We were in the car, parked at lights – waiting for the green light. The car started to rock…left…right…left…right for a few moments We noticed that all of the cars were rocking like us. Oh well. Maybe that was a 5 on the scale.
The lights changed to green and we drove to next intersection, stopped at more lights and the rocking started again…front…back…front…back. Yes, all cars doing the same…like some kind of car-dance.
We continued on to the Market……..but as we could not find somewhere close to park the car, we had to walk a long distance.
Doug walked ahead of Chris and me……. We just strolled, chatted about the shakes, and generally relaxed.
THEN………… it happened again. This time, a biggee, Doug wrapped his arms around a pole on side of the footpath, and Chris and I grabbed each other. We stood facing each other with our feet about 2ft apart and braced ourselves – hanging on tight to each others elbows. We could feel the ground shaking and then – BANG!! One huge shake and we were both tossed onto the ground.
Not a good look – 2 elderly ladies lying on the ground laughing. Her hubby was standing there shaking his heads and laughing, too. Other people were scrambling to their feet, too.
After we finished at the market and a light evening meal we drove home again.
Another big shock. What a mess on the concrete in front of their home, liquefaction everywhere. And my little car was sitting there with this muck up to the skirt…belly deep in mud. We went indoors to see that every drawer and cupboard in the house was wide open. No breakages, because my friends have put narrow wooden bands across every drawer to stop items falling out. Several 100 quakes and they are used to this happening.
We looked around…. Nothing damaged, thank goodness.
But outside…………woooooow. This grey muck – liquefaction was terrible.
We started straight away to clean it up and to get my car out of the muck. Some of the neighbours came to help us….they rocked and lifted my wee car out of the muck, and one man took it down the street and hosed the mess out from under the bodywork. Yuck.
We scrapped up the grey stuff and made a mountain on the footpath.
I have a Gnome – Harry – who has travelled around NZ with me for 15 years, we put him on the top of the mountain and took his pictures. It took us several hours to clean up the mess outdoors, and to make the home entrance look nice again. Thank goodness for daylight saving and we could work outdoors until about 9.30pm
AND……Thank goodness there was not any damage indoors, that is so heart breaking….when your precious things are broken.
We were exhausted that night, but we did watch the News on TV.
Christchurch had made big news again.
The 2 quakes while we were in the car…… 5.0 and 5.1. and while we were walking it was 6.1.
I was there for 2 weeks and during this time, there were 9 Earthquakes, including the 3 on the morning I left for home. At 4.15am there was 5.0 and that woke me and got my day started. At 6.20am it was 5.3 and that one made me decide that it is time that I ended the holiday and went home again.
Final word. I went back to Christchurch again for this last Christmas and New Year….a few shakes and 2 of them on Christmas Day… but we are all so casual about them now. No big deal any more
There have been over 11,000 quakes and shakes down there over 2 years… one has to be casual about it.
[This is a guest post by Raeleen, 65 years old . She lives in New Zealand. This is her first hand experience sharing of a city marred by continuous earthquakes.]
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