Earthquake hits home in Christchurch

This is a personal blog post about the last five days. Chris and I live in Christchurch, New Zealand with our three children. On Saturday morning at 4.35am we were woken up with a roaring nose and the whole house shaking. An earthquake. Then it was pitch black, we were all ok, frightened and apprehensive about what would happen next and what to do next. We grabbed the kids, torches and blankets and sat on the sofa, under a very large beam and rode out a lot more after shocks. It was awful. Daylight arrived and we had no power and no water. This was ok, the house was in one piece and we were all safe. There was glass broken all over the floor, and we had filing cabinets spilling out all their contents in the garage, but overall we were lucky.

It has now been five days and we are still having after shocks, they come in all shapes and sizes and you never get used to them. It feels like you are sea sick as the ground always seems to be moving under you. We haven't seen much of the devastation as we have been told to stay at home and keep off the roads unless you need to go somewhere important. We have seen a substantial amount on the television, and wow, it is a real mess, our central business district is closed off as there are many buildings that the brick facades just fell off.

On a happy note, I often talk about the fact that we have so much bureaucray here in New Zealand, especially when it comes to the building code. I will now eat humble pie, as I see that most new buildings have withstood the violent shakes. There are some that were on a fault line that have been damaged, but have stood up and allowed the occupants to get out safely. To my current knowledge, no one has lost their life, which is just amazing, the strict building codes that we have here have saved so many lives, and the fact that it happened when most people were sleeping.
I will leave you now, as my keyboard seems to be advancing and receding, and as the schools are all closed, I have to attend to little people!

Here is a link to some photos on Saturday of the damage

Thanks for all the concerned emails, I cannot answer them personally, so I will confirm that we are all ok, just very shaken and still worried about the aftershocks, like the large one we had this morning.

Lee Brown
http://www.interiordezine.com

Comments

sharonintdec said…
I am so sorry to hear but happy to know that you and your family is safe.
sandra_genteboa said…
Glad to hear you guys are ok. God Bless!

Sandra Thurston, from Brazil
sandra_genteboa said…
Glad to hear you are all ok. God bless!

Sandra Thurston, Brazil
vheyliger said…
Hy,
I know exactly what you guys or going thrue, I was in haiti when the earthquake happen in january! We also had alots of afterchocks!!!!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing Lee. I thought of you as soon as I saw it on TV as I knew from the course you are based in Christchurch. Keep your chin up and hopefully the earth will settle beneath your feet! Best wishes from the Cayman Islands :)
Anonymous said…
I thank God that you and your family are safe. Through your sharing, I know now how important it really is to have and to follow strict building codes. Prayers for your continued safety.
Anonymous said…
Hi Sweetie,
So sorry for all you are going through. You and your family as well as the people of your area will be in my prayers.
God speed,
Sherry Manchester
Anonymous said…
NhungBui,
Praise God that your family are all safe ,
God bless you all.I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
NhungBui from Australia
Anonymous said…
I thank God for his mercies.I thought of you and you family first when I heard too- you are the only one I know from New Zealand. You all are always in my prayers. Keep up the good work. Victory-Nigeria
Anonymous said…
Glad you are all okay. Severe earthquakes can be a very scary experience. We have had severe ones here. Building codes have been upgraded here, but corrupt officials always make me nervous as they may pass bad buildings as okay.

The important thing is that none of you were hurt. Blessings to all.
adetunji said…
i am very sad to read this.i pray that almighty God will be with u and your family.adetunji from Nigeria
Anonymous said…
Thank God for protecting you and your people. We pray God will have mercy upon the earth and stop all the disaster happening all over the world. May God give you peace as you go through this turbulent time.
We will keep praying for you.
Itunu (Nigeria)
Anonymous said…
Thank God for His mercy towards you and your family. At this time we pray for all nations of the earth going through such devastation. May God give you peace to see you through this turbulent time.
Our thoughts are with you.
Itunu & family (Nigeria)
Anonymous said…
Praise God you are fine! Would love to post this on my face book page, learnt a lot here...just glad you are fine! Modupe
aprildaybreak said…
Thankful you guys are okay. I will be praying for you, your family and your community!
Anonymous said…
To God be the glory for His protection upon you and your family.So happy to hear you are safe.May God's protection continue to abide with your family.Calamity will not befall you in Jesus name.
Anonymous said…
Hay Lee!!!
I am stunned to hear that and after being affiliated with you through the e-coourses I am feeling really sorry that you are in trouble. Dear, I can feel your feelings as there were horrible and heart breaking concequences after the breath taking earthquakes in our lovely country, PAKISTAN, few years back.. May Allah protect you and your family and bring all the beings arround you safe and sound out of this disaster.. AMEEN..
Anonymous said…
My Dream

Hello Lee,

I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I just read your post about the events you lived through in Crist Church. I truly am sorry for the disruption to your life and all other lives in New Zealand. It is very wonderful that no lives were lost. But undoubtedly, much pain, loss and fear exists. It must truly be so that the strict building codes of New Zealand helped save lives. This is a testiment I wish all countries were able to accomplish.

In Canada, the people of Haiti were much in our minds our hearts after the devestation and death they suffered as a result of the horrible shaking of the earth on which they live. I hope for them that new homes and buldings are constructed stronger to better withstand natures forces. I also think that solar energy could be a wonderful solution for the people of Haiti (one the poorest nations on the planet). I wonder how easy it would be to rebuild every new structure in Haiti with green, sustainable, materials; products like bamboo(moisture) and regional materials and appropriate designs that withstand local climates. It is also an opportunity to rebuld agriculture in Haiti. Past generations of Haitians grew many foods for themselves. Todays' water captment systems can help provide water needed. Haiti had hardly anything before the earthquake stuck last year. Now they have less. It would be such a wonderfull place to start a new, for all people globally. If Haiti was rebuilt with green architecture and green design, it would allow for personal health, the ability to grow food, and forests again, greater independence from fossil fuels throught solar power and a freedom to acheive profit in a enviromentally harmonious way.

This may sound simplistic and dreamlike, but I believe it is only the will of people, the people in control of the money entering Haiti, that could make or break a vision as such. How many international architects, designers and environmentalists would jump at an opportunity to rebuild complete cities and communities in this way?

Haitians, and all so called 'poor' cultures have a huge appreciation and aptitude for art and design. These are their riches. When cultures are able to thrive and sustain in a natural evnvironment, beautiful art and design is created. This is my dream.

Good luck to everyone in Chist Church during recovery and rebuilding.

My dream
m.grant503@ntlworld.com said…
Hi lee,
I am so sorry to hear about the earthquake in christ church,
I am so glad that you & your family are all well,
I plan to go on holiday to your beautiful country someday soon,
I will pray for all the ppl of new zeland especially you & your family
Take care all my best wishes,
Margaret Grant.x
Sarah M. Fauen said…
Hi Lee, im so glad to hear that your all alright, when i heard where the earthquake was, i instantly though about you and your family. God bless, and please keep us informed. :)
Melissa said…
Hi Lee,
Glad to hear that you're all safe after the earthquake. I know how you feel for we also had the same experience when Mt Pinatubo erupted in 1991 here in the Philippines. God bless all of you in Christchurch.
Melissa from the Philippines
mahil said…
Hi Lee! thank God that u all safe. praise the God that nobody died.
take care. may God bless you.

love, Mahil (srilanka)
Anonymous said…
GLORY TO GOD! Lee, that u and your family members are safe is something to give GOD thanks and praises cos it could have worse than what it presently is. I would be praying for you and citizens of your country.
Anonymous said…
i feel very sad about this incident
and i pray to god show mercy upon
victims

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