Last Tuesday after hearing on the radio the dreadful news of the earth quake in New Zealand my first thought was- those poor people - then realizing the worst hit were the people of Christchurch my thoughts turned to Viv- I hope to god he is alright , I immediately sent an email off to him , saying I was thinking of him and I hoped both him and his travelling companion were safe-Thursday [ and a big sigh of relief ] he emailed me back that they were both fine -on a borrowed computer so just sending quick emails out to everybody to reassure them he was okay. Today I had a more detailed email-[have edited it down slightly ]
Viv writes :-
Following the earth quake last Tuesday , Betty`s house , garden and foundations suffered another battering. There is still no water-best guess another week-or water or sewage-best guess is " a few weeks " official advice is not to flush toilets in affected areas-dig a hole in your garden instead !
The house will have to be demolished but is still habitable although will need securing and making weather proof before bad weather sets in-we are arranging a truck load of gravel to be dropped off to fill the gaps around the foundations [ one of these is a metre wide x metre and a half deep] We slept in the campervan for 3 nights not only because it felt safer but also because we had lights,stove and water.
We are at the moment living with kind and loving friends and sharing their undamaged home that has had services restored.The city remains completely sealed off.
Food has to be tracked down but there is no shortage , free water available from tankers, one man travelling from Darfield 30miles away filled a giant plastic tank from a well and towed it to a lay by in Christchurch on a trailer and together with his daughter spent the day filling containers.
Such generosity and support remains a feature of almost the entire population.
After shocks continue, they occur several times a day-although they are getting less frequent now. All the news has been via radio.
The quake lasted 20 seconds and I have to say it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life,[ [I was kneeling down at the time in the garage looking for something under the bench - Betty was upstairs on the balcony] we were incredibly lucky neither of us were hurt neither were our friends-though some of them have inevitably lost a friend or a colleague.
Twenty seconds that killed so many people and destroyed hundreds of properties including many iconic buildings,it changed the face of the city.
Just goes to show you how much the life you take for granted can all be changed in just twenty seconds- and there is nothing you can do-it is beyond your control- It has certainly made me stop and think how I would cope in similar circumstances. Thoughts and prayers to the people of Christchurch and to Viv and Betty- so glad you are both safe.