I can’t recall those intense moments when I cried for my life amidst the cataclysm, as I stumbled out of the house,
tripping on a cord and landing on my face.
Cracks appeared on the floor while the earth shook, but then the earthquake stopped, leaving everything in silence.
Struggling to my feet, I saw a city reduced to dust, my nose bled, my arm throbbed and the radio appeared by my side.
It must have fallen there when I ran outside fearing for my life.
On switching it on, I heard only static, the noise joining the anarchy around me.
People wandered the streets like zombies full of mud, but then I saw a woman in her nightdress, looking up at the sky, her
clothes full of dirt and blood.
“It’s the end of the world,” she said.
On following her pointing finger, I saw the northern lights shining amidst the clouds like a staircase to heaven.
“It’s Armageddon,” she said.
It had started to rain, the buildings disappearing under the fog, while thunder echoed around us. The woman had gone away,
when I looked back, leaving me alone with my fate.
The noise of people running and screaming brought me back to reality, as someone shouted something.
"I lost my baby," a woman said.
Then she coughed blood, before fainting on the mud, the rain cleansing her soul. I thought she had died of pain after losing
her child in the quake.
On moving past the bodies lying on the floor, I saw a child sitting next to a pile of clothes.
"I'll find a doctor," I said.
"Where?" he asked.
Not knowing what to say, I walked away from the tragedy, a voice in the radio interrupting my reverie.
“Here H.K.5 A.C.1….H.K.5 A.C.1…Attention! Attention! A terrible earthquake has destroyed most of the city
of Palmira. Attention! We must mobilize all the help available: firemen, police, the army, doctors and nurses. Attention!
This is an urgent call…
“Hello! Hello! We’ve received your message H.K.5. A.C.1. Here is H.K.9. D.G.U. here, H.K.9 D.G.U. The quake has
destroyed most of the city of Cali and we are the only human beings left around here. Attention! We ask everybody to help
the cities of Cali and Palmira….
“Attention! Attention! This is voice Bogotá. We are using the equipment we managed to salvage from the tragedy. Attention
all the country. The capital has been destroyed by an earthquake. Attention! I repeat. Bogotá has been destroyed by a quake
and we need urgent help.”
I listened to requests for help from all parts of the country while people moved in a trance.
A woman went past me with a dead child in her arms, leaving a trace of blood on the floor.
I never thought this would happen while eating my breakfast an eternity ago. Our lives had been transformed in a few moments
of death and desperation.
I heard the voice in the radio, echoing around me.
“The sea has flooded most of the ports of the world,” the presenter said. “The map of the continents has
changed after the tragedy. New York, Tokyo, London and many other cities have disappeared, leaving an angry sea battering