February 28th, 2011 by

Devastation hits my city.. It’s bad this time.

I am really emotionally drained, and pretty much traumatized.  I had just arrived at my parents when the quake hit – I had put Emmy on the floor, went to smell Mum’s flowers she got for her birthday, and then the house started shaking. I raced to Emmy, falling over on the way, and knew all I could do was just dive on top of her… Stuff was falling down all around me, and I was just closing my eyes hoping we were out of the path of anything.  After it was over, I started hyperventilating and managed to drive to my Mum’s work (2 minutes away) to see she was okay, then found a route to get to Gaby’s preschool. On the way, I got a text from my Dad… I knew we were all alive, so I felt a little better then.

We are at my parents’. My house is okay, but the general area is an utter mess; I’m in Avonside, if you see that on the news at all.  The main road my street comes off is terrible, and so is the intersection just around from me (AGAIN!!)… I have been too emotionally not with it to take many photos, but I am uploading some now on FB.

When Dad got home, he told us he had left the CTV building 20 MINUTES BEFORE THE QUAKE – in which it collapsed. I think we’re all having trouble processing that, and what could have been had his appointment been 15 minutes later.  It’s just…. I tear up whenever I think about it.  My Dad isn’t handling it well. He’s such a strong man, but you can see how troubled he is.  He just got a phone call to say his doctor is missing.

My family is alive though, our houses are standing. I do know of one woman who has lost someone… I am dreading them releasing the full list eventually.

Yesterday we got power, and it was the first time we actually saw images of the utter devastation in the CBD. It was HARD to see; it made it so much more real, but at the same time I was ‘glad’ I could see it, because it has helped me process it.  We were so unlucky this time.  Where the first quake hit at the best time possible (4am.. ish), this one hit at the very worst possible time: midday on a weekday.  When Mum told me on Tuesday people had died, I bawled… People don’t die in earthquakes here. Bad things don’t happen here. This sort of thing happens in America or Europe…..

They showed footage this morning of the building that I used to work in – the Theatre Royal, a beautiful late 1800s, early 1900s building with marble stair cases and chandeliers, intricate work everywhere. Now it’s destroyed.  It looks like the top story has come down, but the bottom is still standing – the admin level is on the 2nd story, and the place I used to sit and work is below it all.  I don’t know if people I know died in there.

We did get a good snippet of news – my niece ~Bronte Ameka~ was born on February 24 at 00.00 – the stroke of midnight on her EDD. We still haven’t had a proper photo, so we are itching for one to arrive via email!

As I said though, we’re all alive and our houses are standing.  That’s what matters.

145 are confirmed dead so far and 200 missing. The news isn’t going to get any better…..

But we’re alive…

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