September 8, 2010

Canterbury people 'frazzled, frayed and terrified'

I really can't add much to these words quoted below to describe the situation - there was a time when I thought an earthquake and a couple of aftershocks was all that had to be dealt with and I think we have all found out the reality is very different. 
A Canterbury MP has told Parliament the rest of the country might not understand the huge emotional impact of Saturday's earthquake and the terror of living through continuous aftershocks.
''I think there's a sense that the earthquake was something that happened for about a minute-and-a-half early Saturday morning,'' National's Selwyn MP Amy Adams said today.
''The reality is that it's very much still happening.
''Everyone in Canterbury, almost to a man, woman and child, are feeling frazzled, frayed and terrified. They are short of sleep, they are wandering around wondering whether the next shock is the big one.
''A truck comes by and you don't know whether to dive under the desk, head to the shelter, grab your is like living in a permanent state of fear and that fear, over the last five days, has done more to damage the psyche of Canterbury than the short shock on Saturday morning.''
Read it all here:
Google Maps are mapping the shocks
Tonight they look like this....

The best part - there is more to come...
Canterbury has received 270 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or above so far since Saturday's earthquake, according to GNS Science.
However, GNS seismologist Brian Ferris said people would have felt about 150 of those aftershocks.
About 10 aftershocks were between magnitude 5 and 5.5, 60 between 4 and 4.9 and 200 between 3 and 3.9, he said.
Since midnight there had been 18 aftershocks.
That includes this morning's violent magnitude 5.1 aftershock. Initially believed to be as powerful as 6.1, it hit Canterbury at 7.49am at a depth of 6km in the Lyttelton area. It was preceded by a 4.1 magnitude shock and followed by a 3.8.
The aftershock forced the closure of the Lyttelton tunnel, which has since been deemed safe and reopened.
The state of emergency in Christchurch has been extended for a further seven days after this morning's severe aftershock.
Victoria University's  Dr John Townend said the number of aftershocks was not unusual considering the magnitude of the initial quake.
''This is what big earthquakes do. They cause aftershocks and they do rattle on for some time so nerves will be frayed.''
Dr Townend said Christchurch could still be hit by another large aftershock.
''With an earthquake of magnitude 7.1, like this one, the rule of thumb is you could get aftershocks as large as one unit lower - so magnitude 6.1.''
The quakes would probably continue for weeks but he expected they would diminish in strength.

The people keeping us safe deserve a medal - working hard on the checking of buildings and the massive clean up. It is great the army are here too as the exhaustion is setting in for many of the frontline people. Civil Defence have been amazing.

My work campus was closed again today after our sharp and shallow morning shake.. which is a concern as the new "centre" has moved so much closer to the city. The strange sulphur smell over the city has caused some speculation of volcanic activity; but is caused by gases released by hot springs on the fault line.
Good article on it all :

We still had off site teaching in a local vet clinic so went through the mental exercise of finding exits and where to put gear and the feeling associated with entering a strange building. Felt the same anxiety during a brief visit to the mall yesterday  - many of which were closed today, and all relying on portaloos.

I am heading to bed soon... happy that we no longer have to boil water and hopeful that our newly cracked chimney will last the night. The dogs are calmer as they are on their vaporised DAP calming pheremone....  as is Scarlet, my friend's dog shown below! This is the one I usually use for fireworks.

With luck a tired Canterbury will sleep though all tonights rumbles!


  1. My friend saw this article too - and posted her own days events...

    It really did sum it up so perfectly - and was pretty much what we had been talking about together when I was over there this afternoon...

  2. I've been following the earthquake and it's consequences via your blog, TVNZ's website and many emails from friends with family and friends there. I think those living in Hawkes Bay have a great awareness of what's happening.

  3. Thanks Fi's, great minds must think alike :) That article caught my eye and I thought yes thats it exactly!!! I hope the chimney holds up hun!!! It has been awesome seeing you and I hope you slept well last night xox

  4. Yes - the Napier earthquake was worse GB... sure many there remember it well.
    You will make up a survival kit when you get back won't you :)

  5. Phew........I really want to comment, to let you know that we are thinking about you all day every day!!! But I just don't know what to say. How can I relate to all of this!!
    Do you have any calming pheremone for yourselves??? Rescue remedy?? It does work!!!!!

    That really is a gorgeous pic, how snuggly is that little puppy dog :-)

    In this house we are all talking about the survival kit we don't have!!!! It is having an affect on people's thinking Nationwide I think. Time to get the kids a bit more 'disaster savy'
    Take care of you and yrs!! xxxx

  6. Fiona. I have everything set up in The Cottage and the family have water situation well in hand. All I can hope is that we never need it.

  7. Better safe than sorry.... glad it is set up.

    Thank you Jaz - the rumbles have either moved away from us or we are less sensitive to them as we feel much calmer. Woke twice overnight and wondered why - saw this morning it was after two larger aftershocks - but feeling far more normal and enjoying some respite at the moment.
    It may not last, but grateful for the peace...
    Our lake is contaminated, and so are the rivers... and job loses have started, and the clean up continues...
    The mood of the city might not be feeling so calm!

  8. GB
    What can I say!


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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