Earthquakes come in various stages.
And the aftermath,
On The 22nd of February 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand was hit with a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Even though it was smaller than the 7.1 in September 2010, it was more deadly. It was midday, the time the CBD is the busiest. Although I have a story to tell and I’m proud to say that I’ve lived through two natural disasters, others were not as fortunate.
But my story of the earthquake is mundane compared to those whom perished or have been dealt the worst end of the stick.
Today was the day that I was to be in the city for a meeting with my career’s councillor to discuss job opportunities, but that morning a knot the size of what felt like a basketball sat in the pit of my stomach; thinking that it was merely a tummy bug I cancelled with my career councillor. He re-scheduled and my day was set; or so I thought…
I was in the lounge doing my studies when the earthquake struck with a violent and merciless force. Everything within my home had shook; things I didn’t know could move were rolling against the wave of the earthquake. I was fully aware of what was going on but something inside me shut down and refused to acknowledge that something so disastrous was striking my home yet again. I cannot remember how many times I tried to think of a way to get through it. My mind had gone absolutely blank, yet at the same time it was alive with undecipherable thoughts.
It is now February 7th 2012; almost exactly one year on since the earthquake.
In exactly two weeks it will be the anniversary, the country is anxious, dreading the day that we remember. Many people want to make the day a public holiday, a day off to just breath it all in, to mourn and tell stories of incredible survival.
The earth beneath our feet still continues to move, it’s very rare for a day to pass that doesn’t have an aftershock. Some people say that there have been over 8,000 aftershocks since the September 2010 earthquake. I don’t believe that there has been that many, but truth be told, it feels like there has been.
The people of Christchurch still remain on guard, waiting for the next big one to hit, to take yet another life and leave only destruction and rubble. There is no such thing as a normal day in Christchurch, our sense of normality has been gone for a long time and we’re uncertain if it will ever return. Our Central Business District is only rubble, with a few buildings still standing, many homes are just falling to pieces and the streets are covered in liquefaction, a mix of sand and water that came from beneath the streets and grass to cause a mess of sludge and smiling vile and putrid.