By Andrés Rozada
Coming up next, a video with shocking images of yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Mexico city.
This video shows the enormous destruction caused by the earthquake, which registered 8.5 on the Richter scale. These images were found in the rubble of one of the major buildings torn down yesterday in Mexico city. The video and the live voice of the cameraman give us a second by second narrative of the earthquake. This video gives us an understanding of why this terrible event has already claimed more lives than the earthquake of 1985.
We must warn you in advance that what you will see and hear may be shocking for some in the audience. We decided to show the video because of its informative value, but we urge you to exercise caution. Let’s go the video.
“Is the camera on? I think so. The little red light is on. Good. I am recording.”
The video starts with a brief view of the street, with rapid, shaky movements: the sidewalk, the entrance to a white Art-Déco building, a marble staircase. One can hear screaming, car alarms in the background.
“You have to leave! Now! We’re evacuating!” The video flips horizontal, stopping briefly on the stressed face of a guard wearing a yellow helmet, shouting in a loudspeaker. The narrator says something impossible to understand, the image breaks down in abrupt movements. The guard’s shouting in the background:
“Go back! Go back! We have to evacuate! It’s falling down!”
The video stops on the ceiling, an enormous chandelier is swinging back and forth. Breaking down. Crystal and metal pieces are crashing to the ground. The sound of breaking glass can be heard, mixed with screams all around. The narrator – and cameraman – says with a surprisingly calm voice:
“I am inside the Palace of Fine-Arts. I sneaked in so you could see the destruction from within. It’s been shaking non-stop for over a minute now. I’m gonna try and go to the main hall to film the stained glass roof.”
The video moves again, climbing stairs to a corridor half blocked by a fallen marble column. The narrator says:
“There is someone trapped under the column, but I can’t stop to help, I hope you understand. Somebody has to shoot this.”
At the end of the corridor, the video takes us to the main hall. The disaster is plain to see. Several bodies are lying on the marble floor under a mantle of bits and pieces of crystal and lead. The camera pans slowly upwards, aiming at the stained glass ceiling.
Crystal of all colours is raining down. The noise is deafening. The immense stained glass ceiling is breaking down. The half-moon still up won’t last long. The narrator’s voice can be heard, shouting above the din:
“I hope the video will make it! It’s the best thing I ever shot!”
The remaining part of the ceiling crumbles. Above the noise, one can hear a scream, strangely enough, a scream of intense emotion, not a scream of terror.
Translator’s note: four years ago, to-day, we lost our son-in-law, Andrés Rozada. I must confess, the passing of time does not make it easier. Andrés, beyond a wonderful and unique human being, was a talented architect and writer. He wrote many a fantastic story in Spanish. Most set in Mexico City. The above tells of major earth quake in the City some time in the future. Sketches (c) Iván Zaragoza. Our daughter Virginie put together some of Andrés’ best stories in Spanish in a book published two years ago under the title: “Historias de un plomero.” Stories of a plummer. Andrés, though an architect, called himself a ‘plummer’. Humour at its best. “King Quake”, as drawn above is another story by Andrés Rozada which I already posted
We miss you, Andrés.