On Tuesday 22nd February, my parents’ hometown of Christchurch was hit by another earthquake. Although smaller than the September 2010 quake, this one was shallower, and therefore much more devastating. It hit right at lunchtime and resulted in numerous collapsed buildings and extensive loss of life.
Rescue efforts are still ongoing, and the news footage is so heartbreaking, I have to steel myself to turn on the TV. It’s just becoming too hard to hear news of something that makes us hope for a miracle, and to sit there, waiting for an update, only to watch that hope dashed. The expressions on the faces of the announcers, and the rescue workers, and the people who are waiting for news…. It’s gut-wrenching.
I have extended family in Christchurch. My dad, my grandmother, all my uncles and aunties and cousins. Those I've managed to contact sound exhausted and shell-shocked, and I'm too far away to be any help to them. I can only imagine the stress they’re under right now. But I’m thankful they’re alive and uninjured.
There are so many stories I could tell to try convey the enormity of what's happened -- this is a city that was still being rebuilt from the last earthquake -- but I'd only cry all over the place again. I don't want to do that. My kids are due home soon, and they've seen enough of mum's tears these past few days.
So here's a link to Vicki Anderson’s eyewitness account called The Day The Earth Roared. She was at work in the CBD when the quake hit her office building. Vicki, I hope that you’ve been reunited with your daughter and been able to give her that hug!
I just wanted to extend my thanks to everyone who's sent messages of support to us. It helps, it really does.
And to all the various support people who've flown in from various countries around the world -- Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, United States -- to aid the rescue teams, a huge thank-you. We need all of you right now, and we're more grateful than we can say.
Keep safe everyone.