I’ve been putting off writing a blog entry on this as it’s still so fresh and painful and totally overwhelming. As some of you may know the Canterbury region of New Zealand was hit by a 7.1 magnitude quake at 4.30 am Saturday (NZ time).
Living in NZ quakes are a part of life that you grow up with and you have an idea of how long they will last but this was very different. With a “normal” quake you shelter under a doorway wait a while and it’s over relatively quickly. This one… OMG…..We were waken by it, jumped out of the bed and headed of those doorway and held on, instead of stopping though it got louder and stronger than I’ve ever been through before. The only thing you could do was wait and hope it would stop soon. We could hear the house creaking, our glass cabinets started to rattle gently, then quite strongly. You could then hear things starting to drop, a calendar on the wall beside me swung off the way, something smashed and it was still going. A few other things sounded like they’d dropped but with the sound of the quake it by then just a cacophony of noise. Eventually it did stop. They say it latest about 1 minute but for me time stood still.
I turned a light on it find that the power was out. Thankfully Tim has a thing for torches and we have loads around the house, so we grabbed one each. He went hunting for what the sounds were, I went to check on the cat. Sharna hadn’t even moved. She was still in her cat bed sound asleep. Aren’t animals meant to warn us or something?? Thanks Sharna.
Tim yelled out not to come out to the lounge as a glass cake tray had fallen from the top of one of those cabinets and there was glass all over the floor. With the power out we couldn’t vacuum it up so the best we could do was try and get it with the brush and shovel. That done I decided that a toilet break was in order, so off it went, while Tim kept searching for more damage.
That’s when a 5.4 aftershock hit (this size is what we’re used to).
Here’s a link that shows the quakes and their strength that occurred on the Saturday
I was off that toilet into the doorway like no ones business. I left the paperwork for later. While that was going Tim told me that the screen from our old computer has been shaken off the table. This is one of those older CRT screens and a heavy thing so I was shocked that had moved. So I’m now wondering what else had broken, but with it being pitch black where was nothing left to do but go back to bed and try to get some more sleep. Tim did, I didn’t.
The light of day allowed me to have a hunt. I started to search. Nothing in the hallway. None of the framed pictures had even moved. That was good, especially since that is where ‘Ice Wind’ is currently. Out to the lounge next avoiding the glass that was still on the ground. I saw my porcelain fairies on the ground. I expected to be picking them up in pieces, but the are perfectly fine after their 6 foot fall. Next I noticed the ACEO art cards which I had on display and some plastic models that had fallen.
That’s when I saw it…… my little poinsettia fairy…… she had no wings. I picked her up and noticed …… SHE HAD NO HEAD EITHER!!!!
After a bit more searching I am glad to say that that is the extent of our damage. So when I heard what the size was I was very shocked, but that wasn’t the biggest shock…once the power came back on I saw that many buildings had lost their chimneys and some of the older buildings in the CBD had lost their building fronts and some had lost their top floors and some cars had been flattened by falling bricks.
The one constant I could see were red bricks.
Here’s a link to some REALLY good photos so you can have a look at some of the damage. That’s my old hairdressers in number 138 of photo #4 (should be the first one up). I’m thinking there may be some more damage to come since the wind here has picked up and any loose bricks could still be a hazard.
The civil defence have told most business in the area to have their buildings checked by a structural engineer before resuming business, so I have had Tim home for the last couple of days and he’s starting to get stir crazy. He’ll be helping me make lasagne today, so that will keep him busy for a little while.
I never got any stitching none on that Saturday due to there being no water (I need clean hands to stitch), and the aftershocks would have had me stabbing everywhere except the fabric. But I did got some done Sunday so I will have an update soon of my Freebie SAL.
Edited to add: I should tell you that the power was out for only 3 hours so I was able to watch the coverage on TV and I was shocked at how much damage there was since we had none. And the water came on in the middle of the afternoon although we have been advised that due to burst water and sewage line we are to boil our tap water.