Canterbury ‘After Shocks’ Take Their Toll, Life Far From Normal

More than a month after the 7.1 magnitude quake struck the Canterbury region of South Island residents of the area are still enduring sizable and potentially damaging quakes on a daily basis. Reports are that almost 3,000 quakes of varying intensities have shaken the region over the last month, causing far more than phyiscal damage to property and infrastructure.

Today a shallow but strong magnitude 5 quake hit, causing further distress to long suffering residents trying to go about their daily lives as best they can. Many said it felt like the strongest quake since last month’s 7.1.

TVNZ reported

..Lisa Curtin was shopping when the quake hit and described is as “very frightening and quite loud.” “Stuff was flying off shelves. My daughter cried and an elderly lady nearby was clearly shaken up. People were helpful and calm as we headed for the exits. I amongst others were convinced it had to be a 6 [magnitude earthquake]

“Just another day in Christchurch,” she said…read the full report here

The constant stress is taking its toll on everybody,  as this exchange on a British Expats website demonstrates. Meanwhile, Christchurch is keen to tell the world that it’s business as usual, but for the many people who live there nothing could be further from the truth:

Coping with Aftershocks 19 October 2010
Just wondering how everyone else is getting on down here
Is everyone finding it easier to cope as time goes on and the aftershocks are getting less or still as worried?
For the last 2 weeks or so I have found that I am getting more upset with the shocks and more scared when they happen. I relax inbetween them apart from pricking up my ears whenever a plane or truck goes past so it’s not as if I’m constantly stressed out all the time, it’s just when they occur that I am affected more than I was. They are fewer in number but we have been getting some ones of higher magnitude recently and these are the ones that are now starting to make me panic more, the heart starts racing and I almost feel like I want to cry. This is so not like me as well, tough as old boots normally I had been coasting through until then, not liking them but not too anxious. We’ve had no real damage to the house apart from some small cracks appearing in the garage floor and I think this plays a part as well, the more we have the more chance of actual damage.

I don’t panic enough to start running when they happen but the one about half an hour ago got me on my feet and nearly under the table before it stopped- bloody huge it was

i thought that I was doing okay … until today.

I was in town up stairs in Spotlight and things where off the shelves and the whole place rattled and rolled. It had me (and all other customers) on our knees to make sure that we didn’t fall off our feet. My next thought was how to complete long list of task, appointments and get out of town in one piece. (and with clean pants)
We are near the end of the long fault line – but the ones that hit Rolleston are gentle (ish) once they get out here. Ones from up our end, as you can imagine have us looking for cover. But today was the worst for me. I hadn’t been so far from home when one big one had hit

I definately feeling a lot more rattled and shaken and unsettled. Back to that feeling from the day after – but no adrenaline to carry you through.As for damage. We have lots, nothing that is particularily major – but enough to be a right pain. Every room will need repainting (bar one bedroom) from cracks in gib, cracks through gib or holes from things falling through. Hot water tank needs sorting. Outside needs sealing again (along the linear). LIttle things – but such a pain.

Just hoping that EQC get to us so taht I can get the ball rolling and get the job done. New baby arrives in Feb, and I don’t fancy trying to pack up the house with every thing else.

Hell,very scary for you. At least I was at home when that one hit today. I could see the pictures banging against the walls and the television swaying alarmingly as well as the whole house contorting. I was torn between hiding or saving the TV, luckily it stopped before anything fell over. Mr S would not have been happy if his beloved had been hurt and I wish I could say I was talking about myself. It was such a lovely quiet weekend only for it to start up again, I’ve felt about 3 or 4 others as well today.
Don’t think I’d like to be out shopping when one that size happens, Riccarton mall was closed for a while due to some minor damage.

Unsettled is probably a good way of describing how I feel, I feel like I ought to be doing something but I don’t know what that is. I think the fact that we don’t really get that much of a break from them means we never have that time to deal with what has happened. The reserves are at an all time low, I don’t know how those who have had major damage to their houses cope with it

Sorry to hear about your damage and hope the EQC get to you soon, I know you’re moving back to the UK so the last thing you needed was this. Best of luck.

Related stories:

Big shake the last straw for some – “[the] shallow 5.0 magnitude aftershock was powerful enough for many Cantabrians to relive the panic experienced during the devastating 7.1-magnitude quake more than six weeks ago…The resilience of residents is being tested again.  For some this latest big shake is the last straw, and they are now looking at their options for getting out of the region…more here

Quake stress brings increase in violence – “”Parents are as frightened, if not more frightened, than their children, which means they are sleep deprived. “You’re less tolerant, you’re less able to manage the way you feel,” … Cantabrians are dealing with the earthquake in different ways. Vertue said some have come out fighting, while others have gone into flight mode… more here

Quakes continue to rock Canterbury – “Aftershocks continue to rock Canterbury this afternoon after a magnitude 5.0 quake hit late this morning, causing panic, power outages and further damage to some properties…” more here

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