September 10, 2010

Christchurch - Friday 10th Sept..

Tomorrow morning it will be a week - I found this showing the hours after the big shake on Saturday 4th Sept at 4.36 am...

(Source:, Queens Valley report.)

(Source:, Queens Valley report.)

I love the complete absence of any activity before it... compared to this one below of today (Friday) . 

McQueens Valley seismic drum.
Friday 10th Sept

Today has been very hard. Far harder than I thought it would be. An early start with another 4.5 aftershock...then drizzle and traffic jams.  Entering the quiet building and taking the four flights up to the office as the lifts are all covered in barriers... being pleased that the mess was mainly all our own - boxes had already been returned to the shelves - they stayed shut!  Dealing with the few people there- a shared morning tea; a small step forward to normality, but the strain was there for all of us. Tears are near for the team as we sorted out classes and schedules... we passed people in harnesses and hard hats checking the buildings again - but most of the damage is cosmetic, not structural and we are ready to start again on Monday... when counsellors and safety experts will be there to help us all. From what I have seen and experienced today - we really need it! Stress, tiredness, fear and anxiety and anger are all there.... many of the staff are traumatised; many of the students will be too. 
 A useful article to help everyone  can be found here... for the full article click on the link.
Earthquake: Trauma and Stress
Everyone in Christchurch has experienced extremely traumatic events over the past few days. However, our experiences have ranged from fairly mild to extremely severe, and our reactions to these experiences depend, to some extent, on our past experiences and our personalities. What we will all have to do as time goes by, is find a way to make sense of these traumatic events so that we can go on living productive lives that are not limited by the psychological results of trauma.
I drove home from work. Then the tears started as I got to see the police and the army at every intersection - barriers and fences, guarding the city centre. It was real... the photos just don't capture the reality. 
The city cordon was meant to be lifted today, but this mornings aftershock has kept it in place. Down every street I can see diggers working, demolishing buildings. Yesterday they closed the roads to demolish shops in Riccarton.... See video of the digger at work

or the second oldest pub in Canterbury- The Famous Grouse at Lincoln.  A loss to many students in the area....many locals are taking a brick home.

I heard that my friend's brother was given 5 minutes  notice yesterday to clear his nearby jewellers shop before it was demolished. His yellow stickered shop that was open until yesterday! While they watched, he managed to clear his stock, but had to abandon some of the heavier, irreplacable machinery of his trade. If the building was that unstable, why was it not signaled for demolition earlier? There have been many stories of people being unable to rescue their things....

 One sad story with a nice gesture surfaced and Gary McCormick wrote a poem about it... click on the link to hear it.

Precision digger....
Gary also wrote this wonderful poem about the can hear it here. 

Have taken out all the stress and anxiety on clearing up the garden today. A lovely sunny spring afternoon - and the place is mowed and tidy.... for now.

Things should improve - according to this article on Geonet...
Aftershocks map

New Zealand's major tourism organisations are urging Kiwi travellers to help Cantabrians get back to normal as quickly as possible, by visiting the region and helping keep local tourism operators in business.

Normal service will be resumed shortly :)




  1. Awww Fi... i can totally relate. The tears are never far away and threaten to fall often. It is so very hard to try to describe how we are feeling to those who did not experience it. Thinking of you all xxx

  2. Wow, the shake was big news over here in the US. Could have been much worse, yes? We spent a few weeks in NZ a few years back - lovely people(and I'm originally from Australia!). Good blog and take care.


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