Saturday, February 26, 2011

84 HOURS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

THIS IS A COPY OF MY POST ON MY JOURNAL

Today I have begun to feel more able to function. I'm sure limiting the time I watch the reports from Christchurch has helped.

Today I felt as though we were slowly being brought face to face with the full reality of the earthquake. There is public admission that many dead are not only unidentified but unfound. I guess I should have realised that all the USAR, Urban Search And Rescue, teams are here for a serious purpose. While part of me knew many people were killed by the earthquake, somehow my mind refused to acknowledge the awful truth.

This will be the most dreadful disaster to ever happen in New Zealand. Not only are many people gone from this world forever but the social and economic impact will be felt for any years to come. I have seen comments that place the financial cost as greater than Hurricane Ivan, (2004). We were in Pensacola, Fl. on the 6 month anniversary of Ivan and saw for ourselves the destruction of Santa Rosa Island and noticed the blue tarpaulin roofs everywhere we went in coastal Florida. If the great United States of America takes time to recover from major disasters we are in for a long and sometimes frustrating time of rebuilding. I've seen figures bandied about that suggest the cost could be as high as $25 billion when added onto the September 4th earthquake. That's mind blowing but I can well believe it.

Like all small countries that have developed a successful tourist industry we will be hard hit in that area. We have become very dependent on tourists for income and tourism operators will need to work very hard to keep the flow of visitors into our country. This makes me feel very nervous about our economy. I don't envy people who are responsible for our economic health over the next few years.

Personally, we'll stooge along and hopefully keep our heads above water.

This is turning into a gloomy kind of post and I didn't intend to do that.

I want to celebrate the resilience of people and how New Zealanders are helping each other There are some wonderful stories. The best one by far in my opinion is the following video. I cannot embed the video even if I knew how, because it's from TV 3 News and Campbell Live. I do hope you'll have a look at Christchurch's Super-Loos.

Another is in this clip about the Volunteer-Army. It's so heart warming to see this, all done through the power of the internet.

And finally one woman's first hand experience. It will touch your heart and might make you cry but so powerful. I shouldn't write anything more but simply give you the link. THE DAY THE EARTH ROARED

I love this story too, about a helicopter pilot. You will also find this link on FaceBook to the Rangiora Earthquake Express. While official efforts are starting to reach out into the suburbs mostly the people have been isolated and it's the Rangiora Express, The Student Army and constuctors of Super-Loos that are their heroes.

We've had a busy day. This morning we went back to our house. Matarangi is 20 minute drive from Mum's where we are staying for a few nights, to finish the cleaning. We were preparing the house for weekend guests when we heard about the earthquake. Somehow the house cleaning became unimportant as we hungered for every little piece of information we could glean. We had to come over to Mum's on Wednesday so our daughter could have a well deserved break. After finishing the cleaning and having a lovely soak n my bath, (it soothes my itchy skin), we returned to have tea, (dinner) with Mum then had to go back to Matarangi to greet our guests who arrived about 10 pm. Now at Mum's, John has gone to bed and I'm trying to get this published.

Now I've confused all my American readers. The Earthquake was 1 pm Tuesday, we came to Mum's early afternoon Wednesday. Today is Friday, well it was, it's now nearly 2 am Saturday. Still confused ... don't blame you. I think I am too.

There has already been one earthquake today, just a very small one but yesterday there were 42 and one in particular caused a lot of concern. About 7.15 pm there was a 4.3 which shook things up a lot and made more buildings at risk of falling. Total since Tuesdays big one, 255 in 85 hours. I'd be a nervous wreck if I lived in Christchurch.

I do hope you enjoyed reading and watching some expressions of the Kiwi Spirit. I think the Super-Loos should feature in Home and Garden glossies.

Time for bed. Goodnight and many Blessings on you and your family.

2 comments:

Cathy said...

What a terrible time for Christchurch and its people! The aftershocks are just another nightmare to deal with. Do you know how the homes and residential areas survived? Are peoples homes destroyed?

MargieAnne said...

Hi Cathy,

Thank-you so much for your comments and your kind words.

You asked about damage to housing. It's huge. Some houses have already been demolished because they are too dangerous to leave standing. We've seen houses stripped of roof and bricks, houses gaping open with whole walls gone like you see in bomb blasts.

The suburbs that are in the earthquake area are hard hit. Many people are trying to stay in their houses, for many others that's not possible because of the destruction. There are many stories of families leaving Christchurch, never to return. It's impossible to guess at how many houses are damaged beyond repair. The teams going out into the suburbs will take a few days to complete and record their examination.

The good news is that people are no longer isolated and nor do they need to feel neglected. There are many different projects getting help to stricken people.

The social disruption is hard to imagine.

The earthquake has affected eastern suburbs and possibly two thirds of the city is not so bad. They say water is on to more than three quarters and power is on to all except the most damaged areas. The Central City will have no power for some time as many buildings must be isolated before they can turn it on. Sewerage is problematic for most of the city.

Then there is Lyttleton the port town. There is still little news from there except that it is such a mess some even wonder how much of it will be rebuilt. Official numbers for loss of life are low, at 123, because the police will not confirm until identification and families have been notified. It's expected there will be as many as 350. I think many people had amazing escapes and there are probably twice that number in hospitals around the country.

I am amazed by the strength of our leaders, the major , police, and others. I'm sure they are being given extra-ordinary strength to keep them going through this critical time.

Every prayer counts.