This is my first post without pretty pictures, or any pictures at all actually. It's all pretty doom and gloom in our little country since the huge earthquake in Christchurch. Many of you won't realise just how much impact it has had on all of us. It's not just something that will get cleaned up and we all move on. We've gone from 24 hour coverage on TV, just waiting for a miracle to appear, to wondering what this will mean for the city and the country, as we work out just how much it has and will cost us.
There are people who have lost so much. At least one man has lost his wife, house and business. What does he have left? Well his life I guess, but that's probably not enough for him at the moment. There are a good many people seeking help for depression over this tragedy. Just reading the newspaper articles is enough to bring on depression. There are many people who have fled to other parts of the country or the world for either a break or for good. Some are undecided and feeling so lost.
Some houses had boulders through them, some fell down cliffs, some lost walls and/or their roof, whole streets have been destroyed by the land being so cut up. Most houses had everything in them thrown onto the floors. I've never seen so many destroyed cars.
Bulldozer and digger drivers are having to do a job that they are not trained for. They are having to dig in sites that have trapped people in them. They are uncovering dead people every day. So far 70 people have been rescued, but they were all in the first 24 hours. There have been no miracles since that time. We are on Day 6 now. Only six people have been identified so far, that leaves about 200 families just waiting. It's taking forever. The first funeral will be held today, for a five month old baby.
Our country is very good in a crisis. Thousands of kind people have given over houses or rooms free to help people who need a safe place to stay for a while. Donations have helped get food and water to all the affected people. Students have made us proud once again, helping out by the hundred clearing up front yards, removing ruined carpet, digging out cars, making up lunch bags and the list goes on. There are so many people donating equipment, necessary goods, blankets, you name it. It's wonderful to see.
Liquefaction is a word our whole country knows about. Do you know what that means? I bet you could ask any five year old here and they could tell you. It's when the ground shakes so violently that the water rises to the surface resembling a flood. Some areas were under a metre or so of water. This also leaves behind thick black sandy mud that needs to be dug off the land and taken away. The streets are lined with piles of the stuff now.
It's hard to know what we can do to help the people of Christchurch. There is the Red Cross Appeal, but other than that it's difficult to know what else we can do. Thousands of people have been leaving the city every day since the quake. They are scattered wide. Those that remain are living in a city that's just not operating. Schools are closed this week, the CBD is a complete no-go zone. Hundreds of houses are going to have to be bulldozed. Those that have houses too broken to be lived in will have to wait months or even years to move back into. There aren't enough tradesmen to sort out this problem in a short space of time.
The economy was already in a very bad way. Businesses that we thought would always be around have been closing their doors in the past two years. I don't know what our country will be like by the end of this year. Apparently we can afford to fix this city, but then all the money in the kitty will be gone. What if something else happens? Our side of the world hasn't had much luck lately has it?
Tomorrow at 12.51pm there will be two minutes silence. It will be a week since the tragedy occurred.
It's a very tense time for all of us, but for those that were in Christchurch especially. They are just in survival mode at the moment. All attention is still on the CBD and the recovery effort. The residents have been through all of this before and know what is ahead. Lots of heartache, hard work and frazzled nerves.
I'm wondering what would be the best thing for me to do. Perhaps I could organise a collection of specially made presents for some of those people left struggling? Something so they know we are thinking of them in this terrible time. Perhaps a cushion to hug, a teddy/doll for a child, a pair of knitted slippers for the cold months ahead? It gets very cold in the winter months down there. Last year they had snow on the ground. There is a limited mail service at the moment, but that will improve as the streets get cleaned up.
I could talk for hours on this subject but I will stop here. But first I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the wonderful countries that have sent much needed help to Chch. Many search and rescue crews are here helping out using their own resourses. It is very much appreciated and it has made an enormous difference to finding people alive. The dead and the missing are from 20 different countries, so it's a world wide tragedy.
Please can you help out in some small way? Cat is continuing her quilt and crochet blanket collection. You can send whole quilts or just patches or granny squares to her. Maybe you could donate to the Red Cross Appeal? Maybe you would like to send a 'Gift of Love' for me to send to those in need? Just let me know.
Thank you so much for your support through your comments and kind offers. Here's hoping for a brighter week!
Please add my 'Gift of Love' badge to your blog if you like to help spread the word. It's at the top right. Thanks!