My personal earthquake photos

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.

Really wishing I had of done the dishes from the night before the quake…

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.


  • 6 years ago

    The first few are pretty much like our place – the kitchen looks worse though. I was amazed that the sixteen jars of peaches I had just bottled were still on the bench, intact.
    We haven’t put our books back on the shelves, just stacked them along the floor. My computer landed on the floor and when we got the power back on I found it still works! But it now lives on the floor when I’m not using it , I don’t trust those aftershocks.
    I hope you get your power back on soon, it makes an amazing difference. (Water and sewage would be even better – we live in hope!)

  • 6 years ago

    Glad to hear you are ok. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but my prayers are with you and all those in the city.

  • Floss
    6 years ago

    So pleased to hear that you are ok, those are some big ex-army boys!

  • 6 years ago

    Wow, how terrible, amazing photos – good luck from Sydney. Your cousins from across the ditch.

  • Susi Jenkins
    6 years ago

    Hi Michelle – how fantastic to know that you are safe and well. It must be a terrible time for you all. Janiene is keeping me up to date.

    Susi xx

  • 6 years ago

    Your photos are shocking. But I love your attitude!
    May everything settle down soon.

  • 6 years ago

    Yes, your attitude is very positive. I suppose that considering all the tragic deaths, you feel very lucky indeed. Your photos show beautifully the extent of just “minor damage” (as compared with what I’ve seen in the newspaper and news broadcasts), which still looks to me like a huge mess. Structurally you seem to be pretty unscathed and have had amazingly “good luck!” I’m glad that you are in this positive state of mind and hope that your luck continues to hold out. I’ll continue to follow your blog!!

  • 6 years ago

    Good to see that you and yours are fine, though I feel for the people in your city and what they have been through. Great that man mountain and his mates showed up to help. These happenings bring out the best in people and its always good when people you do not know muck in.

  • PPusa
    6 years ago

    When I was in Rotorua I heard that there had been an earthquake that I didn’t notice at all. I was a bit disappointed. Now that sounds stupid. I really wouldn’t want to experience what you have just showed us.

    It takes some time but soon most things are getting back to normal.

  • Ann
    6 years ago

    I can only say, “Wow!”
    I cannot imagine how scary that must have been.

  • 6 years ago

    God must be with you. Those pictures show a real life horror story. I have been in earthquakes in Japan and I did get plaster on my head, nothing as serious as these show. Take care of yourself and your friends. I hope it will all work out for everyone there.

  • 6 years ago

    My heart goes out to you guys down in Christchurch, I couldnt believe when I seen my former work place CTV.
    hopefully this will make us stronger as a nation.

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