– The Palms Shopping Centre, New Zealand

I had just picked up my son from Shirley Boys High it was teacher’s only day and school had finished at 12.30pm, we walked to The Palms Shopping Centre to get him the much promised eftpos card, as we left the bank I suggested we have lunch in the food court, on the way to the food court we took a toilet stop, it was 12.50pm, as I was rising off the toilet pulling up my pants the ground began to shake violently, out of all the earth quakes we had experienced since September 4th this was different I was being rocked between the two toilet partitions, the concrete floor spilt open at my feet spewing liquifaction up, the ceiling exploded raining down with huge roofing tiles, i put my arm up to save my head from falling debris, only to be hit by a ceiling tile that bruised my arm for the following two weeks, the noise was so extreme, it would be a part of my night mares for the next 3 months, all I could think about was my son, if my environment was falling apart around me, what was happening to him?

When the ground stopped moving I reached for my phone trying to ring my husband, at the same time I was trying to get out of the toilet, screaming because the door was jammed, it took me a while to figure out I had not unlocked the door, shaking like a jelly I made it outside and found my son, it took me 1.5 hours to make the 10 minute journey home, oh how life has changed since then, I swear until the earth stops moving I will not go back to that shopping mall that has starred in my nighmares for the past 6 months!

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