Ex-pat tells of shock over Tsunami

The naval base where Phil and Rebecca Quinn (below) and their son Daniel live in Maura, Brunei
The naval base where Phil and Rebecca Quinn (below) and their son Daniel live in Maura, Brunei

A FORMER Wiganer has told of her shock after being alerted to a potential ‘acid rain’ fallout as a result of the devastation in Japan.

Rebecca Quinn, who is originally from Shevington, has lived on a Naval base in Maura at the tip of Brunei on the island of Borneo for the past eight months.

Although more than 2,000 miles away from Japan, Brunei is situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire – a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – and following the Nuclear Power Station meltdown in Fukushima, there are now fears that there could be further devastating effects such as acid rain.

The authorities have been quick to play down people’s concerns, insisting they are unfounded rumours.

Rebecca said: “I am concerned with regards to what is happening at the Japanese nuclear power stations and all the talk of acid rain.

“This may just be scaremongering but several children are absent from school in my son’s class for fear of any rain which they believe could be harmful.

“I am also worried as how far is actually safe from Japan and how far the rain clouds can travel?”

Rebecca, 37, lives with her husband, Phil, 39, who teaches in the Armed Forces, and their son Daniel eight.

She first heard about the Japanese tsunami from friends in the UK.

She said: “I was out with friends in Brunei, who received calls on their mobile phones from frantic parents in the UK as they were very worried after seeing what had happened on the news and the devastation the tsunami had caused in Japan.

“At the time Daniel was playing in a canoe in the sea with friends.

“I was still very calm at this stage as I thought Brunei was sheltered and Malaysia and the Philippines might be affected, but one of my friends who I was having dinner with had a young daughter on the beach.

“She went immediately to collect her and was told the beach had been cleared by the military.”

Rebecca said: “When I went to bed that night, the Philippines had just downgraded the warning.

“There was never any talk of an evacuation, and it appears that my family and friends were more concerned than I was.

“Despite what has happened, and my heart goes out to the victims of this terrible disaster, I love living by the sea and the tsunami has not changed my opinion whatsoever.

“It is a terrible, terrible tragedy and I hope and pray that nobody else has to suffer from the after-effects of this devastating natural disaster.”