Monday, September 6, 2010

Did the earth move for you?

So forget about what happens when an itty bitty burglar takes a few itty bitty things from your haven.  Let's face the big one, as so many of our compatriots in Christchurch did a few days ago.

What happens to your sense of priorities and security when your house does this?

(C) Ian Chan

And what happens to your stuff?  Feel your perspective shifting already?  I rate mine about a 5.2.

Christchurch has so far been incredibly fortunate in having almost no loss of life (while tragic, it's hard to tell if a heart attack is a casualty or a coincidence) and not very many serious injuries, considering the bricks and walls and glass that went tumbling down.

Our niece attends Canterbury University in Christchurch.  Since her house cracked up a bit and the chimney is no longer where it should be, she's living... well, somewhere else, I guess.  Her landlord is not answering messages.  "I am SO not paying rent this week!"

They are still experiencing significant aftershocks and large ones are very possible.  Many have no power or water, and this is the tail end of winter in a place where it has been known to snow.

For me, the scariest thing (since Auckland is about 600km away from epicentre) is that this was totally unexpected.  Not only did our fancy schmancy seismological equipment fail to detect any warnings about this major shakeup, we didn't even know about this faultline!  It could be brand new. 
This road looks familiar - I think we belted down it at some sociably irresponsible speed during our South Island road trip some years ago.  New trap for speeding drivers...

Not a happy thought for someone living on a city with something like 50 dormant volcanoes.

So it's probably time to look around you and appreciate what you have right now.  Like this guy:

Lots more amazing pics...

Source NZ Herald:

* 500+ Buildings damaged
* 90+ CBD buildings damaged
* Estimated cost of damage: $2 billion
* Magnitude of Saturday's quake: 7.1
* 58 Aftershocks
* 245 Residents housed in welfare centres
* 15 per cent of Christchurch homes still without water
* 3500 homes still without power
* 300,000 litres of water transported to Christchurch by rail yesterday
* Distance of epicentre from Christchurch central: 40km

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