Robert Hampton

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12th March 2011

The Earth Roars Again
Posted by at 10.27am | In the News | No responses

Not long after images of Christchurch left our TV screens, we are now confronted with the appalling situation in Japan. The question, “how can this get any worse?” is being answered at regular intervals: first the earthquake, then the tsunami, with reports of thousands of people dead. Now there is an explosion at a nuclear power plant.

Horrifying pictures are being played continuously on the news channels, including terrible footage of a raging fire in Kesennumma. The BBC has live text and video coverage on its web site.

22nd February 2011

The day the Earth roared
Posted by at 9.57pm | In the News | 2 responses

Sitting in safety half a world away from New Zealand, it’s difficult for me to comprehend the horror of the Christchurch earthquake. This heart-rending account from a journalist who was in her office when the quake hit brings it home:

We walked down the back stairs which were OK, as we left I looked to my right. All I could see of the busy newsroom was the roof of the three-storied building. No people in sight. I had just walked through there 10 minutes prior.

A split second decision to answer an email instead of having a cigarette break probably saved my life.

Outside the inner CBD looked like a war zone. Outside on the street strangers were holding each other and crying and gazing bewildered at the gutted ghetto surrounding us.

The Press’ incredible fashion editor, Kate Fraser, 70, and I linked arms. I tried to tell myself it was for her benefit but she was steadying me.

I saw colleagues crying, people covered in blood. We congregated in a spot left empty by the September 4 quake.

The editor, Andrew Holden, a strong and stoic man, kissed me on the cheek and as he did so I saw he had tears in his eyes.

Read the rest of it.

7th September 2010

Nicer ambulances, faster response times and better looking drivers

This doesn’t seem at all over the top:-

MERSEYSIDE’S emergency services joined teams from across England today to take part in a major exercise simulating an earthquake hitting Liverpool.

The massive event, one of the largest to have been undertaken, is aimed at testing the response to an “unthinkable” disaster.

So in other words they recreated a bad Sci-fi Channel movie? Hm.

14th January 2010

Posted by at 1.14pm | In the News | No responses

The BBC’s Matthew Price describes a nightmare scenario in Haiti following the recent earthquake:-

There is a body lying outside L’Hopital de la Paix in Port-au-Prince – but it is the sight that awaits you inside the hospital grounds that is most alarming.

It is as if a massacre has been perpetrated here.

Dirty white sheets cover some of the dead, others lie out in the open, some, their limbs entwined with another’s.

Many are the bodies of adults, but here to the right, a baby on her back, her belly bloated and pronounced.

She is wearing a silvery blue top, just lying by the curb, abandoned.
MSF Petion Ville offices transformed into a makeshift hospital, 13 January 2010 (Medecins Sans Frontieres)
The site of the MSF aid agency has become a makeshift hospital

A man stirs to the left. He unfurls a blanket that covers the ground and lies back down.

The living are sleeping among the dead.

The above is one of many excellent reports from the BBC which has in-depth coverage of the quake aftermath. It’s a desperate situation for people in the country, and their friends and families abroad who cannot get any news due to a total failure of communications.

It certainly puts the UK’s snow difficulties into perspective, doesn’t it? The Disasters Emergency Committee are collecting donations.

29th February 2008

But they’re in the sky!
Posted by at 6.16pm | Sun and Cloud | No responses

SUN: So, did you feel the earthquake the other night? CLOUD: No...
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