December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve in Shaky Wonderland of Christchurch

Thank you for the lovely comments - we have been lucky the internet has stayed up and we can still text.  Oh and we have power and water - all things to be grateful for today.

An unsettled night - we were tired enough to sleep intermittently, but the house was moving too often for it to be restful.     I have been checking the Canterbury Quake page and took some snapshots... 66 in the last 24 hours....

The next one shows details of the last individual quakes -  doesn't show yesterday's ones as there have been too many since then, but the whole city was woken to a good 5.1 at 6.37 am ... which I see was actually over in the Port Hills Fault line....the rest have come from the Pegasus Bay Fault line out to sea.  It is a known fault line, so I guess it is not unexpected that it has gone off.

The next picture shows the earthquake swarms that follow each major quake -  colour coded for Sept, Feb, June and Dec as it spreads across the region.  We are basically in the area Burwood shown on this map.

The dogs know the drill... thanks Mark for this pic and an update on the quakes at NZRaw

Last week photos were published by Ross Becker showing aerial shots of our area...

I can see our house on the bottom left area of the screen. We are on the outer rim of the old offshoot loop of river that is created from all the stormwater drains, then feeds back into the Avon River that you can see running out to sea. Ours is one of the original farmhouses for the area, and appears to be on higher sand dunes.  All the inner area is red zoned and will be totally demolished. The area has been another victim of liquefaction after yesterday and many people will be desperate to get out once the insurance hassles are sorted. Sadly, paying rent somewhere else, while still responsible for a mortgage there, is not an option for many, while sorting out the fine print on their government buyouts, which is often well below the purchase price of the house or what a new place will cost.  While we all struggle with the fear and reaction to the shaking, the emotional toll on these people is beyond comprehension.

Same place - looking the other way - this time we are just above the blue lake area to the top right of the photo.

Meanwhile, it is Xmas but our priorities for today have changed a bit.  We are both tired and I have rearranged the plans. Our carefully ordered Xmas presents will not arrive now as the mail centre is closed and all the flights have been delayed. Our local malls are shut.  Those that are open across town are already teeming with people brave, or desperate, enough to re enter the concrete monstrosities for Xmas presents or survival supplies. It won't be us...  but we will try and find a vege place open and get some fresh produce, and of course cream for the pav tomorrow. Thanks to the new tow ball on my car we borrowed my parents trailer, and had planned to get rid of all the mounds of branches in the garden today - but this might become an after Boxing Day activity instead.  More importantly, we are meeting up for drinks with friends who are back over from Sydney for Xmas ( great timing huh), and then maybe try the carol service in Hagley Park tonight... Tomorrow an early Xmas breakfast across town with my son, Skype with the soon to be returning here Auckland family ( and message for them, Rangiora is still ok ....)  and then the afternoon and dinner with all my children at my parents.  These simple pleasures are really all that matters. People, friendship, sharing time together at Xmas.

Thanks to whoever wrote this for spreading a smile :)

Sirens ring; are you listening?
In the lane liquefaction's glistening
A terrible sight
But we are alright
Living in a shaky wonderland

Wishing you all a safe and happy day.


  1. I'm glad that you are managing to put a brave and even a grateful face on things. You are good at the Glad Game aren't you? I hope that you manage some sleep tonight and that you enjoy your Christmas period with friends and family. When you Skype the Aucklanders please tell them I was sending them my best wishes.

  2. You are so right about what are the truly important things in life (and not just at Christmas). Sadly, for many people it seems to take a bad shake-up (literally or figuratively) to put things into perspective. I am glad you are alright, and wish you a merry Christmas in spite of everything.

  3. Good god Fi. No news of this at all!
    Thinking of you guys (now....)

  4. Thinking of you, sending good wishes from Iceland on the other side of the globe.


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


Blog Widget by LinkWithin