Earthquake strike's. February the 22nd 2011

maree By maree, 13th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

This is a true event.
February the 22nd 2011.
The day the earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand struck.
How it killed friends, changed my life. My thought's and view's on dealing with the situation, plus photo's I have taken.
It has taken me two months to get back onto the internet and relocate.

Destruction lurking.

Where was I at 5 minutes to 1, February the 22nd 2011.

A date I shall never forget, forever etched into my brain.

I was sitting at my computer typing, a fine Tuesday morning, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping.
I was surfing my exchanges, having a ball, allocating credits, totally engrossed in the activities I do daily on the computer.

Confident in the knowledge that I was earning and establishing my down lines at the sites I belong to, yes on track to succeeding with my on line marketing business.

Due to my bowel rupturing in 2009, all because of a stupid doctors blunder.
I was forced to shut shop after 20 years and relocate home.

Life was sweet I had adjusted to the changes within, living with a colostomy.
Yes things were complicated as I had to work around pain and differences that had occurred within my body, dictating at times when I could or couldn't manage to stand on my own two feet, instead needing the comfort of my chair.

So I turned the situation around to my benefit, working from home, at the speed and pace I dictated.

Feeling satisfied within myself that things were settling down, and that I was truly getting back on track .

The shaking begins

Suddenly It started to shake, I just thought here we go again, another aftershock.

I had so often been sitting and typing, not bothering to stop, we have had 1000's of aftershocks, since September 2010. I thought to myself this was no different.

I wasn't scared as it had just become a natural way of life, never knowing where or when the earth would rock, it became an every day occurrence.

I just continued on with what ever I was doing totally ignoring the shaking, confident that it would stop in the next few seconds.

When suddenly I was aware of an unusual silence, the birds had stopped singing their sweet song. Alarm bells started ringing.

A dread starting to sweep over me. I was becoming aware that this was different.

The shaking was building and the strength of these shakes were sending things flying.

My chair was on wheels, when it suddenly moved violently back, then the monitor came flying towards me, all at the same moment, yes I knew I was in trouble.
All this in the space of only a few second's in time.

Everything started to explode around me, cupboard doors came flying open, the floor below my very feet, took on a life of it's own, feeling like sand moving underneath.
Swaying like waves crashing against rocks, intent on destruction.
Movement was near impossible, as the ground wasn't stable.

The whole house was moving, and swaying. You could hear it creaking and groaning, as if struggling against mother nature's violent attack.

Adrenalin set in, I threw myself up and tried to get to the safest point, being tossed from side to side, all so unreal. Treated like a rag doll.

Oblivious to the glass spread all over the floor. just a mad dash for safety.

I hadn't started to cry at this moment I just thought it was bigger than usual and should get to the safety underneath the doorway.

Its all a blur as to much was happening for my brain to maintain.

Just won't stop.

Kitchen cupboard doors, started flying open.
Everything inside started to make their way to escape, plates glasses you name it were like thunder smashing down on the floor.

My beautiful favorite huge fry pan, heavy I thought, safely on the bench.
Glided as if flying, then just descended down with an almighty crash, smashing the legs, oil joining and spreading across the already littered floor.

Pots I had soaking added their messy water deposits, coffee smashed adding to the liquid pile.

What was only seconds in time, seemed so long, everything playing through my head in slow motion.

I didn't want to budge from underneath the doorway, but knew I had to get to a safer place.

Pain went through my body as I picked myself up, clothes messy and dirty from the spillage all around me.

I watched in terror as all my beautiful blue collection went flying.

No shelf was spared, bottles, treasures, you name it, all went on a weird journey of flight, then sudden descent.

I just watched transfixed to this incredible display of decay.
Arms out stretched in the doorway for leverage.
All the while my arms ached as I pushed firmly against the walls, being pushed this way to that, like a tree swaying in the breeze.

It started to set in, that this was no ordinary earthquake.
Fear started to raise its ugly head, tears started rolling down my cheeks as panic started to sweep and invade my body, my legs went like jelly, as I tried to get to the back door this was my safe place.

My legs started to do the splits, slipping and sliding in the oily mess.

Things I treasured, my dads belongings, now long dead.
Gone in a second, as that's all it took.

The kitchen now transfigured.
A gorgeous blue large glass head, smashed to smithereens.
The hat I loved I threw away, as it was full of glass.
Such violence and anger generated, what seemed like hours, in reality only minutes.

Dirt added to the flowing liquid accumulating on the kitchen floor as plants went flying and smashing, all that I valued and loved, tender hours spent, lost in a split second.
Now all was intermingling, and forming one huge mess.

Life destroyed

It only took a few minutes for my life to be turned upside down, to destroy all that was, never to be again.

To make me run for cover, terrified for my very well being.

Being tossed around, like paper in an angry wind.

Such destruction and may ham.

A black cloud of death descends, claiming victims of all ages, and races, no discrimination.

Luck was all that was on my side, my location at that precise moment in time would determine if I lived or died.

Survival mode clicked in, strength came from deep inside, as I tried to avoid any harm.

I viewed things in slow motion, falling and smashing, recalling them over and over again. Every time I close my eyes.

Sleep would be near impossible from that moment on.

Any sleep I did achieve, was broken and distorted, while my brain tried to sort it.

Fear instead would raise it's ugly head,

Emotions would appear that I have never experienced before.


I recall that an hour later I was taking a video with my camera, sheer disbelief at the destruction around me, wanting to record, all I saw.

I was about to clean it all away, and continue on as if it were yesterday.

I truly believed that my partner would be home very soon, that their would be no tell tale signs of what had just gone on.

As clean up I would do, not aware of the may ham around me.

It was soon to be made very apparent to me, as I went from room to room, that we were about to become destitute.

Disbelief started to set in, as it dawned on me, so much was destroyed and no longer would we have a home.

I crumbled in a pile, releasing huge sobs of grief, my whole body just shuttered with emotions that ran deep.

The cleaning was intense, I had to stop and take breaks, as my body filled with pain, every time I bend down to sweep the broken pieces into a pile, pain swept through my body, sending waves violently through my stomach.
Reminding me I had to take things easy with my colostomy.

As I looked at our bed rooms, I realized how lucky I was, as their was no empty space on the floor, everything had come tumbling down, smashing around.

Glass was littered all over the ground. My stock gone to be no more.
If I had been in our rooms, severe damage to me would of been done.
Heavy weight items were picked up and sent flying, as if they were light as a feather.

I had found our transistor radio, batteries and torch, never imagining I would need it at a later stage, I had put it away safely after the September earthquake, just encase.

In between I sat quietly in the doorway, my safe haven, listening in horror as the broadcaster relayed the amount of aberration that had transfigured our beautiful city. Ablaze with abrupt consequences.

People were dead, no warning just dead.
Every 10 minutes the news became more tragic, informing me of the sheer panic.

Reality hits home.

The realization that all was not okay, or going to be a five minute job to clear away, dawned on me.

I took it in my stride to venture from my safe place, and do a little more cleaning.

But every time another aftershock hit, I ran for cover back to my safe place.

I took silent moments to grief for all that was precious and destroyed in that instant second.

I picked up things of no value, which meant a great deal to me.
Nothing could replace the love I felt receiving these precious items.

Flashbacks took me back to happier times, memories resurfaced of love one's long gone.

The memories that came with these possessions, explode through my brain, as I shed silent tears while I prepared to throw them all away.
To much time on my hands.

My soul cried for my Dad, not here to put his strong arms around me, comfort me with his soft kind words that all would be alright,

I remember the pleasure I had handling his belongings, the many happy moments of just escaping and looking at what once had belonged to him, now broken, my heart was swollen,ready to explode

Life must go on, so in a zombie state, I continue to soldier on.

Only a few hours had passed, but it seemed like an eternity.

Still taking breaks, and listening to the transistor radio.
I felt so isolated and on my own.

Panic was starting to set in, as hours ticked by and still no sign of my partner,.
No replies from my children to the tex messages I had sent them.
I just appreciated I had bought a cell phone, I never used it.

Hell had truly entered our neighbourhood.
Playing tricks on my brain, planting seeds of doubt as to the where about of my loved one's.
Fearing to extreme for their well being.

As time continued on, the seed just grew and grew, sending me into hysterical thoughts of them all their laying dead.

Never have I been so out of control, constantly crying unable to dismiss the waves of anxiety.

Praying for them to return safely.

Venturing Out

My next door neighbor is so sweet, he came over to see if I was okay.

I was so upset, and embarrassed as I knew I had been crying so loud.

He tried his hardest to reassure me that all would be alright, that my partner would be home in a short time.

Then there was just a strange silence between us, as what could we say.
There was no certainty as to how the day would play out.
So off he went home, and I just collapsed into a shivering mess.

Wandering to and fro. Down the driveway, through the water from the busted pipes, Ankle deep, not worried about ruining my boots.
Stepping over debris, once what was a footpath, now destroyed and mangled.

Sink holes so deep, oblivious to all around me, lost in another space in time, unsure what to do.

Just heading to my destination the end of the street.
To just stare past the built up traffic, wishing for our car to appear in the distance.

Then turn around and slowly wander home, to continually repeat the motion over and over again, while the sun was still shining.

Daylight was still at bay. Like clockwork I kept this up for hours on end.

When I couldn't bear the thought of being alone, and all around me seemed to block me in, making me find it hard to breathe, suffocating me.
Off I would go on my soul searching journey to the end of the road again..

Hours tick on.

I have been sitting and waiting for what seems like hours, very strange, an hour ago sirens were blaring, dog's were barking, there was so much noise, helicopters flying overhead. Now all there was was deadly silence.

The radio, I made sure I turned off, then on for a little while later, as I didn't want the batteries to run out, the state of the situation was unimaginable.

The cathedral had fallen, with people inside.
The C.T.V building has tumbled down to the ground, no escape for those inside, all this was being said over the radio.
All I could do was think back to when I advertised and was in that building filming.

There voices shaking and quivered as they relayed the terrible news of all the destruction, hearts were bleeding.
I did not for one minute envy their job.

My sister came running around the corner, ragged and torn, she looked terrified.
We just embraced and held each other tight, as tears streamed down our cheeks.

They had tried to escape, instead got no where fast, as the liquefaction crept and spread around their car, they just managed to get out.
So off they walked instead to get first aid for our mum.

Our mother all of 83 had tripped and cut her self but was being looked after at the chemist.

We just sat dead silent for a few minutes, taking deep breathes just staring straight ahead. No words could be said.

When we did try to speak, and put into word's our experience's, it was just all to hard.

So I just rolled another smoke and changed the subject.

My sister went back to mum, once she knew I was alright.

Where can he be.

My partner's not home, where can he be.

As time ticked by, each minute seemed like hours, still no sign of my partner.

I started to imagine the worse, calculating it in my brain.
Even if there was heavy traffic he should now be home.
Even with my neighbour popping his head over the fence, trying to reassure me that he will be home soon, gave me very little comfort.

I started to think, maybe someone at work had been injured and that he was helping them, or better still just cleaning up the mess at the factory.

Every time the thought tried to enter my head that it could be him injured or even dead.
Blind panic would sweep through me, confused and dazed with too much possibilities, like a cup to full, all it could do was over flow.

By now five hours had passed, and there was no reason, or way to explain his delay in returning.

I actually started to face the fact, that maybe the truth was he wasn't coming back, so I just gave up and wandered sore and bruised to my lazy boy.

Sick to death of the consequences. I texed my sister, Bryans not home yet, and went blank, blocking out all that was happening around me.

I just stayed in my lazy boy as the after shocks continued.
I didn't care any more.
I had given up all hope, I just rolled into a little ball, wishing an after shock would claim me, so I could at least be with him.
No sense in my thinking. I just didn't want to be here any more.

My sister came around as soon as she got my tex.
We both just cryied, trying to make any reasonable explanation, for his delay.
But done would make any sense.
She wanted me to go to her house, to be with family, as the darkness set in, but I would not budge from my home.

I had snapped out of my depression and horrible dread, deciding that all was not lost. That if it was at all possible for him to get home.
He would be doing his dawn best to be by my side.
I would not leave, even tho she persisted that I should.

So instead she stayed, we even had a smoke inside, which is breaking all the rules.
I wanted to be here to greet him on his return, imagine his shock and horror if I wasn't.

Yahoo he's home

Never have I felt so glad, as if the] heaven's had opened and answered all my prayers, when he came in, tired, exhausted and a little in shock.

I even managed to laugh as the first thing on his agenda was to see if the Plasma TV was alright.
Never mind the state of the house.
Lucky for him the stand was on wheels, it had be spared. It just rolled back and forth.

7 hours it had taken him to drive home.
Normally this was only a 20 minute drive.
He told me of the horror he witnessed as he drove by.

Buildings in decay, people running with blood everywhere.

He witnessed a man, on the side of the road trying to open his car door, the man he said just raised his arms up high in the air, giving up.
As the car just swayed to and fro. No way was he going to be able to make an escape, he just walked off in a daze.

Cars he said were trapped, when liquefaction just appeared and trapped them.
No means of escape.

At least we could laugh out loud when he told us how he was busting to go to the loo.
So off he went into the back yard. Modesty all gone out the window.

He needed to get the car out of a hole in the driveway, as what he thought was a puddle, had a hidden hole underneath, which the car went head first into.

So this he did, he parked it around the corner, as all outside the property was a horrible mess.

He was an angel, offering to give my sister a ride home, but she said she was fine, she had her bike, so off she set.

Strange the way things eventuate, as if it all was meant to be.

When the neighbour came knocking on the door, to our delight, our savior.

As we were getting prepared to go to bed.
Bryan had slammed the front door shut with a mighty force, to discover that we couldn't reopen it.
Then to add to the problem, when we went through to the lounge, thinking it's cool, we can just go out the double doors.
They would not budge, as the house had moved, and the locks with it.
What a way to discover, that any door that was open, you couldn't shut, and any door that was shut you couldn't open.

So if the car had been up the driveway, the neighbour wouldn't of bothered to knock on the door, or hear our cry's of "please kick the door open" as we have no means to escape.

All we could do was laugh, and put the chain across instead.

Exhausted we hit the bed, as there was nothing else we could do.

Darkness had crept through the house, leaving no space with light. Still no power or phone.
We had simply gone back into the dark ages.
Wishing instead that all would return to normal when we wake.

This will be my next chapter.
Share your experience's and get paid for writing. Join me.


Changes, Death, Depression, Destruction, Earthquake, Family, Horror, Liquefaction, Survival

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.

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author avatar maree
14th May 2011 (#)

Remove this now, this is a writing site.
Not a place to spam advertising at.
You annoy me so much.
Go away

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author avatar Pink&Blue
13th May 2011 (#)

Oh my! My heart goes out to all disaster victims very touching article thanks for sharing.

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author avatar maree
13th May 2011 (#)

I thought we were not allowed to add urls or advertise things for sale, A little disappointed with
Fdgdh clogging up page.

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author avatar Pink&Blue
13th May 2011 (#)

I am too - just wasn't saying anything...

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author avatar Brixham Kiwi
6th Jun 2012 (#)

This touched me greatly. We were in the North Island when this happened and then visited Christchurch earlier this year - it was a very sobering experience. I hope your life is getting back together.

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author avatar Maree Wells
21st Dec 2013 (#)

Merry Xmas everyone. Life is so great now. I have transferred my store to Triple Clicks now. I decided not to reopen another shop. I even have a vege garden as well.
I would love everyone's support getting my business back on track

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author avatar Cherukuri Vijay kumar
17th May 2014 (#)

I have seen your all photographs. Very sad things happened. I don't have words to say any thing to You, I Can Pray to LORD BLESS YOU & RESTORE YOU.

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author avatar Prips
19th Jun 2014 (#)

feeling verry sorry

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