Today I found a link which really brings home the number and intensity of earthquakes the Canterbury area has been experiencing since last September. It's a map of the area, and the earthquakes show up as coloured circles one after the other. It can show you all the earthquake activity since 4th September 2010 or you can pick a single date. I looked at 22nd Feb and there were only two earthquakes before 12.51 pm, then there were earthquakes going off every few minutes. There were 65 earthquakes that day, some as shallow as 2 km.
Here's the link: Christchurch Quake Map
As of Sunday, the confirmed number killed by the earthquake is 147, but this figure is expected to rise beyond 200. At the Nelson "Opera in the Park" concert on Saturday night there were lots of us wearing Canterbury colours (red and black) in solidarity with those from Christchurch and surrounding area. The Red Cross were doing a collection and by the end of the night they had raised NZ$14,000 for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. There was a minute's silence to remember the dead and injured and various artists played tribute songs including "Bless the Child" and "Holy Cow." On Tuesday 1st March, at 12.51 pm, exactly a week after the earthquake struck there will be a national 2 minute silence, and people are being encouraged to wear red and black.
Still no-one has been pulled alive from the rubble since Wednesday afternoon and as time goes on, hope starts to fade. . . this truly is a disaster of devastating proportions: people dead and injured, buildings crumbled and lives in turmoil. The psychological effects will go on for years to come. But as Linda Topp (of the Topp Twins) said at the concert on Saturday night "Canterbury, we are all here for you, for now and the rest of our lifetimes." I am paraphrasing, but that is what I recall. The applause in response was deafening. . . all our hearts go out to everyone affected, and it's the whole country's disaster, not just Canterbury's. We will stand strong together and do what we can to help Christchurch, Lyttelton and Sumner re-build - shattered lives as well as shattered buildings.
Edited 1st March 2011. Here is Lynda Topp's exact quote, taken from this article in the Nelson Mail online: "We know that Cantabrians are here with us tonight. We are here for you Canterbury and we will stay here for you for the rest of our lives. This is not just for Canterbury to go through, New Zealand and the world are here for you," said Lynda Topp with the support of her sister Jools.