Monday, September 13, 2010
When we heard that the Dunkley's Great NZ Craft Show was cancelled we were all packed and ready to leave - in fact we delayed our leaving because we were so sure that it could not go ahead.
So we decided to come ahead anyway, if only to take time to visit with elderly family living in Christchurch. It was an amazing experience, and one I'm not keen to repeat anytime soon.
I checked on this amazing website (you may have to install Google Earth to see it), and found that they have had in excess of 500 (yes, that's right) aftershocks since Saturday's huge quake. The ground is moving all the time, and even in the short time that we were there I began to wonder if my head was spinning or if the world really was moving constantly. A lot of the shakes were quite frightening, even then.
We had a brief drive around the city checking on old haunts and it seems that one of our old homes in the suburb of Dallington has probably gone - a victim of liquifaction. We could not get close enough to be sure, and it felt rather ghoulish to be viewing other people's misfortune quite so closely.
Liquifaction is where the earth is shaken so vigorously that the silt and fine sand comes to the surface with any groundwater - rather like shaking a container of wet cement.
The quaint old shop where I had my first after school job has totally gone - it is the gap in the photo at the top - there are so many of these lovely old heritage buildings disappearing and being demolished before they can do any harm.
We had a little essential shopping to do while we were in the city and found that when we asked shop assistants how they were coping they almost broke down - the whole city is in a state of shock and grief.
It's hard to convey just how hard this vibrant place has been hit - the damage goes much further than the eye can see - literally!
It has been a relief to move further South and sit in this gorgeous little fishing village on the coast. How fortunate we are to be able to do this! I will tell you more about this over the coming days.