St Albans MP caught in Bangladesh earthquake
PUBLISHED: 12:01 23 September 2011
ST ALBANS MP Anne Main has spoken of her fear after being caught up in a devastating earthquake in Bangladesh at the weekend.
The Conservative MP was taking part in a social action project in Sylhet when the ’quake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck on Sunday evening.
Mrs Main was in her hotel with other members of the party who were also on the trip at the time of the disaster.
She said: “None of us expected to be caught in the biggest earthquake that Bangladesh has seen in the last 40 years.
“The building shook, the lights went out and it was a very scary experience for the team; even the local people were shocked by the magnitude of the quake.
“Our hotel was built to withstand such earthquakes, but it was still a very scary experience.”
Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, acted quickly to lead the team out of the hotel when the quake hit.
He said: “The earthquake made the entire 20-storey structure wobble violently. I ordered everyone out and we did not return until we established where the epicentre was.
“Bangladesh is 20 years overdue for ‘a big one’ but thankfully this was not it. Nevertheless, it was a dramatic experience for the entire team and a reminder of the importance in providing assistance to communities in this part of the world.”
Despite the shock, the team managed to complete the project they had set out to do, which was to renovate a school in one of the most deprived areas of the town, as well as a number of other projects which had been organised a few months ago. Sylhet is twinned with the St Albans constituency.
Anne continued: “I am very pleased that Bangladesh has been chosen for this action aid project, as it is a place very close to my heart given the links to my constituents in St Albans and the UK.”