Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yesterday, the most powerful Earthquake to strike the UK in five years damaged buildings in Folkestone, Kent, in southern England. According to the British Geological Survey, the epicentre was seven and a half miles off the coast of Dover. They also rated it as 4.3 on the Richter Scale. I know, that doesn't sound like much, but after all, Britain is a small country. I didn't feel a thing. The first I heard of the quake was when I was driving home from filming at Pinewood Studios. The quake was mentioned on the radio news. Ominously, the traffic signs on the M25, London Orbital Motorway, displayed the message, "Major incident at Folkestone," then advised drivers to take an alternate route to Dover. Seeing that message, I didn't immediately connect it with the Earthquake. I worried that terrorists had attacked a ferry terminal, or something. You know those poxy terrorists, they are always up to something.
Racing home, I put on a TV news channel, as soon as I walked in. As it happened, BBC News was the first one I happened to get to. I looked for a story about Folkestone. Oh for Pete's sake! It was just the earthquake. I alternated between BBC News and Sky News. Wind blown reporters scoured the town of Folkestone, looking for damaged buildings. Some chimneys fell, a couple of ceilings collapsed, and the odd brick plummeted to the ground with a resounding thud. Survivors were interviewed, including one housefrau who attempted to catalog every misplaced chimney pot and brick in the neigborhood. Actually, everyone was a survivor as there were no deaths. One woman was taken to the hospital, which gave the ambulance crews something to do. Sky News had a helicopter shot of damaged chimney pots. How exciting! I fell asleep in front of the TV. When I woke up, they were still showing the same footage. All in all, it didn't seem anything like the 70s disaster film, "Earthquake." Eventually, I turned off the news and watched the remainder of the first "Austin Powers" film, already in progress. Shagadelic, baby!



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