Tonight we are fortunate to have the loan of a generator so we can use it off and on. We’re in a hill suburb and may not get power back for days or maybe up to a week, we are just not sure. We went for a walk up the hill today and were amazed at the damage neighbours just 500 metres away have sustained. We have gotten off really lucky, with just 6 smashed windows and a retaining wall that fell in.
Below is our hallway, and was what I first saw when I was eventually brave enough to leave the safety of the toilet. That’s a bookcase minus all of the books.
The hallway in the other direction looking down towards the main exit out of the house.
The lounge – thankfully my partner decided to put the books back in.
The kitchen – this was my job to clean up and it took 4 hours.
My partner Bruce – the door is just behind where he is standing. This is what was going on while I was hiding in the loo (the wall of the loo runs beside this now ex-retaining wall).
The amazing crew of ex-army guys who turned up out of the blue and cleared away the retaining wall for us tonight (guys you are legends!).
A car stuck in the infamous liquefaction that Cantabrians all despise. This must have been pretty scary for the person driving it.
Well, that’s my experience so far, and really that’s all I can talk about, as the furthermost I have been from my home is about 4 km to visit friends in a nearby suburb and borrow their internet. I’ve seen about 2 hours of TV yesterday, so I know less about the situation that people living on the other side of the world.
We are still getting aftershocks and some of them are quite sharp. Though I am not jumping at them anymore and am getting some sleep. Though we don’t have power, running water or sewerage, we have each other (Bruce you are my rock!), and our amazing families, awesome neighbours (who cooked dinner for us for the last few nights using their gas) and we have lots of stubbornness and determination that we won’t be giving up on our beloved city. We’ve had countless offers of accommodation outside of Christchurch, but we are staying put, as our house is liveable, and we have businesses and jobs to get back to.
The house is not exactly clean due to lack of water, but it looks like a palace compared to what it was (as the photos show).
I am still counting my blessings that I am safe and all of my loved ones are safe. My deepest sympathies to those who have lost friends and family. I can not even begin to imagine what you are feeling.