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Story of Frightened and Terrified People
A note from a Co-ordinator Disaster Relief Cell at St. John's who reached Ahmedabad on Feb 3, 2001

Dear All

People here are all so frightened and terrified.. They have experienced one of the most frightening events in their lives and now only one thing matters are their lives! At first I smiled about the way they talk about being afraid but as they talk and describe the few minutes of the earthquake and the stories they tell it is obvious that they are telling you a story of "doomsday" - terrifying and most frightening.

People who have lost everything are very aggressive and wonder why they need to eat hand outs and wear old clothes, when they have no future ahead. I guess only if you actually experience the fear they have will you and I actually realise what they are going through even today. They sleep all together in the cold outside or in the hall nearest the doorway so that with every sound or rumble or owls and dogs howling they all wake each other up and rush outside into the open.

It is 2 am and I have got up to write this after listening to stories about my aunt and uncle who lived on the fourth story floor of a high rise building that night and how the building swayed first in one direction then in another much like a Tora Tora. Cupboards emptied out, milk and liquids spilled all around, stairs jumped around like a pack of cards and people still feel dizzy thinking of what happened when the earth moved. The cars bounced up and down and tall buildings swayed from side to side. I am now frightened myself.

Please pray for all and also the team. I think people should know how terrifed people are especially since we have no control over the situation.

Warm Regards
Sanjiv Lewin
Co-ordinator Disaster Relief Cell at St. John's
3.1.2001, Ahmedabad