Thursday, February 24, 2011

We are all safe in Christchurch after the earthquake

Finally I can get online and contact everyone. I am sure you have seen the news and the devastation that has hit Christchurch with the aftershock on Tuesday. Aftershock? Boy it was worse that the earthquake of September 4th 2010. I can describe it as if you are a cork in the middle of the ocean and getting thrown around. The house was like a tiny lilo that was rocking on an unstable ground. Everything was thrown to the ground and smashed, furniture was tipped up, pictures on the wall literally jumped of the walls. The gold fish were lucky to have any water left in their tank.

We were lucky, our house is still standing, we have had no power and water, but we have all our family alive and accounted for. There are still so many people missing. It is a very bizarre experience as I sit here using a mobile connection to contact you, some people are homeless, some are digging holes in the garden to use as toilets, others are queuing up for fresh water at the local schools. The entire central business district is closed down, we are waiting for a 26 storey hotel to fall down as it continues to slump in one corner.

We were just starting to get some sleep at nights, the anxiety had lessened and the dependence on a glass of wine to calm the nerves at night had decreased.  Now we are back to feeling uptight, the children won't go upstairs unless there is someone with them, their behaviour has changed. It was a very traumatic experience for the children, they were at school when it happened and were outside playing at lunch time. Alex was thrown to the ground and banged his head, Emily twisted her ankle and was very frightened. Now every time there is an aftershock, she grabs something solid and freezes on the spot. Alex dives under the table. Charlie the 17 month old is oblivious to the whole experience, and is a happy bouncy baby! In fact his antics keep us sane as he provides the light relief to make us smile in a situation that is dire for the city.

We have only just seen yesterday the devastation on TV as we had no power, so it was very distressing to see what has happened and it felt like you had been hit again as we just had an idea in our head after listening to the radio. It was much worse that we had expected.

The good thing is that they were already well into the planning to rebuild the city after the first earthquake, so it will now just be adding to what was already planned, and the addition of a huge amount of essential services like power, sewerage, water, gas and roading.
As I sit here, we have more after shocks. I better get back to cleaning up the mess, it has taken longer than I had imagined. I would just like to say thank you to all the people who have emailed me with their thoughts and prayers. We appreciate that and feel that someone was looking after us as we have now escaped two large disasters. I managed to receive some emails, I haven't been able to reply as I have intermittent internet access.

I would like to send my condolences to the families of all those who did not make it through this experience. We don't know who you are yet, and as we wait to hear, we cross our fingers that it is no one we know, but in a city as small as ours, I am sure we have lost friends, so for now, we are putting that out of our minds as it is out of our control. I would also like to thank all the countries who have sent experienced search and rescue crews to help us look for survivors. They have come from Australia, Japan, China, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and Taiwan. (Sorry if I have missed anyone).

We will be back in contact when we have a better internet connection.

Lee, Chris, Emily, Alex and Charlie.
Amanda and the team at interiordezine.com

72 comments:

Julie said...

So glad you and your family are okay. Thank you for the update! We send prayers, positive thoughts and blessings your way.

DeeDee said...

I had thought of you and your family when I heard of the areas affected. So glad to hear you are safe and sound. My prayers go out to those who are suffering any type of loss and also for your continued safety.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear you and your family are safe and well. Thinking of you all at this time xxx

wendy said...

I have been thinking of everyone in Christchurch.. how incredibly sad. I'm happy your family are all fine; sad to think of the children being so frightened.

My prayers are with everyone there.. wish I was closer so I could help those in need.

Glad you are ok.

samantha said...

Glad to hear that you guys are ok. My heart goes out to those who have suffered lost.

habeatso said...

dear lee & Chris

May hod continue to look over you and your family.My prayers are with you all. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Sharon

Mirtes F.Pegorer said...

THANK GOD YOU AND THE FAMILY ARE OK!i HOPE THE PEOPLE CAN GET SAFE AND ALIVE TOO IN YOUR CITY

susan williams said...

I am thank God for keeping you and your family safe. I also appreciate that you keep me on your mailing list even though I do not respond often. God Bless you and keep you and may he make his light to shine upon you.

Tanya said...

Please accept my heartfelt condolences dear brown family
my families heartfelt prayers are with all you & your beloved people
May you all find strenght in this difficult hours*Sending Much love & Prayers

Anonymous said...

Dear Lee, Thanks dear God that you and your family are well! I'm thinking of you all the time and praying for you!
I am so sorry for all those unfortunate people who didn't make it in this terrible disaster.
Gordana

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with you, you have been been so helpful to all of us with the interior design lessons. We hope you can recover and we send prayers for those who lost family in the disaster.

Rosethe said...

I thank God that you and yours are safe and sound. I did not know you are in Christchurch.
Is there a way we can contribute to Interiordezine to help your family? You have provided a valuable service to many, now allow us to help you.

God Bless,

Rose Lupo
Orlando, FL

Anonymous said...

Knowing that you have a very difficult time. May Lord be with you and your family.

from Hong Kong

Anonymous said...

My prayer with you and your family and the country.

sasha said...

Hi from Sasha in Tasmania. I am so relieved to hear that you and the Family are OK. Have been following it all closely on the news with great compassion to you all in Christchurch for suffering such devastation. Hope things settle down a bit and no further traumatic aftershocks occur. My thoughts are with you at this time... Sasha

Anonymous said...

Hi,glad to here that you and your family are okay. Thank you for the update! our prayers and thoughts are always with you.

Mei Ling said...

I am so glad to hear you & family are safe and sound. It is terrible for children to experience this traumatic situation, i know; give them more encouragement and comfort, time will heal the pain. May you all be blessed with continued safety.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you all are well! I remember the huge chandelier swaying in the Christmas Cathedral in Omsk, and it was strange. Never expect an earthquake!

Yelena Parshina said...

Lee, I am Yelena Parshina from Almaty Kazakhstan. I am very impressed by your educational and professional work. We thought about your family when the earthquake in Christchurch stroke. Thanks God, you are safe. Almaty is also an earthquake zone, so i know how the buiding can lean and then go back. This is really awful experience, but we got used to it. I am a brand new interior designer and read all your articles, thank you.

cathy said...

So glad to hear you and your family are safe. I felt so bad when I saw the devastation there. You are in my prayers

Cathy071654@aol.com

Hemant said...

God is GR8........Hope evrything should b fine in future also....

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you and your family, and for the whole Christchurch community...

God Bless.

Bonnie said...

Glad to know that you and ur family are safe...I pray for more survivors

I also pray for those who have lost their loved ones and give them the strength to bear with the loss...

God bless u all, the whole is in a shock..

Mother nature, please take care of us all, we are your children and please forgive us all, who have abused nature in any way.

Claire said...

Hello from Malaysia. I am glad to hear you are well.

jithin alunkal said...

May god continue to look over you and your family.My prayers are with you all. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Anonymous said...

I was out of town for a couple of days and I didn't watch TV at all and when I came back and heard about the tragedy I was thinking of you. I am so happy you and your family are OK.
I'll pray God to keep you strong and help you and your friends there to get through this and I'll also pray for the others.

Maria from Romania

Medusa59 said...

So glad, you are okay. Best wishes from good (c)old Germany

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hera you're OK. You were the first that came to my mind the moment I heard about what happened. Take care and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Utlwi
God is faithful. good to hear He kept you safe during a time like this. May He continue to keep you from harm at all times. God bless

Ashu said...

Thank God ! You are such a nice soul . May god bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear from you.. Thank God!! Be God be with you.. Take care

kabungo said...

from zambia,i send condolences to the bereaved families.above all we thank God for the safety of your family.May God protect all the affected people in that area

Bukola Sanwo said...

I'm glad you and your family are safe Lee. May God continue to keep you safe. My heart goes out to the precious souls lost. May they find peace.

Anonymous said...

Hi i am from Sri Lanka.Thank God you and your family are okay.Take care and May God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Lee, thank God you, your family and decorating team are safe. I've been watching the news -devastating. I'm praying for all of you, specially for the people that have lost their possessions or , even worse,family members or friends. A big hug from Mercedes (from Colombia).

sindy said...

Thank God that you are all safe. GOD IS GREAT. I will continue to prayer for all of you who have been affected by this disaster

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear you are all up and well. We thank the Lord for keeping you safe and bringing you out of the "Aftershock". I pray that he will help you all build your city in no time, but don't forget to include him when you putting things back into place.

Anonymous said...

May God bless u and ur family

ACEQUEEN1972 said...

Its good to know that you and all of the family. You will be in my pray

Malawi said...

I praise God for your survival, may He continue taking care of you and your city

Anonymous said...

Glory be to God and to our Lord Jesus who made it possible for you to be saved. We pray that He will continue to protect and meet you all at the point of your needs. Amen

Roselle said...

Dear Lee and family, thanks for your email in the choas. You are all in our prayers and thoughts.

deda10968 said...

Lee and Fam-
I'm so glad to hear you're all OK. I was thinking about you when I heard about the earthquake. It's funny that I don't even know you except through your posts, but have appreciated all your help with interior design so much. Good luck with all the cleaning up. Stay safe!

Jane in Michgan, USA said...

So glad to hear you and your family are ok! Thought of you immediately. Praying for you, your family and your community. Please stay safe.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY TO HEAR EVERYTHING IS ALLRIGHT AND SAFE .GOD BLESS YOU.

HELEN said...

I thank God that you are ok you and your family and to your fellow countrymen I say God bless you all

Anonymous said...

Thank God, you are fine.... we will keep putting you all in our prayers

Anonymous said...

Lee,
So glad to hear you and your family are ok.Keep watching that baby Charlie. From Tropical Sunny Curacao a speedy recovery for everyone Christchurch.

glau said...

Hi, Lee.
We are praying for your cities.
I hope every thing going to be better.

lavanyaharsh said...

hi lee how r u right now i am so sorry to hear this bad news from u i thank god not to repeat this earthquake anymore i pray for u LEE
and ur family to be safer side always take care lee

eve trinidad said...

Hi Lee
I am so happy to hear that you and your family are ok but still find the time to write after such an experience. We appreciate that. God Bless you and your family.

anwar said...

Happy to hear Good news,
Well take care...

Anonymous said...

Lee and Chris, Emily and the Boys, Prayers go out to you. Newzealand is a beautiful ctry and so is Christ Church.
Be comforted and know we are praying for you.

Catherine (now in Kenya)

Jacqueline said...

Dear Lee and Chris,

I immediately thought of you as soon as the news of the earthquake was on the news. I just hoped you were all safe. I think you must have a mission God needs you alive so cheer up and see what God needs you for. Your creative powers are going to be in demand. God Bless you all.

Jacqueline Mercieca - Malta

Awesiri said...

So sorry to see the devastations and the loss of lives in Christchurch.

May the Lord continue to keep you in Jesus' Name.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you and your family are okay...God bless...Elaine from Newfoundland.

Debbie Brown said...

Thinking of you in this extremely difficult time. Happy to hear that you have survived without serious injury.

Anonymous said...

so glad that you and your family are okay...

it was a horrible incident there when i saw the news.. it really makes me sad..

God bless you and take care Lee...

I pray for you..

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing part of your life with us, sad as these moments are we survive, we rebuild, we become wiser about the fraility of life and hopefully make some adjustments. We here in Queendsland are still daily working through the flood but even if with our own disaster happening, we feel for each of you and what you are experiencing also. You are most definitely in poeples prayers!

Parul said...

Glad to hear that you and your family are safe and sound.God bless you.

Mer said...

my condolences to all those who did not make it through in this disaster
I wish you my very best to recover from this unpleasant experience

Mercedes Garcia from Amsterdam in The Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that,though i had just check my email & read it just now.I dont have an idea that you are located there.I am glad you & your family are safe.Please take our prayers and for those who are affected too.Hope to hear update from you soon.

Anonymous said...

may God be with all you you.
Be strong in the Lord and be of good courage

Anonymous said...

may god be with you all..
happy to hear that you guys are all safe and well....

lut1313 said...

I know it’s a traumatic experience, good to hear that you are all safe. My condolence to the family who lost some of their members. Let’s pray that disasters like this won’t happen again.

Daniela said...

I am so glad you and your family are ok! Omg your story reminded me the earthquake, in 1980, in Italy where at time I was living and I vividly remember still now the after and the fear to go to sleep...Few day ago my daughter asked me what was an earthquake, I couldn't give an answer. I really know and understand what are you going through.God bless you all

dear micobin said...

lee,thank God u and ur family are okay.av been thinking on how to get rhapsody of reality daily devotional by pastor chris oyakilome across 2 u.www.pastorchrisonline.org.i love u all

Anonymous said...

Thank God for u and ur family. It's good to hear from and to know that u are safe. may ur country not have these kind of experiences again in Jesus name, Amen

sarah

vida said...

Dear Lee, i thank God that you and your family are fine.i think that is more important than any other thing.God will surely restore and even multiply all that you and your family have lost.All the best!

Anonymous said...

thank God `for your family. You are always in my prayers

badryah said...

hi lee.
i'm badryah from malaysia. i'm so sorry to hear of the disaster. thank The Al Mighty Allah for the safety of you and your family.
we do prayed for the safety of all.

regards
badryah

Anonymous said...

i was so friegthened when had about what happened and am giving my condolences to those that doesn't' make it. Am happy that you and your family are safe and sound, God is you strength.

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