Melbourne earthquake: Shaken, not stirred

Amid the lockdown protests, Melbourne was hit by an earthquake this week that added to the chaos in the city. Dr. Binoy Kampmark shares his experience.

IT STARTED right after a news interview. It was quarter past nine on the morning of September 22. Still, its slightly thin surface foam is inviting to take a sip of brewed Turkish coffee. With the Australian city of Melbourne in its sixth lockdown, residents are weary and ravaged by regulations. The rising COVID-19 numbers are seemingly unavoidable.

Then there is an initially smooth movement of the floors, a slight, barely perceptible shaking of the walls of the apartment. Across City Road on the South Bank, part of the besieged Crown Casino building seemed to ripple, creating soft, shimmering waves on the glass surface. Melbourne was having its rarest experiences. earthquakes.

In a minute, it was gone. The alarms in the building complex had not gone off. Sprinklers were not activated. But the invaders were not taking any risks. Families rushed to the elevators with toys, blankets, and even a strange pillow, not considering this a risky prospect. Face masks were forgotten (remaining mandatory in Melbourne) and they sincerely apologized.

The porter, a grumpy but well-meaning Celtic beast, rushed to the front of the building. Although his face was masked, his forehead was wrinkled with concern. “I suggest you come back and stay in the lobby. If anything falls, it will kill you.” As a thought he added: “And no face mask can save you.”

Melbourne: A shame about the name

A migration followed. Within minutes, cafes across the city were overflowing with customers looking for their highly specialized Melbourne beers. Gossip was exchanged, rumors were passed.

Smartphone users decided on the magnitude of the quake: on a scale of 5.8. Location of epicenter: Alpine National Park, southeast of Mansfield, 10 kilometers deep. The numbers are adjusted accordingly. to the 5.8 earthquake two can be added: one records 4.0, the other 3.1.

The decoration room was large. “The strongest earthquake in Victoria since European settlement” came the grave words of a seismologist. anchors on ABC News The channel was baffled to the point of being horrified by the event.

Hundreds of videos and pictures flooded social media, with many mundane snaps, clippings and shots of swaying lights, swaying platforms, broken pottery and moving items. All pretty unprofessional for any experienced survivor, in the league of major earthquakes. In that respect, it’s not such a bad thing.

Sketchy amateur checks of the extent of the damage were done with tabloid haste. reports damaged buildings It began to float down Chapel Street. Historically the street has been known as a place to eat, drink and seek entertainment, although not too late. A scruffy passerby interviewed on national television gleefully observed: “everything happens in Chapel Street”. At the very least, the quarantine could have saved a few lives.

Melbourne anti-lockdown protests are a messy mess

Meanwhile, the police presence in the city seemed awe-inspiringly noisy in anticipation of vaccinations and curfews. protests. Last few days, violent meetings Threatened the offices of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Association (CFMEU).

The union took the position that the vaccines, in words a statement, “The only way to get rid of this epidemic” but he believes it is “personalized” reach a decision about their adoption. A number of union members scolded the CFMEU for not taking pitchfork for those calling for mandatory vaccination in the construction industry.

Protesters got more courage with the announcement Decision by the Victorian Government to shut down the construction industry in the city and other regional centers for 14 days. NS justification was given for this drastic action: insufficient compliance with public health directives.

Tim Pallas, Victoria’s Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, snarling:

“We’ve been clear: if you don’t follow the rules, we won’t hesitate to take action. We have seen widespread dissonance across the industry so we are taking steps to protect every Victorian.”

Sites that show they are complying with public health guidelines will be allowed to reopen.

The honchos in the movement wonder if there is an infiltration from what they describe with fluttering uncertainty as right-wing elements.

Melbourne architecture will not benefit from groupthink

Sally McManusSecretary of the Australian Trade Union Council (NEWS), he certainly thinks so Steve PurvinasFederal Secretary of the Union of Aeronautical Engineers philosophical:

“The anti-vaccine thinks the vaccinated are crazy, the vaccinated supporters think the anti-vaccine people are crazy. We represent all our members, no matter how crazy they are.”

The picture is more complex, as with such movements. NS Australian Financial Review most of the protesters ‘they were less like neo-Nazis and more like desperate men who felt they had little to lose’.

But the CFMEU has become a different creature over the decade, less friendly to left-wing, class-based litigation. His burly Victorian Secretary of State, John Setka, the company keeps with family circles and shop representatives of Croatian society, whose ties to the nationalist Right and its opposition to vaccination are known. Some of the marchers looking to fix the stubborn circle attributed the earthquake to the Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews. ‘Dan Andreas Mistake’ started gain traction Via Twitter’s sewers.

The earthquake left its mark, though it didn’t come in the form of loss of life and a massive reconstruction bill. Melbourne residents are anticipating aftershocks and have been warned to expect more, possibly for weeks or months. Seismologists themselves are in high demand.

A message from the Celtic beast that was distributed to all residents was forgiving:

It’s fine to have a strong drink even though it’s only 11 in the morning.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark He is a Cambridge Scholar and Independent Australian columnist and lecturer. RMIT University. You can follow Dr Kampmark on Twitter. @BKampmark.

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