Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The cook and I were the only ones in the rectory at the time of the quake. I was on the second floor and didn’t know what was going on when the place started shaking. I sat on the floor until a break in the shaking, at which time I went part of the way down the stairs with laptop in hand, only to be stopped by lots of dust rushing up the stairway and concrete blocks crumbling at the doorway. I returned and looked out the upstairs porch to hear screams from nearby hillsides, indicating that it probably was an earthquake rather than a structural problem or some sort of attack on the building where I was.
After deciding it would be better to go through the entryway immediately rather than wait, I escaped unscathed through the crumbling entryway that is picture here
The cook was in a different section of the building and emerged after me looking something like the other victims you may have seen on the news – black face and hair with white dust all over and a bit of bleeding on her forehead and feet. She was tended by a former health agent and is doing fine.
There were about 30 people who live close to the rectory who also deemed their houses unsafe, so they came to sleep on the same space of rock outside the rectory. Each of us had nothing more than a sheet or blanket to pad us from the ground, which consisted of either large rock or large rock covered with small rocks. I know many won’t believe this, but it was a cold night, especially with the breeze.