Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christchurch a Living Disaster Movie

The whole of New Zealand seems to be in shock since the earthquake struck last Tuesday. I don't think it is possible today to imagine exactly the magnitude of the disaster and it has effected everyone as New Zealand has a small population.

Normally I do not write about my family but my daughter Chloe and her husband Spence and my granddaughter Alice have been caught in the thick of it. Spence was in the Central Business District in a 60's building next door to the CTV building that collapsed. He took the full shock. He said it was terrifying. He left and collected his daughter.

New Brighton, east of the city the area where they live  has been hard hit with liquefaction, a word of which I was unaware four days ago but has dreadful ramifications. The water and sewage systems have been destroyed. The ground becomes like a jelly and fowl smelling silt oozes out.With a one year old child and no water or sewage facilities in the immediate future, this is not a one day fix, there was nothing for it but to abandon their home for a couple of days. Fortunately they have a cousin who lives in Banks Peninsula but Chloe said the drive out of Christchurch was like being in a living disaster movie. The road was filled with others fleeing the mayhem. It is the only sensible thing to do as the less people for the infracstucture to cope with the better. Life depends on water. Without it life is impossible.

They are very brave and sensible and fortunate to escape to relative luxury. Chloe said she has one suitcase and her computer and the rest is only 'Things'. Sometimes I am very proud of my daughter.

Another dear friend has lost her beautiful Victorian Gate House home. The previous shock had meant that really only the wallpaper was holding it together but this time the chimney has fallen into her dining room. The house is a right off.

She had visited me in Auckland and was clearly traumatized. She said it was wonderful not having to cope with the after shocks. Evidently the whole of Christchurch has liquefaction that means the ground beneath is like a jelly with a crust. I thought she was being over dramatic. I was wrong!

Her house is destroyed. Another lovely old building bits the dust along with her life's possessions. She has two daughter's one of which has lost her house too but they are all alive. A tragedy.

So a dreadful week. One bright spot is the watching the amazing TV coverage which has followed the recovery. It has been inspiring and riveting to see the way NZ'ers have risen to the challenge  but this is one reality TV production we could all have done without.

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