Published: 10:08, 03 May 2017
The Salvation Army reminded residents of the help it provided during the Folkestone earthquake 10 years ago, when it took in evacuated families.
The Canterbury Road branch opened its doors on Friday to mark the anniversary and to highlight the services it offers.
People were able to reminisce over a cup of tea and a biscuit during the open morning.
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On Saturday, April 28, 2007, the town was the worst affected after the ground rumbled in a quake that measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
Only one person was hurt, but the Blackbull Road and Canterbury Road areas were littered with debris and fallen chimney pots.
About 100 people were evacuated from their homes by Kent Fire and Rescue Services and taken to the town’s Salvation Army base.
Many families living in the surrounding roads spent the weekend in the hall – which was unaffected – until it was safe to return to their own properties.
Major Mark Rose was the corps officer at Folkestone’s Salvation Army at the time.
He said: “It was a Saturday morning and I was on my way to the church for our prayer meeting when the earthquake hit.
“As I got there, people were already turning up.
“We didn’t see any serious injuries thankfully, but people were suffering some degree of shock.
“Our role was to provide a rest centre, but we were also able to sit quietly with those who were a bit shaken to offer emotional support.”
Captain Peter West, an emergency response officer from the Salvation Army at the time, said: “Everyone was trying to escape. There were tailbacks of cars trying to get up to the roundabouts.
“It was a typical disaster scene, people were coming in and asking for shelter so we just got on with it really.”
Mayor of Folkestone, Cllr Martin Salmon, said: “Time moves on but there are significant things that happen in your town and it is good to remember them and the people that helped on that day and afterwards.”
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