Monday, September 6, 2010

Surviving the Big One- 7.1 in Christchurch

well what an eventful few days- certainly something to tell the grandchildren! Still can't quite believe what has happened and seeing all the devastation via the Tv and computer once we had power back on was amazing. We were pretty unscathed here- the most dramatic thing that happened was the pool being emptied by 2-3 ft and sloshing all over the back garden and into the garage on the other side.

I still can't believe the earthquake was 7.1 and that no one died in CHCH- so lucky. I guess that it was just lucky that it happened at 4.35am when most people were asleep in bed- a few hours earlier when people were out and about in town etc and the story could have beelt likeen very different. Also it makes you appreciate the govt being so strict on earthquaking and building consents- it works- especially when you think that Haiti had the same magnitude earthquake and it was flattened!

So whats my story? well as you would expect i was sound asleep with Simon in bed when we were shook awake- it felt like someone was literally shaking the bed - it was banging against the wall- we both shot out of bed realising it was an earthquake and stood in the doorway thinking this is the big one- i will never forget the noise- the boom - the rattling and then the shaking- like if you flick out a towel - you get the crack first then the wave and shaking. Went to turn the light on and no power- that was scary - to be in the dark thinking this is it - i though the house was going to be moved off teh foundations and into the pool it felt that strong. I yelled to simon to go and check the girls- he started to go into the hallway but the shaking was so bad he only made it 2 steps and came back into the doorway. It lasted for about 40 seconds he reckoned- he left me in the kitchen and said to wait there while he went to the girls- Zoe was calling out and crying and Lucy was calling too- he just yelled come to me girls and they all came to him thankfully and they came to me in the lounge. I hd already passed out at this point and told Simon so- after checking that i was okay the 3 girls and i waited in the lounge while he went to find a torch. Thankfully Hollie hadnt even woken up = man she is a heavy sleeper! By the time Simon came back with a torch i had fainted again and knocked myself out on the coffee table- so i am no good in a crisis- neither is Zoe- but Ella and Lucy were great and helped Simon get me back into bed- all 3 girls and i waited in bed for Simon to go out to the garage to get the emergency kit - so grateful to Simon that he had one prepared. It was scary knowing he was outside and the aftershocks were still going- hoping that he was going to be okay.

I spent a very quiet morning nursing my very sore head- the girls werent tooo bad once it got light- it then became an adventure with no power- we had to cook our meals on the camp stove- make our milos on the cooker and use the bbq for tea. The girls were pretty scared that night as we still had no power so slept with us- they were so tired after being up since 4.35am. It was quite surreal as other suburbs had power and people from out of town were ringing to check that we were okay and commenting on how terrible it was- town was totalled- hepas of building had collapsed and Avonside Drive had alot of houses collapse and huge fissures through their sections- roads were all cracked and uplifted- New Brighton was flooded - water and sewerage pipes had broken- but we coudn't see any of it- very frustrating!

We finally got power on at 1130am on Sunday- so were able to see what was going on- amazing. We went for a drive in the afternoon- taking care to avoid the worst areas out of respect and couldnt believe the damage to the roads- bridges and sand piles that had come up from underground - heaps of chimneys had fallen down too. Simon had to go into the CBD today- Monday to check out the Telecom buildings and said that it was pretty bad even though alot had already been cleared up. Still a state of emergency and curfews in town to protect people from falling buildings and glass. The girls were excited to have 2 days holiday from school and preschool- until they are all inspected and ruled safe for the children to come back.

So now it will be a long slow process to rebuild so much of the inner city so that people can return back to work and their businesses and for some people their homes. It certainly makes you thankful to be safe with your family.

Francine

1 comment:

Tara Orr said...

oh my gosh!!! Thank god you and your family are ok! (aside from your head - have to say I had a bit of a chuckle when I read that part... sheesh mama!!) What a crazy experience - hope you'll not have to endure again!! Hugs! Tara