I’ve written before about James who is an actor and also a serial entrepreneur who did the original development of our original Canadian payroll system years ago.

Here is his an excerpt from his gripping account of being in Haiti during the earthquake.  You can read his full post here:

I walked onto the roof of my building to read a book after I woke up from a nap. The sunset was gorgeous so I went to find Andrew so he could see it. I found him sitting in a rocking chair just outside the dining room in the first building. We headed up to watch the sunset and were joined by three Canadian doctors. Roughly 10 minutes later, around 5:30, the earthquake hit.

The entire building started shaking violently and the Canadian doctors fell to the floor. The first thing I thought was ‘Haiti doesn’t get earthquakes’ – a fraction of a second later I decided that was irrelevant and I didn’t want to be on the building anymore. I sprinted down a short flight of stairs, jumped a railing and dove for a palm tree. Sometime during that sprint there was a sickening crunch as the first building (dining hall, reception etc) pancaked to the ground. Haitian buildings are typically large slabs of concrete supported by cinder-block walls. When the cinder blocks were shaken so they could no longer support the weight of the concrete, the heavy concrete roofs / floors simply came crashing down.

The whole thing lasted somewhere between 5 and 8 seconds. Once earth stopped shaking and I shimmied down the palm tree and checked if Andrew was ok. Next, I sprinted around the collapsed building yelling for anyone who was inside. All that came back was silence. The two-story building was now between 2 and 7 feet tall in various places. Half an hour later I would have been eating dinner inside. A few hours later we determined there were certainly 4 people inside, maybe more.

Tags: James Tamplin, Events, Earthquakes, Haiti