Tuesday, September 7, 2010


You don't appreciate the stress of aftershocks until you've experienced them. Being without power all day Saturday we only caught the end of a tv special on prime and Eric what'sisname and Barry bowtie guy were saying how they were from Hawke's Bay and Wellington so knew about earthquakes and were asking whether Christchurch people were nervous due to not being used to feeling earthquakes.
Umm no.
Sure the aftershocks were of a variety of strengths but the problem is that everytime one is a stronger magnitude, your body reacts to the memory of the big one. Adrenaline starts to flow and you are on edge once again.
Most people now don't even care about any aftershock under 4. Between 4 and 5, the conversation pauses, we wait - do we need to take cover or will it calm down? Over 5 we're moving to the doorframe and even if we don't make it, the heart is pumping and adrenaline is rushing again. We had a powerful jolt this morning that made some things fall down again. Afterwards we were shaking. Even though mentally we were okay, our bodies are really taking a hammering to the constant feeling of unease. Each big aftershock takes you back to sitting in the dark, hearing the rumbling and the banging of everything in the house.
The slightly less strong ones, there is the mmmmmmmm low rumble then shake, shake, shake and it passes on. Maybe 10, maybe 5 minutes or maybe an hour later mmmmmm shake, shake, shake again. And so the days go on.
Now on the fourth day, there are not so many little ones happening all the time, which is a relief for the nerves - just every now and then, bang. This can go on for days apparently! We are so lucky to be in a country with building codes such that many people are still in their own homes. I can't imagine going through this in Haiti or Pakistan surrounded by rubble and with nothing.
One day in the next month or so hopefully life will return to a more relaxed normal.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.