Following safety instructions, we all gathered in the front area car park, until the site was cleared for re-entry... a quick vote from the class, who had not been up there for the last big quake and were just as keen to escape, and we decided to leave for the day. My partner arrived after being at the top of the CBS arena when it hit. After a restorative coffee and toilet stop across the road, we all went our separate ways. Life seemed to be returning to normal. I was sitting at the cordon fence of the red zone in St Asaph St, at the Colombo St corner where the buses were crushed last time, when the 6.0 hit. A Mercalli 8... rubble started falling round me from the already collapsed buildings on the corner and the car moved all over the road. Eventually, I drove on slowly along the road, people pouring out of the offices. Always been my own nightmare to be trapped in the road when it happens with buildings falling beside me (along with lifts, collapsed staircases, collapsed buildings.....). I managed to get up Montreal St, with Cranmer Square closed off, winding round Park Avenue and up to St Albans, where the liquefaction was back. Hello rutted, flooded roads full of holes and piles of glistening sand volcanoes. After checking on my friend, my partner arrived again; we headed home.
We lost some fish... no one was home to rescue them.... for some reason they jumped out of the tank! along with many gallons of water. Amazingly the lamp still works, back on top of the tank...
The books went again.... and most of the pantry, shelves and lots of pictures and plants. We have sorted what we can.
So, work is closed tomorrow. My family are all safe... and the house, although messy, and initially without power, is returning to normal and we are at least warm, unlike 50,000 households tonight in freezing weather. We have the generator still ready to go, as we ran it, but turned it off when the power returned. We have the main gas fire on, and the portable one ready to go if the power goes off.
Jessie, our older dog, was fine - home alone and scared and trapped in a bedroom but not injured. Poppy seems fine after her adventures.
I don't know what it all means for the city or the future.
Everyone is frustrated after 10 months of this.
Another setback to our home. Thank you for all the messages and concern. The land continues to shake with repeated aftershocks, but they are smaller. Thankfully.... probably another wakeful night.
Keep up with the news at these sites... there are pictures and videos there too.