Thursday, February 24, 2011


How can it be that we are out here carrying on almost as usual when there are so many people who died so close to here? So far the authorities have only released the names of four of the dead, but there have been almost 100 bodies recovered, with many more missing. Some names are coming out of those who are definitely missing in the rubble, and as time goes by, hopes are fading. Many of the bodies being extracted are unrecognisable from the crush injuries. We got a distressed call from our old neighbors who had a mess at their place so we went into town to help them out. A garage from a neighboring property (not our one) had collapsed and fallen onto the roof at the corner of their house and squished into their metal garage, compacting it a bit. Plus a whole lot of water and silt had pushed up under the driveway and made a big mess. I helped tidy up the house and then did lots of sweeping and scraping to clean up the driveway. Johnny helped to temporarily seal the hole in the roof and moved stuff around in the garage. On the way home we saw the Knox Church, where we used to live (weird I know, but there was an apartment in the church hall). We were married there, and now it is a skeleton. We drove past a big tank thing that the army had blocking the road. The central city is cordoned off.

I think Johnny will be back at school on Monday. I'm not sure if we will be at my school because the sewerage and water may not be sorted. The Selwyn District Council is now advising us to reduce water usage (including limiting showers and flushing) and to boil all drinking water. We're lucky at home because we've still got water and electrical services plus the toilets are working. Not sure where the pipes end up though, which is why we have to reduce waste water output. We've got plenty of food because the Lincoln supermarket was open today, plus we've got heaps of veges. Fortunately I was able to get my paws on some chocolate today. Oh, the relief.

We've been waiting anxiously to hear the names of the people killed as we don't know if we know anyone. The Crafty Neighbour arrived in tears this evening because one of the (most likely) deceased is someone she knows pretty well and she just heard. I'm sure there will be many more moments like that. I think most of the people I know directly in Christchurch are accounted for, but you never know. Not being originally from Christchurch means I don't have an extensive list of acquaintances, and most of them were safely in schools.

It is so hard to believe that so much of our beautiful central city is in ruins, and that there are so many dead people. I could walk into the city from where I work and there were water bottles sitting on desks in my classroom that didn't tip over. How much were the buildings in the central city weakened by the earlier earthquakes?

Hopefully I'll have something less earthquaky to report next time. Right now it is all we are thinking about.

Ps. Fortunately we are sleeping very well- most likely because we've already got so used to aftershocks after the thousands we've had over the past few months. Some people are reporting that the people of Canterbury are having "no sleep" due to the aftershocks.


Anonymous said...

Hello there,

Glad you are still ok. Good to be able to help your old neighbours, I had heard that that part of the city was affected and were glad you had moved! Brick houses seems to have not coped well...I saw Knox Church on tv and am happy you are not living there either!

I have been wondering how much hidden damage the last big one did to those big buildings as well...why did they crumble so easily...then buildings like the Art Gallery...all is mystifying.

Take care,

Love to you both and a special kiss form Stellar to Poppy xxx

Sally said...

Hi down there, so glad to know you are all OK. We have been really worried, and the waiting to hear the names of the deceased is horrible. I am sure I will know someone from school or Mum and Dad will. It is like Pike River all over again, just horrible to be so far away and not able to help.
Love to you all,
Sally and family in Taupo