`Building was swinging like giant pendulum’

March 12th, 2011 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, March 12 (IANS) The building was “swinging like a giant pendulum”, said a woman who had gone to collect her children from a school here when the quake struck.

She added: “I could actually see my seven-year-old daughter crouched under a desk with her classmates”.

Naomi Van Holbutt-Kirk, a Briton, said that massive earthquake struck when she and other parents were about to collect their children from school.

“I could actually see my seven-year-old daughter crouched under a desk with her classmates… the building was swinging like a giant pendulum and I was just waiting for the sound of a crash from the adjacent building where my five-year-old son was still in his classroom,” she said.

“It did not collapse and the quake eventually stopped,” she told BBC.

An earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale hit the country Friday, spawning huge tsunami waves, some 10 metres high, that slammed northeastern Japan. An estimated 1,000 people have died in the disaster.

Naomi Van Holbutt-Kirk went on to say that she was waiting on the street when the next quake came, “which was very frightening and can only be likened to the feeling of riding a wave on the pavement”.

“Frightened mothers were screaming and crying, nobody knew where the safest place to be was and everyone was looking up at the shaking buildings… minutes later we were allowed into the building to collect our children.”

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