The Lisbon Earthquake

The Kathmandu Earthquake in April 2015 is of our worst experiences ever!

… we we’re at Tings when it happened. On the top floor – in our common room & guest kitchen. We heard it before we felt the first tremors. Then everything around us were chaos and threw us to the floor where we took shelter under our dining table. It felt like forever – but lasted only for a few minutes. Then silence!


My first tweet after the EQ – telephones were useless.


We we’re pretty focused and concentrated when the tremors stopped. Less than 1 hr after the first quake I was down town helping the Embassies searching for Scandinavians.

It was bad – so we started immediately to plan how to get through the next days or weeks – how to take care of all our guests and our staff – some of them had families at the epicenter who needed help asap. We needed all the essentials:  Food, water, electricity, shelter, medicine etc. 

Opposite most other foreigners living in Kathmandu we decided to stay in town with our staff and help our guests getting out of the country. We ended up hosting more than 50 people at Tings and cooking for the >200 who had shelter at the Danish Embassy.

These days we’re actually the worst…


The first week we slept (or tried to) fully dressed – including Dr Martens Boots & our Emergency Backpacks – looking at a glass of water so we could rush for shelter when the first tremors showed up on the water’s surface.

All these tremors from after shocks made us mental with fear.



Only 5% of Kathmandu was demolished – so the physical damages was limited. We blogged about the situation the following weeks on Tings Kathmandu


Eventually the whole experience had a happy ending.

Tings Kathmandu had no damages at all. All staff were fine. And within 5 days our last guest got on a plane back home to New Zealand – we’re still in touch with several of the guests we lived with during that week 😉


BBC PODCAST LOGOGreat Lisbon Earthquake: Witness

On All Saints Day 1755, the Portuguese city of Lisbon was hit by a triple disaster – an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a fire.

One of the most splendid cities in Europe suffered massive damage and thousands of people were killed.

The disaster also led to debate across Europe about whether earthquakes were a natural phenomenon or a message from God.

Witness brings together accounts by British survivors of the earthquake, and hears from Edward Paice, author of Wrath of God – the Great Lisbon Earthquake.

From BBC World Service


We didn’t know we always will carry the fear with us.

Sunday we went shopping at Continente in Expo. Our nearest Hypermarket.

I was waiting just outside the chasiers while Annette was paying when I suddenly felt the tremors right under my feet… I rushed to the nearest huge pillar for shelter and was almost shouting to Annette when I saw the sign: The Oriente Metro Station – the tremors came from the trains below me 🙂

I felt like a stupid fool – but couldn’t help it. So I just smiled at joked about it…after all isn’t it funny that we live in a city where almost every step we take reminds of an Earthquake – the big one that washed most of Lisbon away back in 1755… LOL

This morning I was looking for a Jazz Podcast on BBC when I suddenly found myself on a page about The Lisbon Earthquake…It’s called Witness!!!

Being a kind of witness myself I took it as a sign to share my story – and uploaded the 10 minutes podcast.

Actually its very interesting – and a very good introduction to a part of Lisbon’s history you get reminded about almost everywhere you go in down town.



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