Be prepared for the next tremor

A reader says the aftershock felt in the UAE this week should serve as a reminderto conduct emergency drills. Other topics: Pervez Musharraf, Margaret Thatcher and football fans.

Many people were evacuated from buildings in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday because of an aftershock from an earthquake in Iran. A reader says the tremor is a reminder of the need for emergency drills. Christopher Pike / The National
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I felt the tremor at Abu Dhabi Mall on Tuesday (High-rises evacuated amid quake tremors, April 10), and I would like to make some observations.

If ever such an alarming situation happens again, and instructions are given to evacuate, people should not prolong their stay within the premises by asking questions such as "When can I come back?", or continue with their meetings, coffee or telephone conversations.

They should leave immediately, taking the suggested route to the safest location in the open.

Equally important is that people should not rush towards the basement car park to move their cars out of the building.

This created chaos and confusion. I think the doors to the car park should have been blocked.

With the number of high-rises increasing, I think building owners and the civil defence authorities should conduct regular exercises to educate people how to act in such situations.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Agencies should look after maids

I am writing about 500 runaway maids turn to prostitution (April 7).

Recruitment agencies should do more to ensure that maids are not placed in homes where they are abused and overworked.

Teri Adams, Dubai

Thatcher's legacy remains mixed

Regarding your editorial A woman of principle (April 10), Margaret Thatcher was like the curate's egg - good in parts, terrible in others.

She stood up to the loonie leftie militants and upheld the islanders' right to self determination in the Falklands.

But she also defended the indefensible: General Augusto Pinochet and the killing fields in Cambodia, and tried to bring in the disastrously ill-advised poll tax.

She was the Iron Lady with feet of clay. Like many great leaders, Baroness Thatcher started out with the best of intentions but overstayed her welcome when she stopped listening to the people.

Peter Nixon, Abu Dhabi

I remember the good old days in the UK before Margaret Thatcher.

There were regular power blackouts, non-stop strikes that crippled industry, ineffective nationalised industries because everyone had a "job for life", seriously bad and aggressive customer service, and everywhere closed at 5.30pm sharp.

In those days it was Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and Jim Callaghan who polarised the country, but thankfully we have forgotten them and the mayhem they caused.

Mark Mogridge, Dubai

The passing of Mrs Thatcher was a great loss to the UK.

Her iron will brought many reforms to British politics as well as controversies.

In spite of divided opinions, she was known around the world.

K Ragavan, India

Some football fans should stay away

I am writing about A match thrown into disarray (April 7), concerning the linesman who was hit by an object at the Al Ain-Al Ahli game. It seems to me that football brings out the worst in some fans.

Some people are just too passionate and shouldn't go to the stadium.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai

Musharraf has the right to run

I refer to Pakistan court calls Musharraf to answer allegations of treason (April 9).

None of the politically motivated cases brought against former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf have been heard or adjudicated so far.

There is no judgment against him that renders him disqualified as a political candidate.

It is self-contradicting that even the Election Commission rejected his nomination papers in a few constituencies while approving them elsewhere.

The farce of it all is that the chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, appointed himself to hear the case after he had made a public statement seeking someone to file a petition against Mr Musharraf.

When Mr Musharraf took power, the same Mr Chaudhry was part of the 17-member bench that duly validated his action, saying it was "in the best interest of Pakistan".

To charge him now for treason is a cruel joke.

Mohamad Hamza, Dubai