February 21, 2016

Reflections on Christchurch

It has been over five years since we started having earthquakes... and the milestone for the September 2010 quake passed uneventfully.  It might have been bigger at 7.1 and it might have been the start of it all, but Tuesday, February 22nd 2011 at 12.51pm was the one that finished us,  or started us. I guess it depends on your point of view.  Whatever view you take, whenever talk turns to where we were, that is the one we remember.  The fear and the damage and the journeys home, and of course the 185 people who weren't so lucky.


There is a new video to commemorate the quakes : Children of the Christchurch Earthquake....

It would be nice to say the land had settled - but a decent quake last week and all the aftershocks reminds us it is probably never going to end.

Screenshot today: http://www.canterburyquakelive.co.nz/

Senior Lecturer in Active Tectonics and Geomorphology, University of Melbourne Mark Quigley lived her for eight years and wrote this excellent article after the Valentine's Day quake last week...The earthquakes keep on coming for Christchurch

Another great article: another shake in Christchurch, five years on - and how they are cutting the Mental Health Funding here! 

Six things Cantabrians should do in the wake of the Valentine's Day quake

1. Reach out to people: Talk to your family, friends and neighbours.
2. Don't stop doing normal things like walking in the park, working in the garden and grocery shopping.
3. Focus on the immediate good things in your life, but at the same time respectfully acknowledge the bad and don't deny the past.
4. Remember we have gone through this before and survived physically as well as emotionally.
5. Keep your activity patterns healthy and watch your diet - don't take this as an opportunity to "binge on chocolate or hit the hard stuff."
6. If you are not coping, go and see your GP.

Five years I guess the city is a confusing mix of progress, cleared land and new buildings, but also surrounded by places that have not been touched and houses that are still damaged and broken.

Facebook aerial pictures of Christchurch by Press.co.nz Feb 2016

Christchurch earthquake: Eerie images of city's red-zone, five years on

I have posted pictures regularly of the changes to the area near my house...taken by Becker Fraser Photos. Here are their Picasa albums of Christchurch 

Ours is just one area of the Residential Red Zone but this is repeated in many areas on the eastern side of the city. Thousands of people have been displaced.....and new subdivisions are everywhere around the city to create the homes that were required.   

Horseshoe Lake - 2012 - I live at the bottom of the picture - dog park top right
Horseshoe Lake 2016 - I live top left area - and walk the dogs in the foreground area regularly
 This one shows the central city -  the rebuild is well underway!

I guess people wonder why we stay. For me the reality is that there is no where else I want to be. My family, friends, work, home are all here.  My daily life is busy and I'm out most nights  exploring new places, meeting people and supporting the events going on.  I haven't posted on here much all summer - but we have had a lovely Xmas, visits from my brother, my nephew, Dad's 90th birthday,  family get togethers. dinners, quiz nights, movies, outdoor theatre at Hamlet and Wizard of Oz, Sparks in the Park, Cirque De Soleil, tubing at the Ashley Gorge, barbecues, get togethers.   And yes, the earth shook regularly at a lot of them!  

Tomorrow I will think about the start of our collective journey through the quakes at 12.51pm, and just carry on living with it all :) 

Kia Kaha Christchurch


  1. I thought of you all when you had a nasty jolt recently. We were holidaying in California and were very dismayed to read the news on the Herald internet page. Californian people we spoke to understood. They too live with shaking every now and then.
    Kia Kaha Christchurch - we are with you!

  2. Given the geological situation of NZ, it is realistic to expect no end to the quakes anytime soon (and by "soon" I mean millions of years - a blink in geological terms).
    And given the scale and frequency of the quakes, it comes close to a miracle that not more people have died. 185 is still 185 too many, but compared with the more than 19.000 victims of the 2011 quake in Japan, one really can't help but wonder how anyone can cope with such catastrophes. We humans are a tough species...

    Glad to know you had such a good summer! I always like your posts from the other "side" of the world (not that our planet really has "sides", but you know what I mean) :-)

  3. Not living through it I was surprised to think it was 5 years ago.

    Those before and after photos are very telling.

    So glad you have had some good things going on through it all :-)


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