Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: The shakes

496 Responses

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  • Steve Barnes,

    Bugger, just thinking about how JK and English have just spent all our "Hard Earned Money"™ Canterbury property investments...

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4820 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And one only has to look at the death toll recently in places like Chile and Haiti to know every structural engineering expert in the land should get a free drinks at the pub tonight.

    Friuli, 1976: 6.1 magnitude earthquake kills 978 people. Irpinia, 1980: 6.8 magnitude earthquake kills 2,980 people. Last year at L'Aquila: 6.3 magnitude kills 308. 7.1 in Christchurch and two seriously injured. So, yeah.

    But wait: small medieval town perched on the side of a mountain at the epicentre of L'Aquila's earthquake: not so much as a stone out of place. So maybe it's the buildings in cheap concrete built in the post-war period that are the real killer. And NZ historically has lacked the population pressures and periods of savage poorly regulated development that led to those. So I'd thank urban planners, good economic fortune and other factors beside the engineers alone.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    every structural engineering expert in the land should get a free drinks at the pub tonight

    That's not all they'll be getting, if they're anything like the emergency personnel after 9/11. To misquote Janeane Garofalo, it'll be all "Well, hellllooooooo Mr/Ms Structural Engineer!"

    So glad that people are chiming in with mostly relieving news; and that the timing was (as these things go) so fortuitous. In daylight, every one of those bricks would have had someone's name on it. The aftershocks must be scary though.

    In related news, Christchurch riddled with fault zones. Aargh.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Firstly, arohanui to all CantabPASers. My extended family are physically okay, but like the rest there is going to be much to do in coming weeks. I'm glad there's the EQC and Civil Defence in times like this.

    Thank you Jolisa. I woke up in Brisbane this morning, and saw a few tweets about a quake - being in Christchurch though, I thought it minor. It took me a full half-hour to realise it was something more.

    My Grandma survived the Napier quake. Her school was out to play while the teachers had a meeting. The children survived, virtually the entire staff was killed. Bricks are an object of horror to my entire family. Fit for only for paving.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Have just returned from dropping my son off at a LAN party (yes, I know) and seeing David and Jennifer.

    This had not sunk in until we saw Avonside Drive. It looks like there's been a natural disaster. Huge cracks is the road, lifted footpath, drains pushed up a couple of feet, everything covered in silt. Trees down, every power pole leaning. Saw a small child frolicking in a huge crater in the road.

    David Jen and Bob have no power, and their house appears to have shifted on its foundations. So we pillaged their freezer and left. Well, okay, we told them to come over, but they were hoping to find friends with power and water.

    Aftershock. Man they make it hard to type.

    The central city is cordoned off, so the fate of Whisky remains unknown. We had to walk a good ten minutes to get to the Hay-Haywoods, a trip that made me increasingly panicky and teary.

    Traffic lights are out everywhere. People are panic-buying petrol, which makes no sense to me. I just wanted a loaf of bread, but that wasn't possible, apparently.

    So grateful that today is warm and sunny. Yesterday was freezing diagonal sleet. Still forebore from saying "Nice day for it" to the guy shovelling silt out of his driveway.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Actually, while I'm here, civil defence tip for you ultra-modern people. Keep some fucking cash in your house.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Chch residents are now being told not to use their loos, apparently. That could get messy very fast.

    Stunning story from your Grandma, George. Is it wrong that, awful as it is, it strikes me as the perfect scenario for (or indeed denouement of) one of David Haywood's moral fables, at such time as he is able to rescue his laptop from the rubble?

    Meanwhile, apparently we all think of Douglas Adams at times like this. Chch residents urged: "Don't Panic"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    FWIW- University of Canterbury closed til the 13th.
    All the best to Chch and surrounds. Wish the little tremors would just stop!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1557 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Cross-posted with Emma. Ta for the frontline report. I would send cash and bread and whiskey, but how to get it there?

    (I remember panic-buying milk on September 12th. It made perfect sense to me: there are no cows on the entire island of Manhattan, so if the bridges went down, there would be no milk for the foreseeable future, whereas other foodstuffs were less perishable and more amenable to air-drops. Except for eggs, maybe, but I was counting on being able to find a few under-the-radar urban chickens).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I keep my piggy bank partially as an emergency source of cash. When full, my yellow plastic piggy friend holds about $800. He is about half full right now.

    Bricks are an object of horror to my entire family. Fit for only for paving.

    I refuse to live in a brick house.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1805 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Friuli, 1976: 6.1 magnitude earthquake kills 978 people. Irpinia, 1980: 6.8 magnitude earthquake kills 2,980 people. Last year at L'Aquila: 6.3 magnitude kills 308. 7.1 in Christchurch and two seriously injured. So, yeah.

    I think we're just bloody lucky it was 4.30 in the morning and not a weekday afternoon. Imagine it hitting a city full of working people. I wouldn't liked to have been in the old half of the Press building -- where I work -- when that bad boy hit.

    And a bad boy it was. We were woken up simultaneously by the quake itself and the 6 year old and 3 year old crying in their room. The older one later said it was like someone was trying to break the house apart. Then went to check on the 7-year-old -- the Aspie one -- and after a bit of silence, she said: "My room was shaking. It was very annoying."

    Just broken glasses and jars etc -- second time this year a big glass bottle of olive oil has smashed on the kitchen floor, this time mixed in with marmalade -- and power was out till after 12 (we're in Beckenham/St Martins). Until I turned on the computer 20 minutes ago and looked at Stuff, I didn't know how bad it was. I think we're all very lucky.

    Still haven't seen the cat, of course ...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Apparently they've got the guy who done the earthquake..
    A Police arrest after the early morning earthquake in Manchester Street, Central Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, September 4, 2010

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4820 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Coasters*generally have
    supplies of food & water,
    some cash (eftpos goes down relatively often)
    non-eclectric ways of heating & cooking,
    torches (by bedside)
    just because these things happen to be very useful when Those Things Happen...

    *Make that, most rural dwellers

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Us: no cash, just one charged mobile phone, bottled water in a garage that has an electric door so is useless, no radio. We did, however, have a torch. Seriously need to get our Civil Defence planning sorted.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Lights and internet are back on at home. Neighbours have a new skylight next to where the chimney was.

    All traffic lights were working on my way home and even a few of the farmers market stalls opened.

    One family member is a bit shaken still & the kids in the flat next door are a bit louder than usual.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    More to come apparently...
    Big aftershock likely after destructive 7.1 Canterbury quake
    Be on your toes guys and stay away from unstable structures.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4820 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    My five year old is in a cardboard box rolling around and yelling "earthquake, earthquake" cheerfully so I think he's not too traumatised. Both kids were absolute troopers last night.

    We're all fine though even more of our possessions than usual are strewn across the floor and both our chimneys fell off (though thankfully not through the roof). The brandy bottle smashed but the gin and the whisky are OK (though somewhat covered in jam and lentils). Power came on about an hour ago so coffee is occurring. We had breakfast cocoa on the camping stove but had no pre-ground coffee.

    A walk around the neighbourhood (St Albans around Westmister and Barbadoes Sts) reveals very few chimneys still standing and a lot of silt and water on the ground. Quite a lot of shops on Barbadoes and Cranford streets are in states of collapse .

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    My five year old is in a cardboard box rolling around and yelling "earthquake, earthquake" cheerfully so I think he's not too traumatised.

    Or maybe he's self-administering a spot of play therapy... Either way, good on him.

    A walk around the neighbourhood (St Albans around Westmister and Barbadoes Sts) reveals very few chimneys still standing and a lot of silt and water on the ground

    I'm wondering: were most of the chimneys purely decorative, given the no open-fires rule?

    And is the silt due to the liquefaction effect?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Then went to check on the 7-year-old -- the Aspie one -- and after a bit of silence, she said: "My room was shaking. It was very annoying."

    Classic!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Jolisa: There are a lot of logburners installed where the old open fire used to be with metal flues threaded through the brick chimney many of which (our included) are now gleaming nakedly. I'm not at all sure where the silt comes from except that it's mostly where there are also broken drains or mains.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Thanks so much for this thread. As I said on the RNZ facebook page, a BIG thank you to Vicky McKay on the all night shift. I turned on my radio as soon as I was woken by the quake (in Dunedin) and she was onto geonet and fielding texts straight away, so we found out what was going on before the newsbreak. And she exuded calmness and non-panic for the next hour and a half, by which stage I knew enough to go back to sleep for a while.

    I've friends on Rockinghorse Road, but they were fine at 6 this morning. The Estuary is going to be a mess though.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Bevan Shortridge,

    Somewhat surreal hearing Kim Hill on RNZ explaining exactly how to make a temporary toilet. Very useful, yes, but a bit surreal nonetheless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    View from Pinehaven, Upper Hutt.

    Good news, the cafes are still open and bacon and eggs was good.
    Bought a gas element - for camping you know. Don't know why.
    Friends around here, and me, did not feel a thing. I am pretty good at picking up jolts around town but this one seems to have been channeled down a track that missed (some of) this valley. What impresses me is the GNS earthquake seismometers around the country ALL overloading.

    My Mum in Naenae woke up and promptly went back to sleep and was unaware of what happened until i phoned. She has sister in New Brighton. All OK. How are the sewers down there? Mnetions of evacuating that burb on radio. Any more???

    One of my family was the wedding happening in the ex-church in Durham St. Oh dear.....Bridal Panic no doubt set in but absolutely no forgetting the earthquake date!!!

    I'm with the theory that this is Dogs punishment for offering 1.2 billion in refunds to cantabrians.

    Am listening to TV One telling people how to collect their EQC damages. Oh dear....

    Not being present at a TV all day but NatRad in the car while cruising, has anyone heard any suggestions for citizens to collect water, food, how to keep warm and how to survive the next 3 or 4 days while crapping into a system that now leaks???

    The short periods of Nat Rad I heard had nothing.

    Look after yourselves all youse down there. Thinking of you.

    Stay warm.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1495 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Ha. Typing over the top!!!

    hearing Kim Hill on RNZ explaining exactly how to make a temporary toilet

    Good on her!!!!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1495 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    We have an ICE CREAM TRUCK in our street! Genius!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

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