Funny how that never works. I always thought I would have time to keep blogging. Thoughts to express.
I recently left Christchurch. My travels these past few years have led me back and forth between Australia and New Zealand, once again here I am sitting in the Blue Mountains with more questions than answers.
As I’m sure you are all aware there was recently a big earthquake in Christchurch, NZ. The quake caused damage and destruction to people, property and the lifes of everyone in a country – hardly noticed by the rest of the world.
After the ground started shaking I remember jumping to my feet and running as fast as possible from the building, where I come from no-one tells us to hide under tables or in door frames. I wasn’t about to sit in the attic and wait for it to collapse on me.
Fighting against the movements of the building,avoiding falling objects – TV’s, books and paraphenalia I somehow managed to reach the fire door – only to find it locked. I grabbed a fallen french man and leapt across the room and out the door.
The carpark was full of people, dust choked the air and I stumbled over to a recognisable face. “What the Fuck!?”
Looking out across the street at a collapsed building was my first indication that things were more serious than I first believed. The cars around me we all at funny angles, everyone was babbling about how everything had moved and floods of people were suddenly everywhere. Moving through the streets. Alarms and sirens were to be heard everywhere and slowly I walked against the flow. Half in shock half in awe. My mind trying to take in everything at once. Neighbours soon had the radio on and I blindly walked through the city.
Men were cycling past me with huge cuts to their forehead, buisness suits of all shapes and sizes seemed to be all that was holding some people together, on the edge of desperation I could see tears and desperate phone calls everywhere I went. Everywhere I looked there was destruction, I walked past Stonehurst backpackersjust as someone ran past, what looked like authority. Into a completely collapsed and destroyed backpackers. I wondered to myself what I would do if my home had just collapsed with everything I knew inside. I own very little and my sense of property is warped, yet I see why someone would make such a desperate move.
Water was seeping up through cracks in the ground and as I round a new corner I see the side of a building has come down and someone is trying to resucitate a lady lying on the ground in the rubble.
100’s of people had gathered around the cathedral in the central square and seemed to be milling around. I think some unsure of what to do, other, like me in morbid fascination mixed with what emotions were holding together a shocked and scared mind. I know how it took 2 days for the shock to set in and thats when I cried. Right now a lady was being helped out of the cathedral by what I assume was rescue workers. Calling for a bottle of water the crowd offered what it could. There we were dispersed and told to leave the city if we could. Emergency aid was waiting in parks around the city and if all else. Stay, listen to the radio and await further information.
We turned and left walking past broken buildings and support polls that had come down and literally flattened several small cars.
Aftershocks persisted through the night and with a dry throat I lay half asleep listening to the boom of the earth and feverishly praying that nothing else would collapse.
This is not the end of the story, but for the time. Now only weeks later have I escaped the news coverage, the people, the affects and am able to wind my mind back in and calm down in serenity