Book: Earthquake

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Earthquake: Fast Forward Series

Author: Nicholas Harris
Publisher: Orpheus Books

Thousands of years ago. A coastal village in Japan thousands of years ago. Bearded hunters and fishermen witness earthquake. Landslides in mountains.

A hundred years ago. The village has become a town with port. People busy themselves with their daily lives.

A few years ago. The same scene, but a modern city street scene. It is late afternoon. Animals are restless. Weather is heavy and humid and strange lights in the sea fog have been seen by fishermen, who caught no fish at all.

A few minutes later. The quake begins. We are inside an apartment when this happens. Whole building is jolted violently, tipping up floor furniture. People (and pets) thrown across room.

A few seconds later. In town centre, cladding falls off modern steel-frame buildings. Bridges bend, train derailed. One section of overpass motorway collapses. Electricity transformers fall from their poles and their wires spark.

A few seconds later. In the flat rice fields around town, the ground is undulating, agricultural workers are thrown about. Muddy water fountains appear in the fields, underground water tank or septic tank rises up above ground. Road cracks open.

A few seconds later. Landslides start in the mountains. Whole slopes give way including tall trees. These fall on and engulf houses in the suburbs of the town.

Minutes later. The quaking has ceased. A rescue attempt is launched. People scramble up the rubble and pull out survivors from underneath.

About half an hour later. A massive tsunami wave crashes on to the shore. We see boats crashing around, dock buildings, cranes etc. knocked about by the force of the water. Armourstone flying about. Cars on quayside carried away.

Later that night, fire breaks out in the city, (brought on by tsunami damage). Fire rages, while people draped in blankets look on.

The following morning. A panoramic view of the devastation: buildings leaning over or totally collapsed; fire damage; twisted railway lines; collapsed elevated roadways; waterpipes severed and leaking; severely cracked roads; tent city.

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