Saturday, September 4, 2010

Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake

[Stephen picking up the washing from the rubble]

[And the chimney that is still up there, threatening to come down in any of the aftershocks or perhaps the gale force winds tomorrow]

[All our clean water burst from the water main in front of the house]

[Standing knee deep in one of the cracks that appeared during the earthquake]

[The worst damage inside our apartment - cracked plaster and dust everywhere]

[The water was quickly boring its way under the road towards the river - a very fast underground torrent racing its way through the new cracks]

[The road outside our building was really bad - it's now dead quite out there with no traffic, making it somewhat otherworldly when you step outside onto the street]

[Some houses fared worse than others]

[Just before our BBQ dinner the firemen came and took some of the worst rubble off the roof. We're still waiting for a crane crew to come and take down the other two chimneys]

It's a funny feeling being in a disaster and I have to say the worst part of it is not during the actual event itself (though that was pretty horrible). No, its the hours and days (and presumably weeks) afterwards when everyone has to live with limited services; no water or sewage and gather up the pieces of their broken homes and try to put them back together. Tension runs high and people are apt to snap at the smallest thing. Yesterday, after the earthquake people were open and friendly and willing to talk, now they seem to be more on edge and snappy and frustrated. It's hard when everyone deals with this in their own way.

Stephen and I are fine. Although we have no water or sewage, we have been left with many liters of fresh water from friends and our landlords and there are porta-potties not too far away. The cat is finally out from under the stairs and we are about to head off to the grocery store to see what is left for our dinner tonight and possibly the next few. Lots of knitting and sewing time I suppose.

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