Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Second time unlucky

I had a day off today to try and rest my painfully overstressed calves and ankles after doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on Sunday. I was napping around lunchtime when I started dreaming about earthquakes. A phone call a short while later explained why.

Back in September I wrote about Christchurch dodging a bullet. It looks like the second shot had a better and more deadly aim:

65 dead in Christchurch quake

I would be amazed if that number doesn't go higher in the next little while. It has been a very sad and surreal afternoon and evening of news watching, seeing scenes normally only reported from overseas. Wellington is 200 or so miles away from Christchurch, but it was felt here, and I figure I felt it in my sleep, hence the dreaming.

Back in the winter of 2003, Fi and I passed through Christchurch on a holiday. Here is how the city's famous cathedral looked then:
It came through the September quake with minor damage, but here is how it looks now:


Wildology said...

Oh, how sad. What a loss....and so many dead. Heart wrenching. Will they rebuild?

Off-Black said...

Hard to say, they have only just started gettng properly back on their feet after September's temblor and the bigger aftershocks. The city won't be abandoned or anything, but it won't be the same. Christchurch was not an expected place to get big earthquakes (amongst the general population anyway, those with the right knowledge know they can happen anywhere in NZ), and hadn't really had them since settlement until now, so there is a significant psychological impact amongst the residents there. It is somewhat discomfiting to watch knowing a bigger magnitude event is effectively a certainty for the area I live in due to the known faulting and history.

missrabbitty said...

The cathedral image gets me every time...they have said they will rebuild. It took 40 years to build. I hope they do it in a similar style because it is just such a beautiful building (as is the one I go to every week and take for granted...until someone tried to burn it down...which is another story) but I know a church is not the building, but I think it helps.

The three South Island Organ Company guys killed in the Durham St Methodist Church damaged on Sept 4 2010 worked on our organ which was first played in public on 13 Feb 2011 and I saw two of them in passing. That and the fact that I have visited Christchurch and the Cathedral when the 'earthquake strengthening' scaffolding was up is as close to the disaster as I have come.

As someone who lives in Wellington's 'red zone' and someone who educates young New Zealanders I cannot get the message over enough. This is big. This is history. Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. This was never predicted. We were supposed to get this. I told my students that the Christchurch they know is not the one their children will experience...

A sobering thought.