Christchurch earthquake. Updated

maree By maree, 2nd Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

This is my view on the Christchurch earth quake in New Zealand, survival, and amazing results from house to house. People in turmoil, Heroes born, support and achievements.

Christchurch NZ Earthquake.

Thought I'd give my views on the christchurch earthquake.

Amazing, I was born in Gisborne, I was bought up at school with earthquake drills.
Jumping under the table for safety. etc.
Experienced a few growing up. Thought I had experienced them all. I had no fear of earthquakes, I saw no need to worry in antisipation of when another would hit. It was just a common occurance in life.

Not this one tho, Saturday the 4th of September 2010.
We were awoken in total confusion, the sound was so deafening, I couldn't comprehend what was happening, my mind was in overdrive, you couldn't even get out of bed, I tried, ended up flat on the floor.
Legs like jelly. Didn't help that I have a stoma, grazed my knee, wacked my tummy.

My partner yelled at me what are you doing, So I sort of leaped back into bed, forgot all about my stoma, and threw my arms around my partner. We just stared at each other for what seemed like for ever . In reality was only around 25 seconds.
It seemed to go on for ever. A true living nightmare. Yet awake.

We sort of stumbled down the hall way, the noise was so loud, it sounded like a 1000 mice were running through the walls, the stove was shaking and growling as if possessed.
Everything was so unreal, still in a dazz trying to work out what was happening around us.
We were both looking at each other in amazement, as things were shaking, and sirens were skrieking. Yet amazingly, there was very little damage. just a few fallen glasses and cds.
We just stared in horror at our gorgeous plasma 40 inch TV waiting for it to tumble.
Thank god it didnt.
Yet we were to afraid to go and hold onto it, incase the ceiling would fall down on us. We made our way to the back door, thinking that was the safest place.
I grabbed my smokes, and puffed away. Stretched out in the doorway, no way was I going to move, while my partner, calmly started wandering around the back yard, trying to work it all out.

Their was a strange silence and stillness, No birds could be heard, usually we wake to the most gorgeous sounds of birds outside as we are surrounded by amazing trees.
The sky was crazy shades, their was like a rolling motion underneath me as I sat on my arse. All I could do was stare out, mind totally blank, watching my partner in sheer horror and fright.

All the water and power was off, but we thought no worries, we can just walk down to the end of the road and get some water from the river.
Their was no way I was shifting from my safe little place.
I just left it, to my partner as he searched for torches and a radio, we could put batteries in, that obviously I had put away in such a safe place, turned out to be swallowed up within the house, memorie was a blank as to their location.
Thank god my partner had his thinking cap on, so I sat their listening to civil emergency reports blasting from the car sterio. Total disbelief.

Forced my self to venture away from my safe place.

After a couple off, or should I say, the truth be known, after a lot of cigerettes, I tryed really hard to to get my nerves together, It took all my strength, I had to really pull deep within, collect all my courage, to move from my safe haven. Their in our door way.

We had no way of contact, with our family or friends, panic started to seize me, as to other's well being. Survival mode kicked in.
So my partner and I sat down and decided what we needed to do.
First on the agenda, was to see if we could get to his elderly mother's. As she was on her own.
So we grabbed buckets to collect water in. Ventured down to the river, to our amazement all the water was gone, it was just a slushy mess. No water would we be collecting that day.

So on we went to Plan two. Call into the shop to get supplies. What an amazing shop keeper, he had one dim light shining bright, so we were guided to his counter, stock was thrown all over the floor. At least we could see to step over it.
You will never meet such a kind helpful man, telling people to help them selves.
He had the F Pos and light rigged up to his car battery, genius I say.
He knew of my ill health, so when I asked if he had water, to my astonishment, he replied, he had a boar out side, he now was thank ful he didn't full it in.
Then what a sweetheart, he even carried it to the car. Buckets full of water, we were on our way, next stop, My partner's mother.

We drove around the corner to be confronted with houses demoloshed, roads torn up, such an amazing contrast to what we had just left.
Total dispair. rolling sensation, as we drove slowly on. People standing outside, confused, not aware of their environment around them. Something out of an old horror movie, it reminded me of.
Then amongst it all, was the roughest, oldest house you can imagine, still standing. Painting falling off. Run down and still holding strong.
It still amazes me, how areas are left untouched, then just a few blocks away, they are still without sewerage and power. Make shift toilets clutter the curb sides.
We are so lucky, it hit so early in the morning and there were few casuality's. I hate to even think and dwell on what would of been if it had struck later.
As our Central City was hit really hard. Cafe's and dwelling places, old shops etc, all need to be demolished. We would of lost 1000's if it had been a different hour in time.
For parts of building's were scattered, broken glass was sent flying, bricks had fallen.
Our whole inner city in in turmoil. So many parts are still cornered off.

We have had over 3000 after shocks now, as they have just become a way of life.
I ignore little 5 point aftershocks, when it stirs up my sister, as she wasnt here in the big one, thats what I call it. I try to explain to her how huge and frightening it was. Yet I'm still lost for words, my tongue becomes stuck, words just can't discribe it.
I took photo's, in disbelief, It will take years to recover.
My cat cry's now, she has never done that before.
I am just thankful we all survived it.

Consequences: Life will never be the same.

My heart is heavy, as I listen to everyone's stories.
My day involves sitting at the computor surfing and typing. Listening to the talk back.

I don't venture far, due to my health. Depression sets in some time's, then I listen to the anguish in other people's voices, and I reflect back to how lucky I am.

People were still living under their kitchen tables, weeks later, would you believe, one women was to terrified to move from what she had made her safe place.. She had her cell phone, water and blankets, all with her, under the table as she spoke, near in tears to the talk back host.
I couldn't stop tears streaming down my face, that day, for ever branded into my memory are people stories I have listened to on the radio.
The elderly are to scared to go out, they are just waiting for another big one.
I find it so hard to comprehend, so long after the big one, the fear within so many others still.
I feel I just have to suck it in and continue with life, otherwise you'd just go nutty with worry.
I don't think like a lot of the other's, I just sit still at the desk, when another aftershock hits. I sway with the motion, I am alert and ready to rush, but I have had it, with all the jerking on my stomach, I really feel lousy and unwell. I am so sick and tired of it all.
I just wish the hospital would ring, so I can have my reversal.

A city in turmoil. Insurance, People thought they were okay, but once their insurance expires, there is no coverage, listening to talk back. A lady says it will take 3 years to rebuild, her insurance will be cut off in June. Landlords are being told houses have to be demolished, yet they are only getting a 40% discount from their rates. They are losing thousands monthly on having no rent returns.
People won’t return to the city, businesses are going under. I can only imagine how many will disappear in the near future.
Explosions occured when power was returned. So many businesses are affected.
People who thought they were covered and paid their insurance on time for over 20 years, thinking they were covered for loss of earnings with their businesses have been told, they can't make a claim as their is no damage to their building, They can still open. They are so being screwed.
Hello the roads are closed, People are being asked to stay away from town as they access the damage. Lively hoods here are going down the drain.
People won't venture back into town.
I still here the voice of one owner saying how he had never had a day of trade with no sales. it’s now his sixth day, to no avail.

university students, offen called lazy and unruly banned together, heroes were born, as they went about helping the elderly and any one in need.
A whole new outlook has been born towards the thinking of students now.

I could go on and on, but that can be done another day, as now I am weary and sore.
My head thumps as I recall.


Aftershocks, Christchurch, Earthquake, New Zealand, Survival, True Story

Meet the author

author avatar maree
Due to major surgery in 2009, I was forced to shut shop after 20 years. Determined not to feel sorry for myself I decided to swing the situation around to my benefit.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?