Thursday, January 27, 2011

....And back to the earthquake

I know nearly five months has gone by since the Big One or the 7.1 quake that rocked Christchurch. After that day we were so relieved no one had died and in our case we suffered only minimal damage. So I guess it is with some surprise that we, largely unaffected ones, are still very much living in the shadow of this ground shaking event.
One of the most obvious signs is the aftershocks. We don't get them everyday now - thankfully - but we are still getting sizable ones. We had a 5.1 last week and then a 4.0 just on Tuesday. I watch the minimal damage getting minimally worse each time. We have been assessed and got a payout except it was written out incorrectly so we are waiting for that to be fixed so we do actually get the payout and then ... What do we do? I was thinking we could get on and get repairs done but then another large aftershocks sends the whole place creaking and I wonder if there is any point.
When we do get the money, I am going to ring the insurance company and get their opinion because so far I have been told to wait before getting it fixed until the aftershocks diminish further and also to get on and get things fixed or further damage won't be covered. There are a lot of stories and he said, she said comments flying around the city.
Then there is the central city which seems to constantly change, which streets are open and which are not, so driving around is quite frustrating. It seems everyone has their own ongoing saga, earthquake story.
We all still talk earthquakes, I guess because it is something in common, it is like the weather and an easy way to keep conversation going. It is also feels better to talk about it, that you aren't going just a little bit mad feeling aftershocks.
Since common opinion seems to be that these aftershocks can go on for a year - we've only eight months to go and presumably now it is monthly for a larger one, soon that will be two monthly and then maybe three monthly and then not at all.
On one of the nights just after the initial quake and I wasn't sleeping, due to being woken by an aftershock, I was listening to the radio. An older lady phoned in who had lived through the Inangahua quake in 1968, which was also a 7.1. She remembered the aftershocks and how long they went on and how you wouldn't feel one for weeks and then another would hit. She said it had not been a fun time and now I know why but it was nice of her to let us know and she got through it all fine.
It gives you new empathy for those in other regions hit by natural disasters that leave the TV news so quickly but now I keep thinking about the people caught up and hope they are doing okay.

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.