September 5, 2010

Aftermath of a 7.1..

We have had regular shakes all night... there were 21 between 6pm and 6 am apparently, and now the storm is building up. Many of our heritage buildings are already damaged, and for the families whose whose homes are damaged beyond repair, the brewing storm is just extra misery. There are a number of evacuation centres set up for the homeless.

The devastation near my work tells me that we are unlikely to be open this week - but waiting for confirmation on the web site... I have just heard that there are some cracks that will need OSH checking so likely to be closed. The university has already confirmed it is closed for the week.

My partner has gone in to work today- the Town Hall is in the cordoned off area but there is mess to clear up and all hands are needed on deck. Meanwhile, I am watching the wind in the trees - planning to drive across town to see my parents. We did manage a short drive round our area last night - we saw the liquefaction on the roads, the surface flooding, the piles of dirt forced up, and all the fissures -  sunken houses, road blocks.

Sand volcanoes

Local shops - just in there last week!

These next ones are near my work -

When we walked the dogs along the lake, we saw a new island has appeared... and some of the fissures would have been up to our heads deep - Saffy managed to slide into one.
House is rocking again as I write.. 9.46 am

From the bridge looking towards our home
and rocking again 10.04 - I can tell when they are coming - cats are freaked and the dogs wake up suddenly - before I feel it too.


Typical road problem

What a waste of wine!

These are all uploaded to my web album  at this link... Earthquake...

and our local papers...

and another one 10.20 ish....

So, we are now scared, edgy and wondering what next.
But, it really does make you aware of what you need... a friend is coming over today for a shower as they are still without water. Immediately after the main quake, we realised our only water was really the toilet cistern and the remains of the hot water tank. My friend cannot even access that as the tank relies on cold water entering.

We had one torch, and we used cell phones and iPods to light the way, got candles going, but we worried about another quake and the risk of fire. No radio - we had to sit out in the car occasionally to listen - ( freezing) and luckily could charge the cell phone out there too ( so get a car charger!!).

For a long time we got more news by text from Canada - particularly about the safety of the rest of the family. We had no tv or internet. We tried to get two clock radios going on batteries - we even had new batteries - but no way - the batteries only power the alarm and settings memory - not the radio. Did you know that!!!
Later, we went to get batteries for the larger mini player radio - and checked what size we would need - duh - it had full batteries and they worked. Not sure why; certainly was not a planned move - perhaps we used it when painting the house last summer.

But now, we have a bath full of water and two new buckets (for flushing or makeshift toilets),  thermoses of boiled water, boiled pots on stove, and spare jugs of water on hand. We have four new torches - varying types - one doubles as a strobe alert light and one a headband! Or a necklace when I wanted to keep it handy. We have stuff stored in the car and a bag of clothes and a blanket and other essentials by the bedroom door - with a torch beside the bed.  I guess "documents" would be handy too. 

Could we be this prepared all the time - probably not; but when you are scared, cold, huddled in the dark, thirsty and want to pee, they all help! I wonder how much would have been available if we were at work?
Now where is that Jerry can in the garage?

Are you prepared?


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  2. Wanted to come to the blog as soon as I got up this morning. So, so gald that the aftershocks weren't as bad they might have been. The BBC has kept us updated and the Sunday papers in the UK are full of the event. The photos are absolutely great. Having said that I hope I never have to see sand volcanoes and liquefication at first hajnd! Seems you're pretty well prepared. You're in our prayers.

  3. good to hear you're ok We got water and power this afternoon again What a treasure that is A shower never felt so good. Quite impressive photo's you've got there. It is amazing what differences there are In one of our rooms everything was collapsed and in another glasses were standing untouched on a shelf Keep safe

  4. It's 3 AM in the morning here in Virginia and I was glad to see a post from you and that you continue to be safe! Your pictures are really amazing. I missed the news last evening so I had no idea about how many and how bad the aftershocks were. Please know that you are in our prayers that you continue to be safe, and have all that is needed to get through this.

  5. Angus alerted us to you. We're in Australia and keeping tabs by way of News. Cannot believe beautiful Christchurch is such a mess. Good luck. Looks like a long repair job coming up.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  6. Just found your blog through Angus and Wilf. Good grief, such a horrible event and what a mess. So glad your family came through ok. Holding you in our thoughts and prayers all the way over here in New Hampshire, USA.

    Yankee Gal

  7. Angus sent me over and I'm so glad he did! What a time you have had. I wanted you to know you are being thought of and prayed for here in the southern US. Blessings to you.

  8. I can't imagine how scary it must be to have an earthquake of that magnitude hit. We live near a fault line, but so far haven't experienced anything that was remotely devastating. I hope that you all stay safe and that things get fixed soon!

  9. Angus and Wilf told us about the NZ earthquake and suggested we come visit. We're on vacation and hadn't seen much news. We live in South Florida, so we don't experience earthquakes -- but we do know formidable hurricanes and the resulting devastation and lack of power, water, food, etc. -- so we truly identify with what you must be going through.

    All the best as you recover from this disaster!!! We'll come back to see you again!

    Joan and the Barkalotboyz

  10. Angus and Wilf sent me over too, happy that you and your family are safe.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers as New Zealand deals with the aftermath of this disaster..stay strong. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  11. Greetings from Los Angeles. We survived the 1994 Northridge quake. I think the aftershock part is the most nerve-wracking part. Your photos are amazing. We are glad you all are safe and have provisions. Please know you are in our thoughts. Stay safe!

  12. Will be following your posts anxiously.

  13. Wow! Here's hoping all your family and friends are safe. It's amazing how much we don't think about the little things (toilets) when we have them!!

  14. Thank you everyone - appreciate all your kind thoughts very much :)

  15. I followed the link from Wilf's blog. So sorry to hear of your distress. We spent 6 weeks in south island a couple of years ago and can so easily imagine lovely christchurch and the ruin that would be brought about by the quake. I hope the legendary New Zealand resilience will stand you in good stead. The "number 8 wire" will be out in force!


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