Monday, February 28, 2011

Day One - Christchurch Earthquakes, shakes and breaks...PHOTOS

Tonight while Ive been sorting these photos through, we have had about three good aftershocks. Ive been sitting watching some TV and by my reckoning, theyre in the mid-threes. Of course Im not a seismologist, but ya get to know by the amount of swaying and rocking, or the creaking and groaning... and when they dont get you out of your chair to clutch loved ones or catch falling vases or tvs, you know youre ok... Thats making light of it of course, but you do get to a stage where you cope better with them!

So here are some of my photos from the first day -  
E Day - Tuesday 21st of February 2011.

Nine minutes to one oclock on a pleasant still overcast day, we were shaken again.
Our children were at school, people were at work, doing what they do every day, every Tuesday.  Buses travelled familiar routes, people buzzed by in cars, on bikes, all doing what they do.
By half past one, all our lives had changed. People had lost friends and family, loved ones, or pets, or workplaces. Others had lost homes, cars or both, or all of these.
No discrimination - throughout the city there were pockets of life and devastation alike. Christchurch will never be the same, the skyline has changed forever and history has been made...
 Then, to top it off, it began to rain - hard. Those who had lost their tile roofs scrambled to cover their possessions. Some people could not cover things successfully, and with their homes split open wide, they had to leave it to the elements.
There are broken windows, broken possessions, torn up lawns and fallen fences, chimneys... Some that were hit last time have been mercilessly hit again, others who were hit last time were spared by this one. But all of us have been affected somehow.
We headed off over to extended family, across town, to escape for the first night, then came home the next morning to dig in and clean up... get ourselves back together again...Our trip was very slow, through high tidal waters from the estuary travelling up the Avon river that had burst its banks. It was scary, it was astounding. And it took us 2 hours 45 minutes to go what usually took us 30 minutes in busy traffic.

My Street minutes after the Earthquake. Liquifaction started pooling immediately

Water from broken drains spills out onto the street

Within minutes, people panicking travel quickly through the streets breaking the tarseal on the surface of the road, releasing the liquifaction to the surface where it becomes slippery silty mud.

My side of the road has less damage for some reason, but because it has such a deep puddle, people avoid it, causing further damage to the middle and opposite side. Several cars pop their tyres on the hard surfaces of tarseal as they speed over it.

The hole is caused by the fire hydrant, just opposite my driveway in the middle of the street. It is a deep hole and quite unstable around the edges. 

Liquifaction - grey thick silt that *appears* from below and smells terrible whilst drying out     

A Neighbours wall lies on its side

A telephone pole looks like its days may be numbered. I worry about this pole through future aftershocks!

Throughout the city, people have ditched their cars in favour of walking home. Some have run out of petrol 

Some have been frustrated by heavy traffic, and walk to get home sooner

More liquifaction - it is everywhere!

At almost high tide that afternoon, the Avon river is grey like silt and almost bursting its banks

Avonside Drive, again in tatters 
Starting the drive over the city - many cracks like this appeared

Traffic crawled along Pages Road to the only bridge across the Avon River that separates the East of the city from the rest of it. Very slow progress was made, lots of damage along the way.

Note the tiles from the roof. Many of these houses had holes where you could see right through.

Some of these cracks you could see right into. Scary!

An Orion ? Airplane that soared very low, over the city, possibly looking at damage or monitoring traffic...

Someones puppy waiting to be taken to safety!

More tiled roof damage

Thick muddy liquifaction

This speaks volumes. Footwear like this is useless for walking over this stuff. It sticks, you slip, and before you know it, youre covered in the stuff and it STINKS! It is a health hazard all round!

Someones day just got really bad. Middle of Pages Road - I hope the owners are ok!! 
 Will put some more photos up tomorrow if we have power...
Off to get some sleep while weve stopped shaking :)

Love to all,


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