February 28, 2011
A road, looking like many others here right now, but it is where I drive to work every day.. as do thousands of us, but unsettling to see it. I guess we thought all the loose bricks had been shaken off the first time round! How naive we were.
Firefighter Paul Rodwell wriggled through a burning building, rattling with constant aftershocks, in crawl space crammed with bodies and crushed furniture to save people he had never met.
His efforts and those of other rescue workers saw more than 20 people hauled alive from the wreckage and ruin that was once the Pyne Gould Corporation and Canterbury TV buildings.
Mr Rodwell said the floors of CTV that housed the King's Education language school, once 2.4 metres floor to ceiling, had collapsed to about half a metre of space, packed with rubble.
"You add that to once you get inside there, in that tight space, aftershocks are coming and then the poisonous smoke .. and you can't help thinking what it is like for those victims if you're in that place. At least I can wriggle out.
"Add to that [they] can't speak the language. They had smatterings of English where they were crying out from the dark words like `dangerous', `serious'."
Mr Rodwell said he saw two people still in their chairs, crushed into the foetal position and trapped by their legs, having not had enough time to get up once the quake struck.
Fingers and toes were all could be seen of other victims. A single concrete beam had trapped three students by their legs.
Unable to pronounce the foreign students' names, he had given them nicknames, including one called Ken whose leg had to be amputated to free him.
Mr Rodwell said he had been forced to leave Ken alone with an oxygen mask, torch and pillow for two hours as search and rescue workers dug down to him.
Being in the dark with the victims, giving them names and holding their hands, made it personal, he said.
"Some people shut it out ... trying to forget the patient, not really look at them and that but I like to empathise with them and when you're stuck down deep with them, you are with them, you know exactly how they feel, although you can get out."
It was a "euphoric" feeling to get people out alive, he said.
- The Dominion Post
I can;t read this without feeling the absolute horror of being trapped... injured... and not even speaking the language of the people rescuing you.
There are articles about their frantic texts home for help.
The Japanese rescue teams are now processing this particular building. Sadly, the people left in there may be beyond hearing, but if they can, maybe some will understand the language.
I am humbled, we all are, by the international aid, the incredible tams here to search, back up the police and the resources. Sometimes it really does remind you we are a global village of people supporting each other.
Thank you for all your messages
I am shortly off with a work mate to take cages to work. I don't imagine I can get through the cordoned area, but we are evacuating the rabbits and birds etc from our animal room. This might mean it will be a while before work resumes!
February 27, 2011
Many of these are taken around where I work. They may mean more to me than anyone else, but they are a record of the week, my week; the week where everything we know has altered around us but our core values are intact. I write this gathered with most of my children at my parents' house. It almost seems normal.. but after living without power, the simple pleasure of sitting in the sun, getting washing done, charging equipment, drinking tea, and maybe watching the news on tv all matter. I guess the rest will take care of itself, one day at a time.
Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:00am AEDT
Satellite imagery has captured some of the devastation caused by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that flattened buildings and killed scores of people in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on February 22, 2011.
Google and GeoEye took the aerial images two days after the quake.
Hover over each photo to view the before and after imagery.
A picture says a thousand words
February 26, 2011
Go to this interactive site to see hazards and recovery in your area. They need volunteers to enter data too. Check out the site. eq.org.nz
We have not had power since Tuesday - so we have been invited to friends out of town today for a shower and roast meal. Bliss. Another friend has helped with doing washing and recharging things. The Salvation Army were dropping off food parcels in our street yesterday! Somehow I actually feel like a victim of sorts for the first time now.
As the prospect of being part of the 20% with no power for a long time looms up on us we managed to get a wee two stroke generator yesterday though so have saved our tropical fish tank - if I am lucky my partner will let me use it for the fridge! At least we can recharge phones and run the modem - which we appreciate as we have no tv to see.
The queues at the supermarket put me off shopping yesterday and as we have now lost all the contents of both freezers, we are just making do now. My days of prawns and sirloin steak are over... beans and rice and pasta await. We won't starve at least.
We knew this would be hard. Too many losses in a city that is really a big town of half a million people.
RIP Heidi and all we have lost.
You can search for people on http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/quake-victims
February 25, 2011
Truly stunned to see this. The area shown in this is very close to my own workplace. Many of the buildings in rubble are places we hang out in regularly. The damage is so bad it took me a while to realise what area or buildings I was looking at!
I am now wondering how many students might be caught in the area, or hurt by the rubble. As no "missing" lists have been published, I can't even work that out. I sent my new class off an hour before it hit... I know many of them went straight home, but many might have wandered up here towards town.
With no power it is hard to keep up with it all. We miss tv :(
My daughter has headed to Dunedin to visit friends... tired of it all.
My eldest son and his wife came over today for a while and now my youngest son has headed back over there - while I will try and visit a friend to do a load of washing and recharge phones ... our dinky new 950w two stroke generator is saving the tropical fish but is not up to running a washing machine. We have water - but still can't shower or wash clothes...
One of my students has also put a short video together - will see if I can post that too.
Xx Sent from my iPhone
This bridge photo from that page is the one my partner "jumped" to reach me at work after the quake. Before they closed it. You can see more of the road by it on numbers 45 & 46
There are more photos on press.co.nz which is our local paper. Look for Canterbury earthquake
Power is on about five houses away... Maybe here tomorrow:)
Sent from my iPhone
February 24, 2011
Numbers appal us. The pictures make it real.
People will mourn from all over the world for those who are lost.
Please spare a thought for them all.
X Sent from my iPhone
February 23, 2011
Searchers have flood-lit the CTV site and brought in a digger and more than 20 rescue staff to the still-smoking ruins, despite police earlier saying the destruction was not survivable.
Earlier, what appeared to be sniffer dogs were seen being led over the pile of rubble though they returned empty-handed soon after.
Sent from my iPhone
Sent from my iPhone
February 22, 2011
Can't phone my parents. Worry, stress, fear. People are dead or trapped. Kids all ok. Thankful for being here, home, safe. Hope others are ok too Sent from my iPhone
A Minnesota puppy that made headlines when it was saved from a likely deadly trip through the mail went home with a new owner Friday — an exuberant Minneapolis woman who was thrilled to welcome the fuzzy black dog into her life.MINNEAPOLIS February 18, 2011, 06:41 pm ET
"I never win anything," said Terri Ford, who threw her arms in the air in excitement after learning she had won the drawing for Guess, a 5-month-old schnauzer-poodle mix.
Nearly 50 people went to a Minneapolis animal shelter Friday in hopes of adopting Guess. Animal control officials held a drawing for the puppy's new owner — Ford's name was drawn first, and she passed the application process.
Ford, who wouldn't give her age, said she lives alone and is unemployed, so she has plenty of time to housebreak a dog.
"I think it might be good to get out of my pajamas and out of the house," she said before the drawing.
Dressed in a long, pink coat, glittery boots and earrings with the word "rebel" on them, Ford said she heard about Guess on the news.
The puppy became a celebrity three weeks ago after postal workers heard noise coming from a box addressed to Georgia and saw the package move. They opened it to find the dog inside. Officials say the trip would have killed the puppy. His former owner, 29-year-old Stacey Champion, has been charged with animal cruelty. She was attempting to mail Guess to her son as a birthday present.
Hundreds of callers from Minnesota and around the world asked to adopt Guess, who became city property Monday when Champion failed to post bond.
"He tugs at everyone's heartstrings," Ford said. "He's not only adorable, but he's gone through some trauma."
Ford, who used to be a legal assistant, said she already has a black cat named Danvers, after the character Mrs. Danvers in an Alfred Hitchcock film. She said she will think of a new name for Guess and expects him to get along great with her cat. She admitted, however, that she hasn't yet asked her landlord for permission to have a dog.
Shelter officials have been excited about the attention Guess generated and have used it to draw attention to other homeless animals. Ten pets were adopted last week, shelter official Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower said. Usually, only one or two animals are adopted per week this time of year, she said.
Before and after the drawing, visitors toured the animal cages and admired other dogs and cats that were up for grabs. Six more animals were adopted after Friday's drawing.
"He has really allowed us to turn lemons into lemonade," Wiedemeier Bower said of Guess.
Although she doesn't know the family, Debi
February 17, 2011
I am posting this article below because it clearly states that he was. It was tested and working, still clipped in place in the car. The vertical and horizontal tumbling and rolling of the car down the steep slope caused his seat to break and lie flat, so he was flung backwards out into the back, then out the shattered rear window. Actually the word used was "torpedoed". Apparently seats breaking this way is quite common. I can say that the damage to the car was severe, particularly on the drivers side.
Assumptions really don't pay... at the time, the insinuation was hurtful; mainly because he was a careful driver who didn't use his phone, drive with no seatbelt etc. I do understand the point was to advise people who felt they were about to go over the edge not to undo the belt, or try to jump out. Always drive with it on - and I suppose that normally, the injuries you would get with it on are less than those if you are unbelted.
I highlighted the main bits of this newspaper article from today....
Mt Hutt management is to install new barriers on 21 corners of the Canterbury ski field's access road following the death of a motorist last year, an inquest heard today.
Arthur Richardson, a 61-year-old electrician from Rolleston, Christchurch, died after his car plunged almost 100 metres off the access road on June 14 , Coroner Richard McElrea was told at the inquest in Ashburton.
A search party mounted after Mr Richardson failed to return home from a day skiing alone, located his body outside his crashed car.
A post mortem examination found he died of severe chest injuries after being thrown from the vehicle. He was wearing a seatbelt but the back of his seat broke.
Road and weather conditions were fine, and there were no brake marks on the road judging by tyre marks in roadside snow on the bend known as Shady Corner, which also indicated Mr Richardson's speed was between 28 and 34kmh, according to a police serious crash unit report.
Mr McElrea said while loss of concentration was a likely cause, Mr Richardson could also have misinterpreted the corner despite being a regular up the mountain.
"This road has been travelled perhaps many thousands of times by many vehicles without this outcome," he said.
"Why did a careful driver allow his vehicle to leave the road? The answer, at least part of it, lies in the delineation of the edge of the road, clearly he has misinterpreted that edge," Mr McElrea said.
It was not known what time the crash occurred. Mr Richardson was skiing alone and he completed his final run at 1.48pm. His partner reported him missing at 10pm.
Mr McElrea said death was inevitable, given Mr Richardson's injuries, no matter where the accident had occurred.
"The post mortem confirmed that death was due to the injuries received. He would have lost consciousness almost immediately and died within minutes," Mr McElrea said.
"He was a careful and experienced driver, he knew how to handle ski area access roads in all conditions," Mr McElrea said.
The Department of Labour completed a workplace assessment at Mt Hutt following the deaths of Mr Richardson, two skiers and a snowboarder, in separate incidents last year. They recommended a contractor be brought in to look at improvements which could be made to the road and Mt Hutt management had done that.
Mt Hutt ski area manager Dave Wilson told the coroner 21 new barriers would be installed at corners on the access road.
NZSki.com, which owns Mt Hutt, was waiting for confirmation the new barriers would withstand their heavy snow clearing systems before starting work.
He told the coroner the corner where Mr Richardson crashed had not been the scene of previous accidents, but it would be top priority for installing the new barriers. Four barriers would be completed this season and the remainder by 2015.
"It's a very responsible response from Mt Hutt and it's a very constructive outcome to the most unfortunate death of Arthur Richardson," Mr McElrea said.The fatality was the first on the access road since 1994, when two people died after their vehicle left the road. There have been four incidents where cars have left the road in the past 10 years.
Here are the extracts from the letters written at the time of the accident.
Buckle up and live
Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand, Jun 18, 2010
My deepest sympathies go out to the Richardson family, regarding the tragic and preventable death on the Mt Hutt access road (June 16). Sadly, it seems Mr Richardson was not wearing his seatbelt, as he was found some distance from his not terribly damaged vehicle.
It is a timely reminder to every skier who is under the delusion it is permissible to unbuckle when driving on ski access roads: there are no circumstances where a seatbelt is a disadvantage in a crash. I also know there are people who undo their seatbelt when driving next to canals. Such people are, sadly, temporary citizens. So, belt up and live!
CHRISTOPHER H DAVIES
Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand, Jun 21, 2010
In response to Christopher H Davies' letter "Buckle up and live'' (June 18), we make the point that Arch Richardson was a trusted and careful friend who ran an extremely safety-conscious electrical business.
To trivialise his death by jumping to unfounded conclusions about seatbelt use is objectionable and unnecessary.
It is not believable to those of us who knew Arch that he would not wear his seatbelt and it is in any case unlikely that seatbelts had any influence on his untimely death.
Comments such as Mr Davies' are hurtful to friends and family and to his memory.
J HEYWOOD, L TAYLOR, K MACDONALD
Leave it to coroner
0 Comments | Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand, Jun 26, 2010
As the partner of Arch Richardson, the man who died in the tragic but preventable accident on the Mt Hutt Rd, I wish to reply to Christopher H Davies (June 18).
I know that Arch always wore his seatbelt, as he was an extremely careful driver who stuck to the speed limit and obeyed the road rules.
Was Mr Davies a witness to the accident? If so, I'm sure the police would like to speak with him. If not, I ask that he and others who have similar opinions keep them to themselves, rather than add insult to injury for the bereaved, and leave the conclusions to the coroner, who will give the final ruling on what happened that day.
In reply to Christopher H Davies' letter "Buckle up and live'' (June 18), we wish to clarify that police have confirmed to the family that Arthur (Arch) Richardson was wearing his fastened seatbelt at the time his vehicle left the Mt Hutt ski-field access road on June 14.
The seatbelt was discovered still fastened upon later inspection of the vehicle. Unfounded speculation put forward by Mr Davies and published by The Press that Arch was not wearing his seatbelt was unnecessary and insensitive. It is hoped both will exercise greater care when weighing comment regarding tragedies such as this in the future.
-- The Richardson family....
Yesterday, the coroner has finally spoken ... and we felt he made it quite clear to the media yesterday that this was the case so that it could be reported. Interesting that it was not mentioned in the article I posted this morning.
Mt Hutt ski area's efforts to improve safety on the access road after a fatal accident has won praise from a coroner.
Arthur Richardson, 61, of Rolleston, was killed when his car went off the road while travelling down the mountain on the afternoon of June 14 last year.
A serious crash unit investigation concluded that he had veered into a slow-traffic layby then off the side of the road without applying the brakes.
Richardson's body was found beside his car, at the bottom of a gully, early the next morning.
Regional coroner Richard McElrea said ski area management had responded positively to a Department of Labour report which recommended it consult an engineer experienced in alpine roads about safety improvements.
"It is a very constructive outcome to the most unfortunate death of Mr Richardson," the coroner said.
There were 21 potential sites on the access road to install barriers, four of which Mt Hutt planned to have in place before the start of the 2011 ski season.
The coroner said the site at which Richardson drove off the road was one of those four.
Mt Hutt ski area manager David Wilson said there was a target date of March 2015 to install the other 17 barriers, if the design chosen for the first four performed well.
"We're investigating if it will withstand the pressure that will be put on it by heavy duty snow-clearing equipment."
The design was already in use on the access road to the Remarkables ski area near Queenstown, but it was not under as much stress by snow-clearing vehicles there as it would be at Mt Hutt.
The serious crash unit report into Richardson's death concluded that the crash was caused by a "loss of concentration for some unknown reason when the vehicle he was driving approached the right-hand turn."
The coroner said it was also "quite possible he [Richardson] misinterpreted the edge of the road whilst fully concentrating."
It was a long day, answered a few questions and raised a few others that will never be answered, but it was a major crash resulting in major life-ending injuries that he could not have survived; it would have been quick.
The coroner and the police were thorough. We don't feel anything was missed in all the investigations. They were kind and pleasant which helped us get through the ordeal. They showed us everything.
It was a relief to all be there together, on a beautiful sunny day in Ashburton, amidst family and friends who miss him; who remember him as "Arch", or "Dad" rather than Arthur, the name he loathed so much.
Totally exhausted today and still reliving too much of the events, as I am sure we all are. Grief takes time.
Not sure i will be very productive at work today but will go in and do my best to get organised for the new class starting tomorrow. Navel contemplating at home doesn't appeal much either.
February 13, 2011
Anyway, I hope you check it out on the real web page if you usually read it in emails or readers. I read heaps of blogs, nearly always on google reader and it is frustrating to have to click through to the real blog, sign in, enter strange anti spam pass words and hope the comment posts, but as many of you have spent time creating beautiful pages, it is nice to appreciate the colours and layouts and see it the way you want us to.
Angus (http://wilfanddigby.blogspot.com/) commented on my blog yesterday... "what a year you have had". So true.... I wish it was over! Too many losses and dramas floating around with accidents and earthquakes and cancer and operations... but really, I am floating along in the outer circle of it all, rather numb, here in person, but for self preservation often feeling almost detached, tired and finding it hard to focus. Last weekend, on the advice of the coroner, we visited the crash site... on the hottest day this summer we drove out there and stood on the edge of the mountain. Hot wind and sun; dry dusty road scattered with small rocks. The long grass softening the cliff face where the car rolled off, just a short distance before disappearing away to the left. The full scale of the distance travelled only apparent as we looked across from the next gully.
This picture was from the Ashburton Guardian. Click on it to enlarge it.
Next week we have the inquest in Ashburton; it hangs over us all. Nothing will change the outcome but it might offer some answers and prevent this happening to others.
So some good things have happened too. Jaz is in a rehab centre and been home for the weekend...
Unimaginably huge steps in three weeks!
She wrote a poem today. You can read it at: http://treacytravels.blogspot.com/2011/02/sink-or-swim.html
We saw the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the City Choir, and the NZ Army Band perform at Sparks in the Park... our special concert where we always celebrate our anniversary.
Thanks to the generosity of Polytech, I won double tickets and we got to go to Sting playing with the NZ Symphony Orchestra - thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance!
Saffy may be gone, but her rose is flowering and we still have Jessie.
Dear Poppy has taken over the household... with her shaggy wool, beady eyes, one ear up, one down look, she is adored by us both. A ray of sun in our day.... a pile of chewed rubbish trailing behind her!
The term starts again tomorrow for our part time classes; the following week for the full timers. So many new people to meet and the pleasure of some returning faces too.
Many thanks to the friends and family who have helped so much in the past months. If I seem a bit lost at times, sorry. There has been much to cope with. There still is, but we have coped and the work is done.
February 12, 2011
Hi...........I really am alive in here
Hey.................its me. Really!!!!!This will be short post. But one that has taken a while to write and is completely full of love and gratitude.To my well wishers. A big thank you. Your love, words and gifts have been beautiful.To my girls. Your mum will come back, little by little. Have faith.To my best friend and husband. This is your greatest challenge yet. I am humbled by your love and dedication.So much to say, not enough energy.Love youJazxx
So happy to read this!!!!
Well done Jaz xxxx
February 9, 2011
February 7, 2011
Thank you all for the support recently. Steady improvements and you might like to read the latest update here.
February 3, 2011
What moron would post her.
Same age... same type of dog.... could be twins.
Jaz has moved to a ward - they didn't remove the bulk of the tumour, just the biopsy. Communication blip! But all good progress this week which is a big relief.
February 2, 2011
Watch a timelapse video of Cyclone Yasi heading toward Australia:
- Brisbane Times with AAP
I can only begin to imagine what this storm is going to do to Queensland towns and cities in it's path. ... the fear ahead of this to stock up on food and water and other essential supplies and ride it out must be enormous.
At least we didn't know the earthquake was coming.... i am scared just watching this.
My thoughts with Australia tonight.
We have the inquest into Arch's accident approaching.. the date has been delayed for months but will now be the middle of February. The coroner has suggested we all visit the crash site before it so we are taking a family trip on Sunday to check out the Mt Hutt Access Rd....a little light relief? I must plan some flowers to leave there too.
On a positive thought, Jaz is doing really well! They forgot to tell us they had actually removed a lot of the tumour successfully! Keep reading Mark's updates for news