Living Through The Christchurch Earthquakes

We came across a very touching account of what it’s like to live through the Christchurch earthquakes today.

This is taken from a blog called From On Words and Upwards, it’s a record of the toll that the unrelenting quakes are having on the brave people of Christchurch and how, despite their fears and weariness, they struggle on and support each other. It’s also a tribute to the heroic staff at Christchurch Hospital :

If you’d like to see a very accurate representation of what the quake was like from our perspective, this video really shows it accurately. That is exactly how it felt to me, that degree of shift. You can see why it was impossible to keep your feet on the floor, get off a bed, or run. If you weren’t somewhere safe by the time it really kicked in, you weren’t moving at all. This video is from the Noel Leeming store in Moorhouse Ave, it’s down about half a block from where DJB works, about three from where Jonny does. This is the area where a lot of buildings collapsed, the central business district. Those of us who felt it agree that the video is very much how it felt. I still don’t know how we’re alive. It is a miracle.

Well, it’s day whatever and frankly, we’re kinda sick of it. Last night, we slept until about 3am, but got woken by a series of big jolts, all between 4.5 – 5.4s. I don’t even remember the biggest one starting. When I woke up, I was standing by my bedroom door with DJ in front of me yelling. We all gave up and went downstairs and snuggled up on the couches together, talking until we could sleep. My sister and I didn’t manage to until daylight.

In town today, everyone is tired and stretched to their limits, I think. I had to go to hospital for a fine needle biopsy in my throat. Not. Fun. The test was fine, being a couple of floors up in a great big building that made you feel like you were sitting in the middle of a concrete sandwich was far more unnerving.

I had meant to talk about my family and how proud of them I was, and I will tomorrow, but today I wanted to say something about the staff at Christchurch Hospital.

Everyone there I talked to was scared. They’d all been up all night too. The receptionist told me that part of the building wasn’t the best, being the older part, and that they were all on alert about it. Some had seriously damaged homes, and yet all of them were then. What’s more, while they were doing the test, every last one of them did their best to make me feel better. Me, the one who got to walk out of there after an hour, they’re all there for the rest of the day and during the days to come. Those people are heroes — smiling, cheerful, and scared heroes.

We’re getting into a bit of a routine now, which is helping, I think. The dogs are happier, we’re spending a couple of hours a day outside with them running in the paddock and then we sit in the garage on fold out stools with them. They’re both happy to go back into their crates and not afraid when we leave them now.

At the moment, we’re most nervous over the reports that say that for every 10 quakes measuring 5 or more, you can expect one of 6. It’s apparently a pattern that is observed even in aftershocks. As of right now, we’ve had at least 8 by our count. As you can imagine, we’re all badly on edge.

The one thing I’ve heard a few people talk about now, is how it messes with your equilibrium. You know that feeling when you walk out of an elevator and for a few seconds, the world feels a bit wobbly until you adjust again? For many of us, it feels like that almost all the time right now. It’s like walking on jelly.

I’d quite like to get the heck out of Christchurch — out of New Zealand for that matter. Enough already.”

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