Thursday, February 24, 2011

Normal Service Will be Resumed as Soon as Possible

Just to let people know that we are safe, the earthquake was centred about half way between our house and the port of Lyttelton so we are in one of the worse off suburbs.
The EQC (government earthquake insurance) assessor was at our house inspecting for damage from the previous quakes. He was on the roof, gave our chimney a shove and pronounced it sound, and was halfway down the ladder when the whole city started to shake and the previously sound chimney sliced neatly off and landed in our driveway behind his car, stopping him from getting out.
That was quite convenient since he and his assistant were able to cover the hole in the roof and make it weathertight before they went. (They did manage to move the chimney enough to get the car out).
For the first day we were getting aftershocks every 1-3 minutes. Quite stressful. They are still very frequent. My brain feels quite fuzzy at the moment so don't expect anything very literary in this post.
Our suburb has quite a lot of damage to roads and bridges. There is silt everywhere from liquefaction. Our house has quite a lot of new cracks but we think it is not in immediate danger of falling down. We have no power, water or sewage. I have just heard on the news that water supply is back to 50% of the city, I don't know if that includes us. Earlier I heard that there was no water in 80% of the city and no power in about 40% of the city.
We have enough emergency supplies of water at the moment and half a barrel full of rainwater - we hastily pushed the barrel under a piece of broken spouting the first night when it started to rain. We have a gas barbeque and gas cook top. We have an old style phone that still works - the modern cordless phones don't work when the power is off.

I am at a friend's house where she has power, typing this on her laptop. I have photos on my camera but won't try to upload them at the moment. My own computer slid to the floor, so I'm not sure if it is working or not - I won't find out till the power comes back on. No word on when that will be.

Because search and rescue was a priority this time, other things like getting power, water etc and checking how people were doing were a bit lower down the list but it looks as if they are getting on to it now.

I haven't tried to go very far, there is a lot of traffic congestion with many roads closed. Tomorrow I may try to get to work, I normally work near the airport on Wednesday and Friday, it will be a big detour to get there on the other side of town but things are relatively normal there and they have showers. I never thought I would appreciate that quite so much.

My daughter has hiked to a friend's place where they have water, power and sewage, she was going to write a post for me, so if you are reading this D, you can still add that link to your blog for more information.


Unknown said...

Oh Catherine I am so pleased to hear from you. It is all so worrying watching Tv and listening to RadioNZ . If you want time out .. fly up here and have a break from after shocks! I mean it! TG you are all ok, but the conditions sound terrible.

Joanna Preston said...

So glad to hear you're ok! (And the EQC inspector – I'd always wondered if that sort of thing happened.)

Tim Jones said...

It's great to hear you're OK, Catherine.

Zeborah said...

My blogpost is here.

Pip said...

So glad to hear from you! I wonder if that means you had the first official EQC assessment after the quake? That poor man. I'll be thinking of you and the many others in Christchurch in similar circumstances over the next few days.

karen said...

The EQC was apparently a synchronicity, then... and your expanded claim must be top of the list. Seriously, your AWGRAD family are all very relieved to hear from you, and glad you are all safe. kxx

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that we here in the States send our prayers and thoughts your way. I can only imagine the devastation.

What a story to tell in the future of your chimney inspection. wow! I'm sure the inspector will remember it as well.

Lizl Bennefeld said...

Good to know that you folks are okay. Appreciate learning more about what it's been like.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear your voice (= read) again, Catherine. Hard to imagine what you are thru. Thanks for updating us. half a barrel full of rainwater... hmmm....
Much love, thinking of you all.
AWgrad / Judith

deb said...

Thank you for the post update as I've been worried for you and yours. I even thought I saw you rescued from the rubble of a building. I knew it was silly -- I only know your face from a couple of pictures!

Thank you to your friend for the use of her power.

Sending you as many "settled and still" thoughts as I can.

carmilevy said...

Color me relieved. I am so glad you're fine. If this is how you write when you're "fuzzy" - poignantly detailed literary pictures of your upturned landscape - then I can only imagine how you'll be when things return to something approaching normal.

Thank goodness you're OK. Still sending prayers your and your country's way.

KarenD said...

Glad to get this update from you.