Tuesday, February 22, 2011


2.30 PM

The pictures are awful. The news is bad.

Many people trapped and fatalities.

My sons will be caught up in this.

We have no news of them as yet.

I'm praying they are all safe but no guarantees.

We will be glued to TV for rest of day.

Our Prime Minister is going down in a helicopter in next few minutes.

Much damage.

It will be a rough time for the rescue people.

Hospital being evacuated.

1 pm many people on the street and at work.

Communication not good but satellite TV

3.30 PM

There are three triage sites. There is at least one serious fire. People are in that building. The firefighters are using helicopters and monsoon buckets as it is impossible to get fire fighting traffic in.

Ambulances are being supplemented by private vehicles.

The Christchurch Cathedral is severely damaged and the spire has come down. We hope all the people got out but it has been suggested there were people in the tower.

Most of the people are out of the Press building but some remain trapped under their desks under loads of rubble..

Gas is being shut off. This is the reticulated gas for heating and cooking.

There has been a huge landslide at Sumner.

I can't imagine what has happened at Lyttleton. This is one of our major ports and was severely damaged in the last quake. This earthquake was centred near Lyttleton. The Navy are there off the ship Canterbury. It sounds as though there is not the same concern for trapped people but buildings collapsed. A reporter who walked over the hills to get there says the people are gathered on their front lawns making a cup of tea on a primus.

Again Liquifaction, sand acting like water, is causing serious concern. Roads are a mess.

It sounds as though every home will have damage if only the stuff falling off shelves.

People are leaving the city.

Central city is being evacuated.

Many aftershocks.

Many people trapped in buildings. Very dangerous rescue work as buildings unstable and much damage and rubble.

Buildings that withstood the September earthquake have collapsed. It's a mess.

Still poor communication and we have no idea how one son and his wife and her parents are. Amanda's mother was in hospital recovering from a stroke.

One son and his wife are safe. Again they were away from the area of serious damage.

It's a disaster and I can't imagine what ur other son is having to cope with as he will be out with road safety.

Naturally we are anxious. We have other relatives in Christchurch. It's the town John grew up in.

8.30 PM

Most people seem to have found a place to go tonight. There are several welfare centres. People from the city centre gathered in nearby Hagley Park. This park had marques and buildings being prepared for the Ellerslie Flower Show which begins in two weeks. There are about 1500 people there and the army is organising blankets. It won't be a comfortable night and the aftershocks keep coming.

Many of these people are tourists who cannot go to their accommodation and only have what they took with them on their day out sight seeing.

It's hoped to open the airport tomorrow, probably a limited number of flights. The earthquake disrupted all flights to and around NZ and there are many people stuck in airports around the country.

It is thought there may be 200 or more people trapped in buildings in the Central City and there are officially 65 dead.

Specialist urban search people are at work. With help from Australia there will be 200 searchers tomorrow morning.

I'm pleased to say all our immediate family are safe. Our city son has quite a lot of damage to his house and liquefaction bogged their cars. Wayne is not able to go to work at this point and the job he would be doing will be down to the police Navy and Army who, by coincidence were in the area. I understand there are about 500 military personnel available. There was also a medical conference in the city. 200 extra Doctors are now helping. The city is virtually closed down.

Medical services seem to be well organised. It helped that the Christchurch hospital was not seriously affected and has been able to continue taking casualties while some are being medivac'ed out to other hospitals.

Searching will continue through the night. There is now rain to complicate things.

It's terrible and very sad to see this beautiful city going through tragedy.

TV is keeping us well informed and we will need to turn it off soon or we will never sleep tonight.

Our eldest son lives in the country and while they experienced the earthquake they had no damage. We'll contact John's cousin tomorrow night to see how his family are and hopefully he'll have news of other family members.


Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Oh Margie-Anne, I'll bet you were frantic until you got the news your family was safe, we saw it at 04:30AM on the news, and the first thing Donna & I said was, Oh God please make sure Margie and her family are safe.I know how you guys feel, when 911 struck my sons office was destroyed and we didn't know for 24 hours if he was alive or dead. I hope the USA has an aircraft carrier or some way to get you guys some more emergency help,they send help to place that don't need it as much as you do. Our prayers are with you and your countrymen, such a tragedy, the news is filled with poor people that have been caught and injured in this, it is terrible to watch and feel so helpless.Please keep us posted and good luck hoping nothing come your way. Sam & Donna.

Paul and Mary said...

Margie-Anne, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide an update. Our thoughts have been with you since we first heard the tragic news. We are keeping you, your family and country in our prayers.

Christchurch has a very special place in our hearts, and we're holding on to precious memories of this wonderful city as we pray for the victims and rescuers. One memory is the sculpture at the Firefighters Reserve constructed of twisted steel from the World Trade Center. Like Sam and Donna, we hope the USA will provide assistance as needed.

Stay safe and please keep us posted as you can. Thank you!