Christchurch is like a war zone: Malaysian student

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 16:32

Kuala Lumpur: "It sounds like the place
has been bombed and we are in a war zone," said a Malaysian
student who survived the earthquake in Christchurch, New
Zealand.

Abdullah Mohd Nawi said he was in an education centre
where he was teaching English when the mishap occurred.
Christchurch was hit by a powerful earthquake measuring
6.3 on the Richter scale yesterday, toppling tall office
buildings and leaving at least 65 people dead.

This is the second time in six months the city was hit by
earthquake after the first, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale
which occurred in September last year.

"The quake tossed me several metres away from where I
stood. My legs were badly bruised, my shoes were torn but I
managed to hide under the table to avoid being hit by falling
objects," said the doctoral student of Canterbury University.
The situation at that moment was chaotic and he saw smoke
and debris everywhere, he said.

"Soon after I got out of the building, I didn`t know
where to go. I was very scared, especially upon seeing people
running around for safety and hearing sirens from police and
ambulance vehicles, and fire engines," said the father of two
who later joined hundreds of other victims at an open field in
Victoria Square to avoid the aftershocks.

"To get to Victoria Square, we have to wade through
sewage water flowing from burst pipes and walk barefoot and in
the process, sustain bruises...it was really tormenting," he
added.

Meanwhile, former associate editor of The Star daily, Hah
Foong Lian, who is pursuing her PhD in the city, said she
escaped unhurt.

"I am fine. Rattled and shaken by what happened but I am
fine. The house I am in, is still standing but just further
down the road, a woman was killed under a pile of rubble in a
book shop," she said in an email to Bernama.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 16:32

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