The news kept coming in, one recount more alarming and shocking than the other. It had all started the day before in Kerman in Iran where an Earthquake with the magnitude of 7.7 had caused several thousands of deaths and several thousands were left injured. Shortly after that followed an Earthquake with the magnitude of 9.3 in Shiraz, the deadliest ever in Iran, taking the death tolls to several hundreds of thousands. The Earth had opened up at Sabzposhan and severe landslides together with the Earthquake had taken their toll on the region. The Earthquake then hit the region of Bandar Abbas, causing tidal waves along the coast.
In Dubai, the tremors were felt by the inhabitants although the radio signaled that there was nothing to fear. Shortly after this news came out, Dubai residents felt tremors shake the city. It seemed like the Earthquake that had started in Kerman was following a zig-zag pattern as the radio announced that another Earthquake had occurred in the capital, Abu Dhabi. The tremors were slight at first with perhaps a magnitude of less than 4 but soon the Dubai residents felt the city shaking with increasing tremors building up another larger Earthquake.
Slowly but surely the tremors increased. It all seemed as if the fault that had opened up in Iran was now continuing its way under the sea. The Dubai residents had run out of their homes as the tremors increased but with the havoc happening outside they wondered if they should go back to the safety of their homes. The skies were filled with helicopters that were taking the ruling family to safety. One wondered where that would be however as everywhere in the city there were recounts of buildings collapsing and the Earth opening up.
A news crew was busy filming the disaster in the air using a helicopter they had hired for the occasion. The level of destruction caused by the Earthquake was unimaginable. Several towers had simply caved in, some others had tilted over and some were split in the middle with the top parts falling off like a peeled orange. Several fires had been ignited everywhere as a result of the falling buildings and badly protected wirings. As the journalists watched, the beautiful Burj Khalifa’s external glass structure shattered into thousands of shards before the top of the building started toppling over.
It seemed like this was not the last of the problems though as they could see a tidal wave forming at the coastline. They watched horror-struck as residents across the coastline clambered to the top of their houses in a desperate move to be saved from the oncoming wave. Some of the journalists shut their eyes in prayer as the wave crashed on the shore, wiping out the entire areas of Jumeirah, Um Suqueim and Dubai Marina as it swept along the coast and made its way to the middle of Sheikh Zayed road. Hundreds of cars that had been jammed in the residents’ desperate attempt to flee the area were soon overpowered by the seething water that rocked them to and fro before casting them against the buildings that were toppling over.
The journalists in the helicopter cried helplessly although they were normally hardened men. They thought of some of their relatives down there whom they would never see again. Some had wives and children who had surely perished, if not drowning in the waters then probably under the falling towers as so many of them had fallen like a series of lego. They thought of how they had come up here to report on what they expected to be minor issues and get at least some sensationalist recounts. Nothing had prepared them for the extent of the disaster which had ensued.
When the tremors of the Earthquake and its aftershock had finally subsided, the center of the city was a lagoon with portions of buildings protruding here and there. The outskirts were reduced to a pile of rubble and in between lay a slushy landscape of debris. The towers had disappeared and the Burj Al Arab structure was leaning more than the tower of Pisa, with only its top part emerging from the waters. The Burj Khalifa looked similar to what it had looked like during its construction several years ago. The top of the building had fallen to the ground, a large part of the middle had caved in and all the glass windows had been shattered leaving it akin to a giant colosseum…