Those buildings are f***ed. It's one thing to see the damage on the news - the buildings were out of context and unrecognisabe - it's quite another to see a place you know well in such a state. Some of those buildings wouldn't have been survivable. It's very sobering; this isn't London or somewhere else where things happen all the time, this is Hemel Hempstead, where an old lady's stolen birdbath makes front page news (true).
You'd never guess from the mood of the town, but we have been so lucky, there was almost a terrible disaster on our doorstep.