– South New Brighton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

It just hit so suddenly. I was sitting on the couch and watched as all of the china in the china cabinet just flew out, like a waterfall. I knew at that instant people would be dead. I tried to stand but because of the intense vertical shaking it pushed me back down.

Aftershocks just kept coming every few seconds it seemed like. Glass was everywhere, I was home alone apart from two dogs. I sat outside on the deck waiting for my mum and brother to come home. It seemed like I was waiting for hours, time that day went so slowly. I decided to walk around to my neighbours, they weren’t home, cell phones weren’t working, no power, no water. As I walked around the corner I saw the street flooding. Finally my phone started to ring it was my boyfriend Richard. The only way he could call me was because he was in Oamaru. I tried to act calm. He told me that it was a 6.3mag EQ. I yelled at him bulls**t it was a 6.3!!! (Probably the only time I have ever yelled at him). He said it was 10km south east of Chch thats why it would of felt big to me because I was living South New Brighton.

I decided to walk down Estuary Rd to see if my best friend and my dad were ok. The road was flooding in bits. Got to my bestfriends house she ran up to me and gave me a hug. We went inside to look at her house, it was a mess. We then walked down to my dads. He wasn’t home, and thank god for that. The house, my childhood home had sunk, a total mess inside.

That night I don’t think anyone slept, the aftershocks were just continuos. If we did manage to sleep, the helicopters in the morning would wake us and remind us that we were living the nightmare.

The amazing support and compasion in others was something I will never forget. One night we got hot cooked meals from the Rangiora Earthquake Express…and they were still hot when we got them!

Losing power and water for 2weeks and sewage/ drains for 8months was nothing, I’m here and able to write this story.

For those who aren’t able to tell their story, we will never forget. RIP xx

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