– University of Canterbury Commerce Building

What seemed like a normal day turned into absolute horror at 12:51pm when a 6.3m earthquake struck. At first I thought “Oh another aftershock”. But eventually it got worse and I thought “Oh s$%^! Just what I want for lunch!”. Within a few seconds the room had become pitch black. I could hear glass breaking outside and a massive BANG! The whole room felt like it was going to sink and collapse. Eventually it stopped. Escaping the Commerce Building seems like a blur now. All I remember about the escape was the building still shaking. I don’t know what exactly was racing through my mind. I got outside and made my way down to Christchurch Hospital glad to see my family was OK.

But the horror got worse. All I could see was destroyed buildings and liquefaction coiling around us like a snake around its victim. Seeing the damage in St. Martins was heartbreaking and the most awful thing I have experienced. Liquefaction and damage everywhere. It was like being in a war zone. I then got a glimpse of Linwood where Eastgate Mall had part of its wall sitting on a pole. I heard that the roof had come down. My first thought was for the people inside the mall when the quake struck. Eventually we made it home amazed to see the house still standing…Over the next few days the horror of that day in February really hit me when I found out that the death toll was at least 100 and expected to rise…

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