The wind was blowing outside. Now and then they could hear crashes which suggested a tree falling down or building collapsing. The group of people cluttered together in an office in Muscat were expressing their fears.
‘If this building collapses, we’re all gone’ one man said.
They cluttered still closer.
There were about thirty-five people in all, of different nationalities. They hadn’t been able to get out of the building before the cyclone ‘Gunu’ hit Muscat. As a result, they were trapped in the flood. They looked out of the window. The water was rising. They were now standing on the third floor, the highest floor. Even there the water seemed so close.
‘Maybe the helicopter will come soon’ somebody said hopefully.
Everyone remained silent. Even though they knew that the helicopter couldn’t reach them, they prayed, hoped.
Minutes passed. They could do nothing but watch. There was no one in the streets. Except for them everyone who lived in flats and houses near the sea had been moved to a safer place.
‘I think this is a complete waste. We might as well be useful before we die’ another man said. He took his mobile phone and dialled a number.
Lakhs of viewers around the world listened to the conversation between the news reporter and a man who was caught in the cyclone.
‘Hello, this is BBC News. How is Oman?
‘Hello! This is Prakash, calling from Muscat. My fellow officers and I am trapped in a building in Wadi, Muscat’ Kindly arrange some rescue!’
‘Yes there is a helicopter coming.’
‘The wind is now blowing at about 200 Km/hr. The water has risen up to 2nd floor.’
‘Prakash, is it still raining’? BBC News reader.
‘Well sorry, I think the line has disconnected. Any way, we’ll proceed with the next news of the day…Prakash tried to call BBC again. But the line was dead.
‘Oh!, well, never mind!’ he said.
He looked out of the window. The water kept on rising. Soon it would reach them. Maybe…
Just maybe, the helicopter would come.
Everyone started fidgeting nervously. The building was shaking slightly; or was it their imagination?
Suddenly the building gave an enormous shake. A woman screamed. Their hope, however, would not die. Again and again they said to themselves that the rescue party – the helicopter would come soon.
Suddenly, with a great tremble the building collapsed.
An hour later, when the helicopter finally arrived(after trying to fight the cyclone) they saw no one; just a ruined building which had been an office a few hours ago. It was the reminder of the hopes and fears of a group of people who were no more…
Malavika S. Kumar
Our Own English High School
United Arab Emirates