April 29, 2011

Rebuilding of Christchurch - some interesting articles

Some time ago my son sent me a map of Christchurch showing the swamp land the city has been built on.

Here is a snapshot of part of it... the area I live in. (Click on it to enlarge it).  It appears we live on the outer loop of the river between the part marked sand hills and sand... Horse Shoe Lagoon.



The full Canterbury map is available as a pdf file at this link - locals, check out where you live!

Over the weekend, I read about the early 1850's map that showed the branches of our rivers and the tributaries that existed... if these are overlaid over current maps, it helps explains the rather random destruction of buildings in the CBD.  Places built on tributaries and old wetlands are more likely to have fallen, sunk, gone. Sadly,  people no longer knew what was safe ...

Map of Christchurch 1850
I found the map above and the following information at this site today
Christchurch’s earthquake-battered central business district (CBD) should not be rebuilt back to what it was before February 22, one of New Zealand’s leading landscape architects Di Lucas said today.
First, city planners and rebuilders need to better respect the natural under-layers to the city, she said.
Lucas reviewed 1850s maps of Christchurch showing wetlands and streams through the city and was little surprised there was so much damage. Liquefaction mapping was predicted, and has occurred on areas with high water table and estuarine sands, and the existing and former natural levees along watercourses have exploded.
`` Fifty percent of buildings in the CBD will likely disappear because of the earthquake. The old maps show some were built above streams apparent at that time. The 1850 mapping suggests the PGG building which collapsed in February was likely built on a levee of silt. The land surface of Christchurch is deceptive, as it was a dynamic plains system,’’ she said.
``About 15 years ago I observed the native forest that had been smashed and buried by Waimakariri floods beneath the Convention Centre site. It reminded me that there is a ‘club sandwich’ of layers of activity under the city. Whilst solid above, old buried layers have liquefied and been extruded by the earthquakes. The land surface has been lowered as a consequence.’’
For those interested, a really good picture explanation about liquefaction around rivers is on this fact sheet and a full copy can be obtained here - this is one part of it.


I realise we have been lucky with this house as although we live across the road that runs along the banks of a river, we appear to have been on the undamaged side. Houses further along on the river edge on the lower side and also, the inner loop in the original swamp area across the river, have seen their houses and streets ravaged.  We are one of the original farmhouses for the area so the settlers must have built on firmer land at the time - good luck for us, as believe me, like most of us in Christchurch,  the thought of earthquakes was far from my mind when I bought into the house!  The wildlife reserve on the river side across our road is mainly closed - it is badly cracked and slipped - in some places there are narrow crevices that would be over our heads if we fell in.

Some other good article to consider are at these links:
The current City Plan lacks design controls and measures to make the CBD beautiful and sustainable. An urgent change is needed. We don’t want just utilitarian structures. We need a city with the X factor, to attract businesses, workers and visitors. Not again draughty spaces below high-rise and exposed to the easterly; buildings ignoring the solar resource; and, outmoded transport options. We could change it from a tired energy-hungry city to an appealing sustainable garden city.
"This time, we must allow for functioning natural systems; managing rainfall with permeable surfaces; daylighting streams; maximising local materials; greening roofs, and having vegetated public and private spaces forming pleasant micro-climates,’’ said Lucas, a former president of the NZ Institute of Landscape Architects. “Whole street blocks have been mostly destroyed so their layout needs to be re-thought comprehensively to create more appealing urban spaces that showcase cutting-edge design.”
"We need to reorganise spaces and access, with more green areas within a low rise city, using tree canopy – three or four storeys - as a measure. Noosa on the Sunshine Coast formalised their height limits to tree canopy height, and everyone loves that city. You don’t need to see the sea from within the centre, you can sense it, and enjoy the microclimate from a low rise environs.
Rebuild must respect waterways. ( refers to map above)
"It [the map] has the streams on it for the central city, and it's quite a precise layout. It's quite detailed," Lucas said.
When transposed on to the present-day central city, the waterways mirrored some of the areas of worst earthquake damage, she said.
A stream that crossed Manchester St, between Salisbury and Peterborough streets, cut a swath under buildings and the street itself.
"You could plot that line right through all the way," she said.
"There's some very good solid apartments, two or three storeys high, and one block of it has sunk a metre and another block is more or less as it used to be.
"That line continues through the next block and it goes from there and does a drop in Manchester St of a metre."
She said it was "madness" to have intensive building so close to the Avon River on streets such as Fitzgerald Ave.
"They're encroaching and nature has rebelled," Lucas said.
"I think we need to respect the natural systems better."

The new earthquake control system CERA, takes over soon and the national state of emergency can be lifted, some 10 weeks after the quake. Will be interesting to see what happens next...

Meanwhile, I have been thinking of the tornadoes and all the fear for the people in the southern states of America.... another form of random disaster that flattens some areas and not others.  The fear and loss will however have an impact on all around them, particularly when so many have been lost in the path of the storms.
Kia Kaha

April 26, 2011

Raw video: 6.3 earthquake hits Christchurch - National - NZ Herald Videos

http://creative.whi.co.nz/adverts/2011-04-11_GENESIS_Muck_In.flv","linkUrl":"http://data.apn.co.nz/apnnz/adclick/FCID=3487/SITE=NZH/AREA=SEC.NATIONAL.VID/...","linkWindow":"_blank","autoPlay":true,"scaling":"orig","controls":{"enabled":{"scrubber":false}},"duration":"15","baseUrl":"","autoBuffering":true}],"playerId":"apnPlayer"}" />

Had a few good aftershocks today, so we are always wondering if this means another big one is likely. After watching this newly aired video I was interested watching the shelf stuff falling inwards because it so strongly reminds me of how my office fell apart. All at once! Flung off my chair, I crawled under my desk for safety, never dreaming the building might collapse - the advice they give to drop and cover your head is very good - you really don't get time to run far, or safely, in the turmoil and many people were injured, or killed, by objects falling off the outer parapets, or glass and ceiling panels falling on them. The receptionist on the ground floor of the collapsing CTV building did manage to escape the building - in her case stopping would have resulted in her death. I guess in the split second you have to decide, some people will make the right choice, and some won't.... having a plan is a good idea, and it is why people in Christchurch have a habit of looking up, round and thinking where they are, and where they might be best to go, all the time! Tiring.....

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Thailand holiday fatalities & serious illness cases | Sarah Carter New Zealand

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At the start of 2011, my daughter and three friends spent three weeks in Thailand. They have many photos that are just like this one of Sarah Carter and her friends. Just like many others that go there.
The only difference is that my daughter and her friends all returned, and Sarah Carter did not.
The risks of international travel are always there but some aspects of travel in Thailand and similar countries need more publicity and awareness. If there is toxin or disease or "something in the water", in Chiang Mai, then let them track it down before more travelers die.
Sarah Carter's father has started this website to help track any issues in Thailand for past and future visitors. Just helping to spread the word.
It wont bring his daughter back, but it might spare some other families from experiencing the grief.

News article on this is at 
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4925249/Kiwi-tourists-Thai-holiday-from-hell#

April 25, 2011

Easter in Christchurch and ANZAC Day in Hagley Park

What a glorious weekend.
Four days of sun, relaxation, family and chocolate. What more could you want.
Earthquake? What earthquake.... apart from the usual regular shakes, and there have been a few over the week, we have avoided any actual signs of it in the city and escaped to the west, enjoying the sun and glorious autumn colours.

We really enjoyed the break because we expected there to be bad weather at the weekend and spent hours gardening, painting, clearing gutters and going to the dump. Instead we got sun, well until today when the rain has returned, but enough to feel a real holiday atmosphere. Somehow the earthquake made us all feel cheated and lying about in the sun has not been something we have felt able to do for weeks....

Daddy's girl....turns out he  isn't safe around prebuscent girls but I didn't know that when this was taken!
The sleepout. Painted, weeded, gutters cleaned....

Playtime

Today, a local city council member posted on the Earthquake Recovery Pictures site on Facebook these beautiful pictures, taken this weekend, of Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens. Just so you know that much of the beauty we relish about Christchurch still exists, I am putting them here for you too.















The Anzac Day service was held in Hagley Park this morning instead of the usual venue of the square outside the cathedral - which is still in the Inner NO GO red zone.  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them


Rise up Christchurch
Kia Kaha

April 21, 2011

April 20, 2011

missing pictures

Sorry - some of the pictures in my last post did not show up - so I have redone them - do take a second look :)
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Cliff top life - Christchurch style

Christchurch has long been split into those that live on the hills vs the "swamp dwellers"... but life up on the hills is a little more exciting now than down here on the swampy liquefied flat... in fact, many people don't live up there at the moment as there are a lot of decisions being made about rock falls and cliff safety... 

A series of aerial photos is available on this interesting pdf file here - photos start on p10
and see the newspaper article about them here
GNS Science has taken some stunning aerial images of damage to Christchurch's eastern cliffs.
GNS experts used aerial surveys to catalogue the extent of rock falls in the days immediately after the quake.







The yellow house in the photo above is on the main beach road and I took these pictures of it recently....


This cliff face is above Redcliffs School... the red roofed buildings


View from the other side...

I took these recently of it after the children returned to school...

Boulders crashing onto houses was another problem.

Worth enlarging this to see the route the bolder took.

This house has a boulder crash through it too - see house on left - boulder came through trees above


The boulder house close up

Even as you drive along, you realise something this big could roll down in the next aftershock.... and the real pain is you have absolutely no idea when this will be.  


The good news is that they are using explosives to bring down the loose rocks, but not a lot will help the cliff faces.

Aftershocks remained the single greatest threat to further rock falls and there had been some evidence of cracks in rocks widening since Saturday's strike, he said. ( He is referring to the 5.3 we had this weekend
''Rock falls are caused by aftershocks more than wet weather. Unless we get a downpour, anything goes then. (and we are getting  a lot of very heavy rain at the moment)
''The potential for more rocks to come down is high, especially with the sort of aftershocks we've had over the weekend.''
Hancox agreed with a Civil Defence prediction that some houses might be beyond protection and would have to be abandoned.
''It's probably a realistic possibility.
''The difference is a lot of these buildings were built a long time ago. They didn't have a history of [earthquakes] to be aware of. Now they are aware of the changes they're going to be more wary.''
He said some building owners, such as Redcliffs School, had shown good foresight by digging trenches or erecting rock fences for protection.


The worst bit is that five people died in rock falls, three were in buildings, and two were just walking over the hills.

Have a look at all the other great photos too - link again for you - here

April 19, 2011

Greening the rubble - Christchurch

Media_httpwwwgreening_ixomv

Great article here - wonderful idea !

" We will create several temporary mini-parks and gardens on prominent commercial sites levelled since the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. It's a positive alternative to dereliction or to car parks, bringing extra vitality back into the city centre, and beyond, as we encourage community involvement and provide venues for arts, sports or other activity.

Our first site, Victoria Green, is well advanced at the corner of Victoria and Salisbury streets, Christchurch (see photo, taken from a nearby roof-top after our second weekend on site with volunteers) Donated turf was laid by the Canterbury Crusaders on 8th February. We were unable to celebrate the park's near-completion on Friday 4th March aas city centre cordoned off. A new date to be announced once the trees in planters arrive on site - these are a City Council contribution. "

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Life in the Land of the Long White Cloud: The long cruel winter cometh

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I read this blog entry today... and Adrian captured it perfectly...
http://kiwiscots.blogspot.com/2011/04/long-cruel-winter-cometh.html?showComme...

I wrote him a comment - so, I am going to put it here .. as it says everything I feel today.
Thank you..
As a mature professional woman who is still employed and has minimal house damage, it has left me feeling disorientated, down and tired. We have only a fraction of what some are going through - and we will eat, stay warm, or hope to if the earth settles!
The change in routine; loss of usual friends, places, things all take their toll on us all - wherever we live. No one is unaffected. Yes we are grateful to be alive, and hopeful things will improve eventually, but it is frankly weird that other people can still build with bricks, concrete, and buy stuff and go places oblivious to the things we now notice and value... my children are planning to head overseas.
Changes perpectives,
alters lives, relationships, plans, dreams.
I feel like navel gazing with no view of a future - and it is not healthy.
Today I tidied up - with some pleasure - the first time in 8 weeks i have felt the urge to garden or tidy.
Life seems incredibly empty and we are trying to look outside and plan again - people orientated pursuits being the most important thing - we have to support each other.
Outlook for Christchurch - sunny with a chance of earthquakes.

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April 14, 2011

Christchurch Quake Photos 1: The Red Zone (20pics) | Weather Watch

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There are some great pictures here of the current state of the city...
and an extra album at the end to look through.

As the central cordon has gradually lifted, it is now possible to get closer to the inner "no-go" zone, and there are people looking sadly through hurricane fencing and chatting to the ever present army... this week I saw much of this as I drove from work across town before turning north. I took it in, driving very slowly, in no hurry.

We handle grief in bite sized chunks... taking it in slowly, one street at a time, driving slowly over the liquefied roads, past rubble and destruction. I have developed a loathing of bricks and concrete.

The blog talking about these pictures is at:
http://weatherwatch.co.nz/content/christchurch-quake-blog-red-zone

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April 13, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset


I love this ad... the feeling of the world shrinking and technology uniting it. Possibly not quite what they had in mind, as according to Telecom http://www.telecom.co.nz/fromhere#
Everyday, technology is advancing, opening up new and exciting ways for us to connect to the things and people that we love. As Kiwis we've always been an imaginative bunch so, of course, the advances in technology are fuelling our ingenious natures.
Nowhere is this truer than in today's Kiwi kids. Technology is second nature to them, and they are quickly finding all sorts of clever and imaginative ways to use it...like discovering that with a little bit of technology, they can see the sun from both sides at the same time.
So why Whangamata and London?
Somewhere in the world right now the sun is setting, while somewhere else it's rising. At Telecom, this is an idea that captured our imagination, so we set out to capture the magic of sharing a London sunset and a Whangamata sunrise - A true moment of connection from opposite sides of the world.
As Kiwi's the only thing we love as much as our beautiful beaches, is travel - and we love to travel to the UK.
But does it ever really happen?
Yes it does. Because Whangamata is 12 hours ahead of London for most of the year, it means that our two countries are close to 180 degrees apart in longitude. That's the first requirement to make it posible.
The second requirement is that both locations sit on the 'terminator line'. This is the line that defines night and day (the same one that you see on maps when you fly overseas). The terminator line moves with the seasons as the earth turns on an imperfect axis, which is what makes some days long and others short.
The result is that for a handful of days each April, London and Whangamata share a sunrise and sunset, as they are on opposite sides of the world and right on the terminator line.
So if you're in London next April, take a webcam and see if you can create your own, then let us know.
The music is specially written for Telecom....

April 8, 2011

Look what you've done to me .....

Photo

Thanks to the awesome team for a job well done :)
After a quiet night she is just fine.

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Baboon Hand....

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This amazing picture of the hand of Jackie, the baboon, was taken by a vet clinic staff member at "The Nest", Wellington Zoo.
Just makes me want to hold it.

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April 6, 2011

Udderly Amazing: Girl Teaches Cow to Jump

I read about this last night... and found the video today.
Don't suppose the trend will catch on... polo cows perhaps?

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Morning Light - beautiful song for Christchurch


Let hope rise, rise in you
Flood your heavy soul
Let hope rise,
We will rebuild this place once torn apart
Let hope rise, rise in you
Fill with morning light




Beautiful.
Thank you

Extraordinary Chch quake video shows 24 seconds of horror | News Video


Just 24 seconds. A very short time to change our lives so much. I relived my own experiences yesterday when I returned to my office for the second time to clear up...
I find it terrifying how fast the buildings tumbled in this quake. Our first quake in September, and even the footage we have seen of the recent Japanese earthquake, were a gentle rolling in comparison.
This footage was lifted when a shop owner gained access to their business some time after the quake. We haven't seen much of the actual event - just plenty of the destruction afterwards.
Perhaps this will give you a better idea of the scale... this was taken round the corner from the collapsed CTV building where around 100 people died.

A follow up article today is here:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/4851660/Re...


Two men shown in dramatic earthquake footage have a deeper appreciation for life after seeing just how close they were to death.
The CCTV footage was captured by Christchurch photographer Stephen Goodenough on his security camera in Liverpool St in central Christchurch.
It showed the 24 seconds of the February 22 quake, including buildings crumbling, cars jolting and people gathering in fear in the street.
For Dave Gibbon and Cheyne Jenkinson, who both featured in the video, the extraordinary footage brought back a flood of emotions.
"It was the scariest moment of my life and then to actually see the footage of myself. It makes me bloody happy to be alive," Jenkinson, the man shown in the grey hoodie in the video, said.
He saw the footage for the first time on Monday and said it gave him flashbacks of February 22.
"It reminded me of the day quite severely. It makes you reflect and try to relive the moment and just reflect on all the `what ifs'," he said.
Jenkinson said he was thrown into the road by the violence of the quake.
"I considered hiding under a four-wheel-drive but it started sliding, so I turned around and grabbed onto another man, we looked each other in the eye as if to say, `Oh my God, is this the end?"
Liverpool St was in chaos following the quake, he said.

April 5, 2011

Charlotte Bellis: The mental impact of the Christchurch quake | NATIONAL News

I believe that so much of what we're experiencing in Christchurch can be explained with a little something called Maslow's "hierarchy of needs".

I remember learning about it at university and all of what I've written about and feel fits in with the theory.

It's basically a pyramid that explains how the human brain works in terms of prioritising what our focus is. We start with physiological needs (the need for water, air, food and sleep) and those must be met before we will focus on achieving higher level needs as seen in image of a pyramid below.

The second level is security needs (feeling that you and your family are safe), followed by, third, social needs which include feeling like you belong and receiving affection.

Fourth is esteem needs, looking at personal worth and social recognition. Lastly, if you can finally reach the pinnacle then you're focused on self-actualising needs (that means personal growth and being interested in fulfilling your potential).

Before the earthquake I was pretty concerned with the pinnacle of that pyramid. I'd satisfied the bottom portion and was focused on being a better person, fulfilling my potential as Maslow says.

In just a few minutes I dropped to category one - physiological needs. This was one of the most disturbing aspects (mentally, emotionally and spiritually) of the quake. The basics you need to survive have vanished, and your feelings of security have been wiped. A need to feel loved or improve yourself in any way feels irrelevant.

Your vision shifts from long-term goals to daily goals and they're significantly more simplistic. I still haven't got back to that point on the pyramid more than a month on.

I'd say, for most here our basic needs have been satisfied (with water and power back for most).

The next stop in re-establishing feelings of security is much more difficult.

I know most people in Christchurch probably feel the same way. That's why many dread re-entering multi-storey concrete buildings. Or we sneered at Ken Ring and his predictions for March 20 but secretly filled up our cars with petrol and stocked up on water bottles.

Our trust that this city is a safe place to live is shattered and trust takes a while to rebuild. For many of us, that process is only just beginning.

Brilliant article....
helps explain so much
If you are interested, do read the whole article
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/charlotte-bellis-mental-impact-chch-quake-410...

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I do too fit this basket !! Better than she does ....

Photo

Sent from my iPhone

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Hugs from owner for tsunami-rescued dog | Stuff.co.nz

The owner of a dog rescued from floating tsunami wreckage after three weeks at sea is reunited with her pet.
 via stuff.co.nz
Because you deserve to know the happy ending.... here is the rescued dog reunited with her very happy owner...

A dog rescued from drifting ocean debris immediately jumped to her owner and wagged her tail at their reunion more than three weeks after Japan's tsunami.
Toshio Suzuki described last night's (NZ time) reunion at the animal shelter he heads in the tsunami-wrecked Miyagi region of northern Japan. The owner of the two-year-old mixed breed named Ban saw Saturday's (NZ time) rescue on television.
The woman was not identified for privacy reasons. Suzuki said she has an adult daughter and that the family suffered tsunami damage but was not specific.
Public broadcaster NHK aired images of the reunion with the woman hugging Ban and the dog warmly wagging her tail.
A coast guard helicopter crew spotted Ban more than two kilometres off the tsunami-hit town of Kesennuma in Miyagi. It wasn't known how long the dog had been at sea.
Suzuki says the shelter keeps 19 dogs and several cats separated from their owners after the 

April 3, 2011

Just added .. new footage of Christchurch Earthquake 22.2.11

Six people, at least, died in the two crushed buses. Very hard to see this...
Scary memories of an awful day.

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Toilet humour in Quakechurch

As we head for six weeks post quake, life assumes a new normal in "Quakechurch".  One of the issues is to do with the sewerage systems. Did you know sewage is what is in the pipes and sewerage is the transport system.... I digress.. much of the city, or at least eastern sides, are coping with problems with toilets. Most, not all, homes have power... but large chunks of this side of the city have no, or slow sewerage.  Apparently, ours is "slow" - so we can technically flush, but ...

The latest figures show that six per cent, or 96 kilometres, of Christchurch's sewerage mains were not working, with a further 27 per cent, or 474km, working only slowly.
The slow-moving flow of effluent in the pipes was presenting the biggest headache for council, and also potentially health authorities, because they were still leaking millions of litres into backyards, rivers and the sea, he said. 
A quarter of Christchurch's sewage, about 40 million litres a day, was still leaking out of broken pipes. While this was a massive improvement from 60 million litres a day just two weeks ago, it would still be months rather than weeks before rivers and beaches were found to be safe. 
All Christchurch residents are urged to use water and toilets sparingly, as sewerage systems are broken and not able to cope with large volumes of wastewater. If you have been given a chemical toilet, keep using it. If there is a portable toilet in your street or on a nearby street, please use it to help ease pressure on the overall network. 



Chemical toilet distribution area.
Hmm - it appears from this map that we are in the zone for a chemical toilet.... the top end "Westhaven", but so far no sign of one. There is a portaloo about 200 m away in either direction - nope, not heading there either. We flush... sparingly... mellow yellow and all that. If we becomes a household with one of the proposed 40,000 chemical toilets, I already know where the special emptying tank is... I noticed last night that someone has kindly taped alcohol hand sanitiser to it. It is a long walk from us - so a quick car trip is likely to be needed each day. 



A map of emptying tanks for the chemical toilets...
http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/toilets/#sewerage-and-toilet-update
The blue ponds to the right are the oxidation ponds...

However, the problem is not just for the easterners... so I hope the rest of the city get flush conscious too.

Sewerage system on brink of failure
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/4839895/Sewerage-system-on-brink-of-failure
Christchurch's sewerage system is on the verge of collapse, threatening to blanket the city in an "almighty stink" till Christmas. 
 
Christchurch City Council water and waste operations maintenance manager Mike Bourke said staff were working furiously to fix the quake-hit sewerage system, but it remained on a "knife-edge".
He called on Christchurch residents to work harder to conserve water or risk overloading the sewage ponds, leading to a city-wide stench.
"If we overload the ponds it will create an almighty stink. It won't just affect the eastern suburbs, you'll smell it in Hornby."
The choke point was the quake-crippled Bromley wastewater treatment plant, which was processing sewage at only 30 per cent of its normal level.
That had forced the council to release more untreated water into the 230 hectares of oxidation ponds and there was a 50 per cent chance that the oxygen level would drop below functional levels, turning the placid lakes into a vast cesspit.

Many have already compared life here to "The Blitz". If we start carrying gas masks, the picture will be complete.

The other problem is drinking water. The current advice is that we should keep boiling or treating all water before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation until further advised. Technically, not hard at all. We still boil water, and we buy bottled water.. and we don't eat salad or drink coffee from places that don't pre boil their water, and so far none of us have been ill. I still feel that I have spent the last six weeks working hard to avoid constantly feeling dehydrated and I know that many people are coping with constipation, cystitis and headaches, probably all due to a reduced water intake. Somehow, keeping up with the needs of four people and the pets, tepid boiled water is often the only thing I can find to drink... particularly in the middle of the night. Hate it, but I force it down.

On Friday I spent the day at a meeting in Wellington. We had booked a single storey office near the Beehive. Three of us there flew up from Christchurch; we all eyed the high rises, the old heritage buildings, road flyovers, bridges and immense acres of glass frontages with new eyes and wished we were home. We all had things like torches, cell phones, solar phone chargers with us. Someone asked us what we would do differently - we all said "carry and store more water". We all felt bad that we had none with us up there .... and never mind the Civil Defence advice on planning on coping for three days alone. Plan for a week! I would also always wear shoes you can walk in.. can be a long walk home.

I find it hard to grieve properly because I am still feeling detached from the reality of what has happened, but I know I am jumpy, irritable and stressed. Sometimes I get close enough to see damage for myself, but most of it is from pictures and tv footage, and nothing like the reality of being in there, feeling the changes. Out of courtesy to residents, we don't drive into the worst hit areas. Out of safety concerns, we are still not in the central city. My work area is not the same - I have no office or proper place to do my work so I work from home and try to visit our teaching prefab when I can to see the students and other staff.... I have had my 10 minutes salvage in my usual office, but never get to drive my usual route to work, although our campus in Zone 5 was released from the cordon on Friday, so perhaps I will soon. A chance to tidy up!

For those of you overseas... we are fine. We are here, coping with the new normal, establishing plans for the winter and everyone is dealing with issues like insurance claims, home and work relocations, school displacements, real or suspected redundancies, business insolvencies... uncertainty and confusion.
Still nothing compared to Japan, but we can empathise to some degree.

Finally, here is a great place to check before and after aerial views of the whole city.

http://eqviewer.co.nz/index-imagery.html
We spend time checking out what is going, going GONE from the latest list of proposed demolitions...

Civil Defence today revealed the list of 184 buildings, as at 31 March, in Christchurch set for demolition, partial demolition or make safe.  
Seven of these buildings were listed as critical, based on being more than five stories tall, proximity to other buildings and subsequent risk. 
Really doesn't pay to dwell on what there was...  or what will replace it. Hopefully "the people" will get some say!

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