Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Christchurch Literature Festival Cancelled
We had a series of 'cluster' quakes from about 10.30pm until about 5.00am. There were about eight major shocks. The smallest was 4.1 and the three largest were 5.2, 5.4 and 5.4. In between there were almost constant tremors - 15 altogether. It was quite frightening. You hear the rumble and then the shaking begins and you don't know whether it's going to stop and die away or whether it's going to get worse. None of us slept - all in a constant state of alert. Someone described it like trying to sleep in a washing machine!
This morning, buildings that were only slightly damaged have suffered and sink holes have appeared in roads and gardens where the sub-structure of the ground has shifted. Cracks are getting wider. They are still warning us that we might get an aftershock up to about 6.1. Meanwhile, everyone is being extremely resilient and positive and there's a really caring attitude. No panic. Everyone looking out for everyone else. Whereever you go people ask if you're all right and then they tell you their own stories. The Indian owner of the papershop down the road told me that this is god's punishment on the greedy and then told me that his brother-in-law had built a $600,000 house just south of Christchurch last year, one corner of which had sunk in the quake. He told the story with such relish I got the impression that his brother-in-law was one of those he'd had in mind for righteous revenge!
Sorry to the Tuesday poets group - I have just been too tired to seek out a poem today. But hope to post for next week.