I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, and have been trying to find out how relatives there are. Yesterday's event here produced the following from my stepsister. The linked photos are horrendous.Let's count our blessings!
We are still alive and ticking, but exhausted. This web site will show the reason why!! The earthquake today in your part of the world was certainly a surprise, they are not very pleasant events, even when the damage is minimal.
Look at the link below, how much of the city centre do you recognise? Not much. We fear virtually the whole of the city centre is broken. It is a miracle more people were not killed. As we walk on the perimeter of the "Red Zone" and peer in, we wonder how everyone managed to escape.
We have had over 8,000 shakes since September 4 and over 30 above 5 on the richter scale and 3 over 6. The February one this year has put us out of our apartment, we have had 4moves from friends, family(GP) and town house and now a flat in Harakeke St Riccarton, where we hope to stay until we find out what is happening.
The land that our apartment sits on is in the Orange Zone, which means it has yet to be assessed as to whether it is safe to stay there. It is on the river as you know, and that has risks of lateral expansion and liquifaction connected to that. They say they will get to us in about 4months time. We are not holding our breath. If the land is zoned green, we can begin the insurance work, and start to repair the building firstly and then the apartments. So, we have quite a bit in front of us. If the land is zoned red, we get a G.V. payout, and move.
It is amazing the ingenuity of the people here. Little businesses are springing up in the most unlikely places, people are setting up restaurants, cafes and shops in the suburbs and new commercial areas, all the lawyers and accountants are out of the city highrise, and in buildings all around the city.
Sumner and the hills of Cifton, Mt. Pleasant, etc around to even Cashmere have been severely hit. The ends of the bluffs on those hills, especially on the seaside hills were blown off, houses fell down, and the cliffs crumbled. Huge rocks the size of cars came bounding down the slopes killing people and flattening houses below, and causing terrible damage.
I think everyone is fairly traumatised, we have learnt to live with these aftershocks which at times are terrifying, but are settling down a bit. However on June 13 we had another huge quake. The February quake is the greatest vertical force a city in the world has experienced. Apparently our apartment and central city buildings rose into the air, some 2metres and at 1½times the "G" force, and came down twice the "G" force. Both Grantley and I were in our apartment at that time and as the ferocity of the quake increased and our building was screaming, twisting, swinging and bucking, we seriously thought we were going to perish. That is the quake that took down the CTV building killing over 100 people, and the Pyne Gould Guinnes Building where 17 perished.
We are all fine, safe and well, but perhaps you can understand our lack of communication"