Today another earthquake struck Christchurch. Unlike the first one on 4th September, this one happened at a busy time on a weekday. 12.51 pm on a Tuesday lunchtime. It was a magnitude 6.3 quake, at a depth of only 5 kilometres, and centred only 10 km south-east of the city centre. Between 4th September and today there have been several thousand aftershocks. It seems likely they have had a cumulative effect to weaken buildings. There are scenes of utter devastation on the television and at this stage (8pm Tuesday) there are already 65 confirmed dead. The cathedral is all but destroyed, multi-storey buildings have collapsed, as if made of matchsticks. There will be many more casualties and fatalities. So many people still trapped in buildings and under rubble.
Even up here, safely out of the way of the effects of the earthquake, it is very affecting. "Wifie" rang me at work at 1.20 pm to tell me the earthquake news. She cried as she told me. I felt physically sick. I quickly told those at my workplace. We all stood around dazed. Meetings were cancelled, no-one could concentrate properly. Feelings of nausea welled up from knotted stomachs. As a family we are grieving for those in Christchurch. Thinking of those with loved ones down there, desperately wishing them safe. Glued to the tv coverage, downcast. Words seem trite and paltry. When we heard the first official death toll tonight, "Wifie" and I both spontaneously burst into tears. We don't even have close friends or family down there, yet still feel so emotionally affected.
Wishing much strength and love to everyone in the Christchurch area, or with loved ones there.
"Kia kaha" (be strong) and "Arohanui" (much love). You are in all of our thoughts…