Sunday, September 5, 2010
Even from this distance we are having trouble coming to terms with the devastating earthquake in our old home town. It seems that huge swathes of the old city have collapsed under an earthquake that is comparable with the Haiti quake.
It's hard to imagine, and a part of me wants to go there to see with my own eyes, and the other part of me never wants to see what's happened. Buildings that I walked past most days of my life at times and are so familiar that they are like old friends are not only gone, their remains are scattered and dismembered.
We are still making contact with friends and family and they are all OK apart from superficial damage, apart from one old and dear friend who has lost his home. It has been condemned.
So many people tell us that they ran for their lives - it's so hard to believe that there were no lives lost.
We are due to leave for the Dunkley's Great New Zealand Craft Show tomorrow, and can't quite believe that the show will go on...but we have had an email from the organisers to say that it's still happening. From what we hear in the news I'm expecting another email reversing that decision any time.
We live six and a half hours drive from Christchurch in Golden Bay, and were staying in Nelson on the night of the quake and still felt it quite strongly.
Our lovely old clock stopped at the time of the quake, as did the lovely old clock on the clock tower in Victoria Street in Christchurch. (Sorry - I've tried and tried to get a photo of this but you can find some amazing pictures here)
It reminded me of that poem by W H Auden "Stop the clocks...". Perhaps I'm being melodramatic?
Arohanui me kia kaha o te whanau o Te Waipounamu (Love and strength to family and friends in the South Island).
Apologies for the photo hiccups in this post - Blogger and I were having a disagreement!