Saturday, 4 September 2010


There has been a huge earthquake in the South Island but so far it seems there have been few serious injuries, if any. At 7.4 on the Richter Scale it's right up there and the centre is not far from our 3rd or 4th largest city. One son W. lives in the city and is out on call with road traffic control. The last news was no serious damage to their home which is an old timber structure. I haven't heard how his parents in law are. They live a short walk away from W & A. Our eldest son lives S. W. of the city on the coast and says the only apparent problem is no electricity. This means he has no drinking water.

So far there has been no news from the town of Darfield, closest to the epicentre.

I would imagine there will be huge disruption to life in the city with power water and sewerage problems. There will also be road closures until bridges can be declared safe.

This is not where we expect our major earthquakes to happen although the whole country is vulnerable.

About the News Media. Our daughter in-law sent us a text message about 6 am. I turned on Tv because our radio reception is poor. There was nothing until 7. am in spite of the Maori news programme running at the time. Our TV news system is pathetic.

I went on line and Christchurch Press had Breaking News. The best reports were from the Toronto Star and another international news service which I can no longer find.

I'm currently watching the Breaking News Report on TV 1 and it's pathetic considering it's been daylight for hours.

Fortunately it would appear that while there will be damage in every home from stuff falling from shelves and many buildings will not have survived, roofs and chimneys damaged the damage is still a lot less serious than it might have been.

I am wondering why there is nothing from Darfield, a small country town, 3 hours since the quake. I guess there is a lot more news on the radio.

It's unsettling to know that something big is going on but there's not a lot of news coming through.


We now have excellent media coverage except for the rural areas and Darfield, the small town most affected.

Parts of the city may have to be evacuated but most people will be safe. The greatest need for people will be water and toilets. Our son's in-laws are safe although their area was vulnerable.

New Zealanders are generally resilient and practical so the greatest concern is for the elderly and other vulnerable people. It's a nice fine day but will be a cold night for those with no power for heating. Already there is machinery out clearing fallen debris. There appears to have been no loss of life and few serious injuries. This earthquake appears to have been as strong as the one in Haiti but cannot be compared because we have a well set up emergency and civil defence system. The greatest damage will of course be economic. Our building code is also designed to cover earthquake and storm, especially wind, damage. I guess we'll get plenty of first hand news once our son finishes work with traffic control and has a rest. He will have a long day.


Ann (-6.5 lbs in 60 lb challenge) said...

That is a big quake! I hope everyone is okay. The biggest quake we were even "in" was in Wellington, actually. It was centered in the bay there, which rose into the city. I remember having to put on wellingtons to wade through the lobby on the ground floor, to an awaiting bus. The USGS site here (Stateside) has some basics on your quake (facts on the quake itself). Take care!! Keep us posted. xx

Merikay said...

In 1989 we experienced a 7.2 earthquake here. We were less than 5 miles from the epicenter. It was very scary and effected me for years.

We had a lot of damage to the house, but not as bad as many in the area.

It could happen again. But life goes on.

Ashley said...

I'm so glad that you're okay. Keep yourself safe!

Margie M. said...

Just saw the news on our TV here in the states. Hope all the folks you know are OK. Good luck.

Cammy said...

Wow, that's a real rocker! I just read an article with photos--quite a lot of damage. I'm glad you and yours are okay.

Paul and Mary said...

We're so glad to hear all is well with you and your family. Christchurch is such a lovely city. Hope the recovery is speedy.

Ann (-6.5 lbs in 60 lb challenge) said...

Wow, we've been seeing the pictures and videos out of Christchurch ... I am amazed no one was killed! We are hearing of only two significant injuries, though that is hard to imagine. How widespread is the damage, away from Christchurch? They didn't feel this all the way down in Dunedin, did they?