Crews called in to help quake victims
Emergency services in Ashford help with earthquake damage.
WHILE Ashford largely escaped damage following Saturday’s earthquake, the tremor was certainly felt across the borough.
Homes shook and roofs rumbled as the earthquake, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, struck at 8.18am.
Ashford’s tallest building, Charter House, was evacuated after call centre staff on the eighth floor felt it shake.
The William Harvey Hospital was standing by to put in place an emergency plan should there be casualties but did not have to do so.
One woman in her 30s with a minor head injury and neck pain was taken to the hospital.
Fire crews from Ashford, initially unsure of the nature of what they were dealing with, were sent to Folkestone to help clear the debris and carry out safety checks.
Station commander Lee Rose said: “Originally they thought it was a gas explosion or some sort of terrorism. It took us some time to ascertain it was a natural disaster.
“We had no reports of damage in Ashford but in Folkestone it was a scene of destruction.
“In some roads chimneys had suffered some sort of damage and there were cracks up walls.
“The crews were surveying premises which looked as if they had structural damage.”
Ashford Borough Council has also lent support.
So far Shepway council has received reports that up to 1,500 homes in the town may have been damaged, with some 50 properties classed as dangerously unsafe.
Ashford Council spokesman Rob Hustwayte said: “We have not received any reports of damage to buildings in the Ashford borough.
“Staff from our building control team are working with Shepway’s building control officers as well as fire and police crews to try to make buildings and roads as safe as possible.”
Turn to page 41 for our special 16-page supplement on the earthquake.
Originally they thought it was a gas explosion or some sort of terrorism
Crews remove pots and make the area safe