I have been following with great concern and interest the earthquake in Christchurch, getting news from family and friends down there, as well as the media.
Also interesting has been the emails and interest from people overseas, concerned that I may have been in harm’s way, I feel terrible I didn’t think to update that I was in Auckland and Ok, since I travel expensively for work. I feel grateful for all the love coming in, and I’m passing it on to those who need it.
It has taken me a few days to get my head around things in Christchurch, in order to write clearly about what has been lost, and gained in the week so far.
Just to clarify, I am not in Christchurch; my family have not lost property. No friends of mine have been harmed and my grandmother is not too scared to sleep.
So this is not a personal account of the earthquake, but an insight into the surrounding hubbub.
I heard a woman call into the radio this evening, I suspect she called more to talk, than to talk specifically about any one aspect. She had a recognisable tone of the shell shocked.
Her voice was completely lacking in affect, yet she was clearly very distressed.
Her words that really struck me were; “everyone is talking like the quake is over. The quake was easy. The aftershocks are hard. It is like the earth is taunting me. Every time I relax there is another one.”
My heart went out to her, she was obviously petrified, and who can blame her?
At 7.1 on the Richter scale this quake was the biggest NZ has ever experienced and they are still experiencing aftershocks. (up to 5.4 today)
She said she still hasn’t had a shower yet.
That gave me pause for thought.
I imagine that she has probably been fixing and tidying up a half a ton of dust even if there hasn’t been any major damage to her property. Most people shower at least daily, and this woman hasn’t felt like she could let down her guard for 5 minutes in order to shower yet.
That means that she hasn’t let her guard down in four days.
I tend to get cold symptoms if I don’t get a good night’s sleep for more than a week.
I cannot imagine how my body would feel after being on edge 24 hours a day for 4 days straight.
I realise that people in war zones and other disaster areas experience this, including our own Women and Men deployed in combat zones.
The shock comes not from the existence of the symptoms and the experience of the woman I heard, but that it was in Christchurch.
Christchurch, for those not in the know, is about as middle-class suburban as NZ gets.
It was not on a known fault line until Saturday, and stuff just doesn’t HAPPEN there.
They struggle to get bands to tour past Auckland and Wellington and get there!
It is a beautiful area with access to some of the most stunning places in NZ, but if our cities were siblings, Wellington would be the uptight over achiever, Auckland would be the complacent stoner, Hamilton the promiscuous trouble causer, and Christchurch would be “the reliable one”.
Rotorua, Hastings/Napier have known geothermal activity, Christchurch most certainly does not.
My heart goes out to all those involved, and I’m waiting to hear what is really needed, before I step up and send supplies down.
So far, I hear that they need pillows for those who are staying in shelters.
By the way, this seriously disproves the BS theories I hear from idiots that natural disasters are caused as punishment (e.g. Katrina due to people turning away from Jesus and toward voodoo).
And as for Boob-quake... it is too bloody cold to even know if people HAVE boobs at the moment!! (couldnt resist a little bit of humor)