Thursday, March 22, 2007


Today I had to abandon my class at the university for a new reason - a military arms dump 10 miles away started exploding, and as the explosions grew in intensity and began to shake the building and rip out the mosquito nets on the windows, the staff and students universally decided to evacuate the building.

The streets were full of people streaming away from the explosion - but later on we saw on the TV news, the neighbourhood of Malhazine where the arms dump is located. It is covered in a mushroom cloud filled with tracer ammo flying in all directions. Nina's family, who live in the next neighbourhood along, have all evacuated on foot, to a relative's house 3 miles further away from the explosion.

No reports of fatalities yet, but the houses near the dump appeared to have been flattened. Meanwhile, burglars will be having a field day as they clear out the abandoned houses near the blast zone.

Interestingly, the state broadcaster, TVM, sent a camera crew to the area right at the height of the explosions, and allowed it to broadcast direct. So the usual censorship and sycophantic editing didn't apply. The reporter, sitting in the back of a pickup as it fled the blast zone, was quite clear in her disgust at the authorities for letting this happen. Because the sad fact is, there were minor explosions of a similar nature a few months ago, again apparently caused by a heatwave. Of course, the responsible minister promised to "take measures", but in true Single Party Style, sweet F*ck All was actually done, and now the people are suffering.

Here is a photo taken from the university campus at the start of the explosions (before the worst). Remember that the campus is at least 10 miles from the dump!

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