making the sofa bounce, we had travelled 2ft across the living room floor before it dawned on us that we were in the middle of an earthquake, my first instinct was to rush to Elyse, who was only 10 months old and asleep in her cot. It was like running across the floor of a ship in rough seas, as I lurched towards the corridor, ornaments fell, pictures squewed (I know it’s spelt wrong!) and a large crack appeared in the side of our house that we could see daylight through…. The first one was terrifying, the second one alarming, but after that we just thought – oh here we go again.
    I guess next on the agenda for you, will be a plague of locusts!! Keep Safe. Pauline x

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