Sunday, September 14, 2008

The earth moved for me!

Yes, it is true. You may have heard the news – I am now officially an earthquake survivor!

There I was, minding own business and beavering away at my desk, when my laptop started to move. “This is it”, I thought. “I’m finally having a ‘funny turn’ and losing my marbles. Why did it have to happen at work!” Then my office door started shaking, then the floor started shaking, then lights started swaying manically….and then of course the squealing of dramatic PR folk started. My first thought was: earthquake, although there was some worry about whether or not the world’s tallest building was collapsing next to our office.

We were immediately evacuated from the building - down the stairs (not what my calves needed after tramping down 13 flights earlier in the week when the lifts broke, I can tell you) and emerged out into the 40 degree heat. Thankfully I had managed to grab my Miu Miu handbag and Dior shades. If I’m going down, I’m going down in style! This being Dubai, the evacuation point was, er, right next to the building. So, if the building was to fall down we’d be right in the firing line.

There then followed complete pandemonium as thousands of office workers spilled onto the streets and cars tried to leave the complex. We huddled in bits of shade – did I mention it was 40 degrees, oh and about 50% humidity, and word filtered through that there had been an earthquake in Iran, which we’d felt the tail end of.

As someone who did live through the Manchester quakes of 2002 and 2007, I now feel like an earthquake veteran! Joking apart, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience, and thank god we weren’t in Iran, where 6 people died. It does raise an interesting point about Burj Dubai. The thing is like, almost a mile will they evacuate people from that beast if another tremor hits us?

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