Thursday, February 24, 2011

Earthquake II

Inasmuch as one can find out with authority at a distance of 260km, the ghastly business of cleaning up is under way. Various recumbent riders appear to be okay though I did hear further from Mr Dunlop:

My home is within the four avenues area in central Christchurch. It has - or had - an internal brick chimney. During the earthquake it completely distintegrated, and bricks were thrown in every which direction. That made the inside of my flat look as though it was a demolition site. Soon the flat will actually *be* a demolition site - there is no way it can be rebuilt. Once the army-controlled exclusion zone around the centre of Christchurch is lifted (probably in a few days time), I'll be able to get back home and take some photos of the damage. I'll post these online. For me, the worst part has nothing to do with being personally inconvenienced or dealing with property damage or the like. It was walking home from my workplace, and not having a choice but to pass by one of the buses that had been crushed by falling masonry. There are some things I don't wish to remember.

Elsewhere one of Susie's friends, Miss Watkin, was just about to start her University course but

Had just got out of the car and was walking over the lawn to the back door at home when it struck. Surfed the lawn (badly) for what seemed like forever, but it was the safest place we could have been cos it was all open, nothing could fall on us, and only by pure chance. Everything looked much the same immediately afterwards, until we walked inside....and saw everything on the floor, all the cupboards and drawers open. A few minor cracks in the walls. And a big glass window completely shattered outwards, (luckily, again, not inside) with glass extending up to 4 meters out onto the front lawn, having obviously exploded. ....and then water started flowing up outside... ...and then there was a big aftershock, and the water gushed faster, flowing in a big stream down our driveway, and the silt started making mini water-volcanoes which accumulated into bigger and bigger ones until eventually the whole back lawn we had been previously surfing was ankle deep in silt (a day at the beach)... ...and the sink-holes... And that was just our place. Which, comparatively, is actually nothing. We just have sooo much to be grateful for!

Meanwhile Mr Knight reported on his day at work:

Well, we all slept last night which was nice. We had aftershocks but they didn't wake us. I contacted my boss yesterday and he personally hadn't been into the office since a large rock has crushed his house but he said that a few people were back in.
I've been around our house and noted all the new cracks and bumps etc. The spare chimney is now leaning alarmingly away from the house and will need to come down
So with a munted motorbike ( it was in Rob's garage and got lightly biffed around) and no petrol anyway I cycled in today slightly later than normal. There was very heavy traffic which surprised me; also everybody is driving at normal speed which also surprised me. You'd think that people would be trying to conserve petrol a little. Rangiora and surrounding areas were dry of petrol yesterday and Steph told me that the New World in Rangiora was also busier than Christmas with the obvious items sold out.
My route in to work is through the western suburbs which although damaged are mostly easily navigated, particularly on two wheels and slowly. The commute only took me 10 minutes longer than normal. It was raining and I was fairly liberally coated with the fine grey liquefaction sludge that is *everywhere*. My office is undamaged and has power, and water which may or may not have *** in it. I carried as much water as my bike and rucksac would hold so people could at least have cold water to drink if they wished. Our water in Rangiora although treated by chemicals and tasting like *** doesn't actually have *** in it. Mostly everyone was back at work today but we did have a couple of empty seats where we do not know the current status of people.

Those who can are leaving Christchurch to stay with rellies, and I talked to Denise's son who'd had to indulge in dodging a ten-ton piece of industrial machinery which was performing a short but interesting folk dance round about his legs. His sister, a nurse, had watched trees outside the hospital rippling up and down like the masts of moored yachts on a wavy sea. Later she was nursing a mother in one bed and the daughter in the next bed. The daughter died.


Blogger Mr Larrington said...

Bob has a spare chimney?


February 25, 2011 at 1:55 AM  

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