– Waipara, Canterbury, New Zealand

On February 22nd, 2011 I was in Waipara with the year nines at CGHS. We were outside on a tyre swing then the tyre began to shake beneath my feet. It only felt like a 3.5 but we all thought it was centred in Waipara, but once people began to check geonet, we found out that it was a shallow 6.3 centred in the CBD.

I tried to text my family, but it was impossible to get through as all of Christchurch were trying too. I never got a reply until about 3 hours later and I was pleased to know everyone was ok. But as we found out further information, people found dead, collapsed buildings, fires we knew this was serious!

It took almost 3 hours to arrive at CGHS to find my family waiting for me, my best friend and I rushed to their arms with a feeling of security. We dropped Danielle home taking nearly 1 hour just to get down the road, the traffic was insane!! As we arrived home we packed our bags and left my home in Riccarton to my Aunty’s in Harewood.

This experience has shaped my life and I am now more aware of the consequences of a natural disaster and how it has such a major impact on peoples lives.

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