Crews called in to help quake vic­tims

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Kirsty Parkin

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

Pic­ture: Paul Den­nis pd1196024

Crews re­move pots and make the area safe

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