Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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

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