Friday, February 25, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake 22 Feb 2011 - Round 5000....

As i know my blog is a readerless one... I write this for myself.

I have hope, because I have nothing else.

The last 4 days have been horrific. I feel guilty for finding some normality in my life today.

I fled town the morning after the quake... after sleeping in a tent in the middle of lawn, after eliminating the risk of what could fall and where to put the tent, we settled in with one cat (the other ran away) and a radio and lay there. Listening to sirens, alarms, helicopters, screams.... there was no sleep. We lay awake listening intently to the radio reports to keep us up to date with the world. Wanting to help but being helpless. An entire city without power, half a million people having no idea of the scale of the tragedy that would unfold in following days. The world watching on...horrifying images of disaster that just doesn't happen here. We remember how we reminded ourselves of how lucky we were for our entire city to escape unscathed on September 4, a miracle... we prayed to god and thanked him for sparing us our lives. This time, we weren't so lucky. It was a grim reality.

A drive that would take me 20 minutes took me four and a half hours to get home from work. A 4 and a half hour drive that would take me on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Not knowing if I would see my partner again, I was stuck on a 20m high bridge for an hour filled with aftershocks that I thought would see the end of me, a billboard for flights to Australia swinging just metres from my car. I screamed for my life. Then I wished, that I was in Australia!

Finally made it home. I couldnt get in my gate as the ground had lifted and blocked it. Found some kind of super human strength to ram it open enough to squeeze through.

My partner, alive and safe with co-workers were drinking wine and beer in the middle of the lawn. They all worked in the centre of town and we're traumatised by what they saw. Climbing over bodies to escape for themselves, seeing things that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

As I walk inside my house, I am floored by what I see, we lost everything. Hearing rumours that people have lost their lives, metres from my home.. I realise that I don't care about my belongings. My partners mother, working in The Press building that crumbled hasn't replied to a text message, phone networks are overloaded. We decide we have to get to her house to see if she is ok.

We walk through sewage, bare foot... but we don't care. It starts to poor with rain as we walk across town, over broken road... trying to see in the dark where we are walking as to not fall in cracks in the road. The sights we saw....

We make it there to find a traumatised mum who will never forget what she saw.

We share a cigarettes, my first in years.... and listen intently to the radio in the dark... surrounded by fallen food and broken glass.... and a single lit candle.


After a sleepless night we flee the city to the countryside to stay with my parents.

Today we return to assess the damage, salvage what was left and try and make our house a home again.

We find the two adjoining houses are rubble... we don't know our future.

But tonight.. we are going to sleep.

All things are replaceable, lives are not. We keep telling ourselves that.

I feel guilty if I am not watching the news. If I laugh... guilt.

Everyshake sends my heart into a frenzy.

The unknown is what i am afraid of.

Will it ever get better... will we ever have a city again.

What will the future hold.

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