Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rock & Roll, Pt 2

what a day.
We now have a new horror date here in Shakeytown, when the city rocked and rolled with yet another massive quake. The quake of Feb 22 at 6.3 was not as large as September's 7.1, but it was closer and shallower and hit at lunchtime when the city was full of people. Seismologists say the G-forces created by the quake yesterday were as high as 2Gs... that's a lot of ground acceleration, and certainly no surprise to those of us who were thrown around by it.

I was in the hospital cafe, waiting for my hubby to finish his MRI scan on the first floor, when it hit. The lights went out & everything was falling and crashing around me. We were being thrown around, shaken violently from side to side, with screams echoing around the building as the quake kept going and kept getting bigger and more violent. I spent an unpleasant 45 minutes before I found where my man had been evacuated to... he'd been thrown around the MRI scanner but thanks to the 'chill pill' to combat claustrophobia, he was quite relaxed the whole way through. Yay for good drugs eh? ;)

There wasn't a lot of other good news... as the mass exodus from the CBD grew, traffic was gridlocked and it took us over an hour to get to our temporary home (it would normally take 10mins). We drove past scenes of devastation & heartbreak... iconic buildings, neighbourhood shops, family homes... gone... lost for good.

our current neighbourhood has been badly damaged... liquifaction, sewer damage, cracks in buildings and the land... people's homes ruined, unsafe... family members missing or unaccounted for, residents who were known to be in buildings that now lay in ruins. Strange times indeed.. refugees gathered & consoled each other, shared stories, hopes and fears.

 ^this two-unit home is directly across the road from us.... now uninhabitable. Old brickwork is not holding up well round these parts

 ^^ the road just outside our current place

^^ our street

^^ inside our current house... now has significant damage. Good timing on our part, we're two weeks away from moving out.

^ an ex-fence... there's a lot of this around

Today we went to check on our old house, to see if it withstood this latest barrage... and wouldn't you know it, the bloody thing is still standing. It must be a magic bit of capping up there on the top of our broken brick wall 'cos it ain't fallen over yet.

There are a bunch of stories to be told about this... my mum had a lucky escape for example. She was walking to an appointment... right about where this happened:

She has scrapes, gashes & bruises to arms and legs while her co-worker needed many stitches to a couple of headwounds.
We're lucky... those closest to us have come through relatively unscathed. The city isn't so lucky... we've driven around looking for water, checking on our home & visiting my mum, and things are rather borked. Almost all the bridges over the rivers are screwed up, the CBD is closed off and getting from one part of town to another is a complete lottery. The ground is still rumbling and shaking, people are still clinging to life inside collapsed buildings and rescue efforts are becoming more desperate by the hour.

This evening I plan to open a bottle of wine and spend time with friends, distracting myself from the strange place my universe has become.

My pics (all but the bus pic) only show a small amount of damage, in places I've been to. It's much worse in the CBD and other parts of the city. For more coverage, pics, details etc click on any of these....
NZ Herald
The Press
3 News

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