Canterbury EarthquakeI live in Christchurch, New Zealand, and on September 4th, 2010, at 4.35am we had a 7.1 earthquake. Thousands of homes were damaged, and about 3000 buildings are no longer safe and are being demolished. Many beautiful heritage buildings have been destroyed.
What you don't hear so much about is the aftershocks. At first we were getting 98 a day, now a week later it is about 12 a day. These aftershocks keep people in a state of fear, as the bigger ones take us back to the original one and we are being re-traumatised. Suddenly the house will jolt and your heart leaps and thuds away as the house moves and we wait to see if it is going to stop or gather momentum.
Each aftershock affects already damaged structures and makes it worse.
Thanks be to God no-one was killed. I am so grateful, too to live in a first world country where firefighters, police, army, Red Cross, Civil Defence are all here, trained and ready to go. Also structural engineers, geotech engineers, builders plumbers etc, all here on the spot.
Most areas have power, water and sewerage restored although there are port-a-loos and water tankers in some areas. There are 5 Welfare Centres in the area to house temporarily the homeless and those too afraid to stay in their home.
New Zealand is an earthquake -prone country but Christchurch is on the flat and no-one seriously thought there would be one here. In the mountains 50 miles away maybe. The two faults that opened up have been inactive for 16,000 years.
All the quakes are being detailed on www.geonet.org.nz
The Maori have a saying, " The only important thing - people, people, people" So true. My dog had a panic attack, the cat only comes inside for a short time before dashing out again, but sooner or later, we are all going to be okay.