What it’s like in Christchurch

I’m sure that New Zealanders who read my blog are well-informed about what happened, and what is still happening, in Christchurch, following the big earthquake on September 4. For my Australian readers, and readers in other countries, here’s a round-up of bloggers’ posts (c/f newspaper reports) on what it’s like.

First up, not a blog post! Paul Nicholls of the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, has put together a quake map. It’s a graphic that plays through, showing the original quake, and then the aftershocks. People blogging and tweeting and facebooking from Christchurch have been saying that although they coped with the big shock, the unending stream of after shocks, some of considerable magnitude, is incredibly wearying, and damaging. They simply cannot relax. I was starting to shudder a little by the time I got to the end of the sequence.


Down Under Feminist Amanda, of Pickled Think, has written about the Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Stories.

I’m tired.

I’m lucky.

I have survivors guilt.

I’m finding it difficult to think above subsistence level.

On big blog Public Address, David Hayward writes about his experience in one of the suburbs that has been hardest hit: Southerly: Refugee Status.

I kept thinking to myself: “This looks like a disaster zone.” And then a few seconds later: “Oh, this is a disaster zone — that’s why it looks so much like one.”

At the same place, Emma Hart writes about being lucky, and yet being utterly worn down: Up Front: Day Five.

We don’t know when it’s over. It’s not that every time we relax there’s another significant aftershock, it’s that we’re not relaxing. This is the thing that we weren’t expecting, that we weren’t mentally prepared for. Five days, and it hasn’t stopped. I wouldn’t send the kids to school even if the schools had reopened. I need to be able to see them, to know where they are and be able to get to them straight away.

Ruth writes Ruth’s Reflections, and she’s been blogging the quake and its aftermath since the day it happened. Start with Our earthquake. From there, just click through to her homepage, and read through her posts. Ruth is working matching volunteers with jobs that need to be done.

I’ve spent today matching people who want to help after the earthquake with those who need assistance. As our office is still out of bounds the VolCan operation has been managed from my front room. I can’t access our website or database, but have managed well using our Facebook page as a replacement. When I’ve had a request for help which I can’t fill from the list of available volunteers I’ve put it on Facebook and waited for someone suitable to phone the office number. I clear that answerphone regularly and it all fits together. When there was a wave of volunteer offers that threatened to swamp me I passed the details to another of our staff working from home, and she phoned people.

For those of you who have met HarvestBird through my blog, she and her partner and their baby girl are well. She’s tweeting, ‘though not blogging yet.

Update: HarvestBird has put up a post – How to be brave


4 responses to “What it’s like in Christchurch

  1. That quake map was making me tense up my neck and shoulders, had to stop watching way before the end. Very evocative 😦

    Off to do some reading now.

  2. Thanks for this Deborah.

  3. Thanks for this round-up, Deborah. Thank goodness the aftershocks seem to be quietening down a bit now.