A Photo a Day of Christchurch New Zealand

No photos for now, but I’m ok

I am writing this from my car, using a power inverter that is plugged into the cigarette lightener with a mobile internet connection. We don’t have power or water or sewerage, and the house looked like someone had ransacked it from one end to the other. It has taken us 8 hours to get the house livable but we are safe and thinking of the others that have not been so lucky. My heart goes out to my fellow Cantabrians and those visitors to our city who have suffered loss of life or severe injury.

I was alone at home when the earthquake hit, and we live just 2km from the epicentre. It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced, and for a time there I thought that the worst might happen. However, it turns out that the smallest place in the house (yes I hid in the toilet) was one of the safest places to be. When the after shocks finally stopped I was stunned to see that everything was knocked over, all the pictures off the wall, windows smashed, fresh air rushing through the house, glass everywhere, it was awful. But nothing my partner and I couldn’t put right with a long day’s work. I’ve not ventured any further than 800 metres from my house, and count my blessings that I work at home, and live in a neighbourhood full of wonderful friendly and helpful people who all looked after each other.  We’ve got a gas cooker, some water, food, and mobile internet off and on. So we’ll be fine.

The afterhocks are awful, they are sharp and went on all of last night – probably every fifteen minutes. Lots more today as well.

Well, it’s getting dark now, and all we have is the candles lighting the house, so I better get back inside! Thanks for all the wishes and thoughts, they are most appreciated.

I’ll post some of my personal photos when I have a more reliable net connection.

About the Author:


Michelle is a Christchurch web designer and photography fan living in Christchurch New Zealand.


  1. Lachezar on February 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I can only just imagine how difficult and stressful is what you are gong through but I’m happy that you are OK and my thoughts are with you and all the brave people in Christchurch

  2. Mark on February 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    What a terrible experience! My thoughts are with all the Cantabrians who have lost or who have missing family and relatives. Stay safe Michelle

  3. Julie on February 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Thinking of the people of Christchurch, too. The days and months ahead will be a challenge.

  4. Jayne on February 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Thank goodness!
    Was wondering about you and so many other Kiwi friends across the ditch, my heart goes out to everyone in this dreadful tragedy.
    So glad you’re in one piece 🙂

  5. Sean Claes on February 24, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Wow. Glad you are OK. Prayers for your family, friends, and neighbors.

  6. Kate on February 24, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Like the other well-wishers I am glad that your survived unscathed; the house can always be put back to order but lives cannot. You vividly described your experience. I just finished reading our local papers and scanned photos of the devastation. It brings to mind the old adage that “tomorrow is not a guarantee,” which for some victims is only too true. This always makes me thankful for each day that I have, and I’m happy to know that you are safe and sound.

  7. Snowy… « Helsinki According to PPusa on February 24, 2011 at 4:06 am

    […] a look at Christchurch City Daily Photo blogger’s personal account about the deadly earthquake. we live just 2km from the epicentre. I was the most frightening thing I have ever […]

  8. Dina on February 24, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Shalom Michelle. These are sad circumstances in which to meet your blog for the first time. All of you in Christchurch are much in our thoughts and prayers. Sending you sympathy and blessings from Jerusalem.

  9. Maya on February 24, 2011 at 4:23 am

    My heart is breaking for you. I got an email from my friend Rori, so I know she’s “okay,” but could probably use a hug. If you see a short cheeky American named Rori, give her a hug from me. You can hug a few others while you’re at it. Thinking of all of you.

  10. gerald on February 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

    It is good to know you are safe – our hearts go out to everyone in and around Christchurch. I’ve been digging out my 10 year old photos of the Cathedral and weep to see it now but it is the people that matter. We have neighbours who flew back from the city just before it happened. Their daughter in Lyttleton has suffered damage to their house but are OK. We are all thinking of you.

  11. Bonnie from San Francisco on February 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Geez, you never know what it’s going to be… one minute it’s the adorable kitty from next door peeking in your window and then a bit later the carpet is (figuratively) pulled out from under you. I’m so glad to see your post today! Michelle, you’re one of my links to Christchurch and I truly value seeing the world through your lens. Hang in there. From one earthquake region resident to another, it’s not what we ever want to have to deal with, but it is one of the things that makes us appreciate the beauty that surrounds us every day.

  12. paul on February 24, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Good to hear that you are ok, Michelle. And best wishes in this time of stress.

  13. Nicole on February 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Glad to hear that you are doing OK. Just returned from Christchurch six days ago, and was deeply saddened to hear the news. You are a brave woman, and I hope your fine city rebuilds stronger than before. Made a donation to the Salvation Army recovery efforts yesterday, and I encourage others to do the same, if able. Sending many thoughts of healing and peace to you and your fellow Cantabrians.

  14. Sara on February 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I’m happy to hear that you and your partner are okay. My thoughts are with you as you re-settle your lives…

  15. caro on February 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    It must have been pretty horrible. We were in Christchurch just over a year ago and I cant imagine what it must be like now. A friend of ours has a son at the university there and he has been given an airticket to go home to Wellington for a week while all is put to rights again. All the best!

  16. Terry Murray on February 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Michelle – I have just found your blog for the first time. I was in Christchurch in the 1990s and loved it. I almost didn’t come home to Canada. So it breaks my heart to see what’s happened to the city (and region) and its people. I’m glad to hear that you’re safe and getting by – at least for now. Good luck to you. I’ll bookmark your site and follow your progress. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  17. Denton on February 27, 2011 at 3:55 am

    So glad you are okay. Often news stories are distant and remote from one’s life. However with the Global Daily Photo community we know people affected by these events and they become much more real. Bringing the world closer together in tragic events and in daily triumphes. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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