New Zealand is a very beautiful country, with extensive stunning scenery. And it has a climate that is much better than most Europeans seem to know, like Spain with more rain.
But, we are on an earthquake fault line and we get a lot of earthquakes, hundreds each year. They are often noticeable but not strong. Wellington, the capital is so much on a fault line that the parliament itself is on rubber feet. We have some of the best earthquake resistant technology in the world, and building codes ensure earthquake proof building. The September earthquake in Christchurch was big but damage to people was limited by it being early morning.
Today’s Christchurch earthquake was quite different. It was lunchtime, people were filling the streets and buildings. Hence so much injury and loss of life. Plus the buildings were already weakened.
What you don’t realise from the outside is how bad it has been since the first quake in Christchurch. Apart from all of that damage there have been many many aftershocks. People’s nerves are constantly rattled. It stresses people enormously. The ground you are standing on is no longer safe.
This one will force many people to leave what was a beautiful garden city. They will not feel safe anymore. It’s sad to see and it’s close for us here. It’s nine hours from the earthquake now and many survivors will spend the night trapped in buildings.
Reports are that many people are leaving the city saying they have had enough.
I admire the bravery of the rescuers and my sympathy is with the victims and their families.