Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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How much more do the people of Christchurch (my home town) have to take? After two devastating earthquakes in recent months and thousands of aftershocks, the New Zealand city was struck once more today by two more sharp earthquakes, registering 5.5 and 6.0 on the Richter scale, respectively.
“It’s a real mess here,” my foster sister and resident Lauren McCallum told me this afternoon from the seaside village of Sumner, adjacent to the small hamlet of Taylor’s Mistake where the first quake was centered. “People are leaving and the traffic is just huge. It’s very messy, more cliffs are down and there’s no water or power.”
“All here are well but it’s rocking and rolling – it’s relentless,” a friend, Marty Braithwaite, said.
Another friend noted: “It was very scary, it’s incredible how much our [office] building moved.” She described children pouring out of the local McDonald’s in tears, all terrified by the latest in an awful barrage of earthquakes and aftershocks.
Fortunately, unlike the last quake in February, today’s events appear not to have caused any deaths, though there have been several injuries and much structural damage. Christchurch International Airport was closed for checks but quickly re-opened.
Prime Minister John Key today expressed solidarity with the people of Christchurch. “We stand beside them, we are committed to rebuilding the city,” he said, noting that Christchurch people were “stoic”.
They are, but even the hardiest among them has a right to be unnerved by the latest events.