– Fendalton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

September 4th 2010- I was strangely awake when the first quake struck, lying in bed thinking about things in general. I knew it was serious after the first 10 seconds. I rolled out of bed, pulling my wife with me to the floor, wedging ourselves against the floor where it joined a wall. As we lay there, all around us household things were clanging, rocking rolling and breaking. We expected the roof to fall but there was not a thing we could do about it. When the rocking abated, we spoke for the first time, lying there on the floor, and we both shared a common but, as it proved, mistaken belief; if this was the impact here in Christchurch, what was Wellington like? When we ventured out of our bedroom to the rest of the house we found a sight of absolute carnage. Broken glass from the kitchen and dining rooms, our flat screen tv on its head in the louge and spilt liquids from the fridge, and, outside, the strangest site of all – liquifaction rising some some evil glue through our lovely garden. Power was out so when we eventually had breakfast our barbeque proved a life saver. Neighbours gathered to talk outside and overhead, helicopters roamed the skies. It felt like we were in some blockbuster movie as extras save no one had told us so!.
Philip & Helen,Christchurch

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