Sunday 27 February 2011

Sunday Salon: Thinking of Christchurch

This week has been a very sad one for everyone who is connected with New Zealand. As you will no doubt have heard, on Tuesday 22nd February a 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, NZ's second largest city. This quake was smaller than the 7.1 that hit Christchurch 5 months ago but it caused infinitely more damage as the quake was shallower, buildings were already weakened by the previous quake and this time it struck in the middle of the day. As a result, a lot of my reading time has been directed towards keeping up to date with the happenings on the various news websites and on the BBC World's news updates.

Photo credit: Richard Cosgrove/The Press
Thankfully, the few people I did know down there are all alive and well but many aren't. The latest numbers put the death toll at 147 but there are still many people missing. As a Kiwi sitting half-way across the world it's really hard to know that there's nothing much you can do. There are thousands without the basics of power or clean water, one third of all buildings are likely to be condemned and torn down leaving people without homes and there are more injured people than the medical staff know what to do with. I strongly wish I could go back and help them out but I know I'd only get in the way. I've donated money of course but when something like this happens, I really just want to roll up my sleeves and help out.

Photo credit: Don Scott/The Press
Natural disasters happen all over the world and affect hundreds of thousands of people every year. Luckily, New Zealand was fairly well prepared for an earthquake (although I think it's fair to say that up until the September 2010 quake, nobody would have dreamed it would strike Christchurch) and is a prosperous nation with a stable and effective government. It could definitely be a lot worse, but it's still a nightmare for those stuck in the thick of it. These people are in my thoughts and have my sincere sympathies. Kia kaha, people of Christchurch. I know you will make it through.

If you would like to know more about what's going on, check out:
Stuff News Website
NZ Herald Website
TVNZ Website
Twitter and search for the #eqnz hashtag

If you would like to help out, have a look here:
TVNZ donation information page
Stuff News Website donation information page
Julie at Anglers Rest
Join in the 2 minutes of silence on Tuesday 1st March at 12.51pm (UTC+13) wherever you are and send good vibes, prayers and love to those affected.


  1. It must be my hormones, but your post brought tears to my eyes, it is a moving post. It must be hard to be so far from home at a time like this. Thanks for posting the details of the 2 minutes silence.

  2. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for your comment! It is pretty hard - I think the worst bit is feeling so helpless but even if I were back in Auckland there wouldn't be too much more I could do. Puts a lot of things into perspective too.

  3. It must be hard to be away from home at a time like this - glad to hear your loved ones are OK but thinking about all those that have been affected.

  4. BooksNYC - Thanks for the comment. I'm so glad that everyone I know is OK. It's weird thinking that this has happened in NZ but it's really only been a matter of time given our location on the "Ring of Fire" and all.

    On a happier note - I just found your blog and love it! :)

  5. I don't think it's hormones here, but your post also brought tears to my eyes. Your heart shines through on this post, Kathmeista -- plus you provide a lot of great links to those of who might not have been paying attention. You're making us pay attention. Thank you.

  6. I live in California, where we have earthquakes quite frequently...but so far, nothing with this much devastation.

    My thoughts go out to those affected.

    It seems odd to cheerfully post about life events here, but just the same, here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

  7. It's really a tragedy what happened...I hope the city recovers in record time and that your loved ones remain safe!

  8. I'm so glad to hear that, for the most part, everyone you know in NZ is doing ok. We'll definitely say a prayer for everyone down there this evening.

  9. Unfinishedperson - Aww thank you! Hope some of the links are helpful.

    Laurel-Rain - And I really hope this doesn't happen where you are!! Here in Taiwan we get pretty frequent shakes but again nothing to major. The worst I've felt only knocked the angel off the top of the Xmas tree. Hopefully it stays that way, although they did have a really bad one in 1999.

    Jenna - Thanks! Me too. The whole city os pulling together and helping each other out so I'm sure they're going to be back on track pretty soon.

    Jeremy - Thanks, that's much appreciated! :)

  10. I wasn't aware that there had been another earthquake only a few months before this one. The residents surely thought that they had somewhat dodged a bullet after that. It's so sad to see the footage and know how many people are suffering.