– Deans Avenue, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

I woke up to go to work, opened the windows and thought what a beautiful day, sun shining and the shakes had seem to calm down. Off to work i went and thought this is going to be a great day, well so i thought. I was sitting at my desk when i heard a rumble and then the building just started to shake, still sitting at my desk hoping it was going to stop i then relised that it was not and it got stronger, i jumped under my desk and all i could hear was windows breaking and something fall down, i didnt know what to think it just happened so fast, once the shaking stopped we all got out from under our desks and headed downstairs to get out of the building, my first thoughts were my family.

Once we were all counted for we were allowed to go. I was driving down Moorehouse Ave listening to the radio as at this stage i didnt know how bad town or the eastern suburbs were i didnt even know the size of the earthquake i just wanted to get home to my children, people were texting me but i could not text them back i had no signal (overloaded i guess). But i couldnt move all the roads had been closed and their was only one way out and everyone was like me, just wanted to get home i guess. 4 hours later and i was no where near home, but i had texts from all my family telling me they were okay which eased my mind, by this time i had heard on the radio that people were trapped and missing and town was really bad, all i could hear was sirens. Most roads were closed or flooded in the eastern suburbs and that was where my home was in Bexley.

In the end i parked down Maces road got out of my car and walked to my sisters. Her house was not good, u could see light coming through from the outside and her little girls were very very scared. I got changed out of my wet clothing got some gumboots on and went back for my car, then got some long sticks, all the roads were flooded and cars had fallen into holes so i didnt want to take that chance, normally it was just a 15 minute drive back to my house, but the traffic was no better and i had to stop walk through the flooded streets with my stick to check if their were any pot holes. Finally an hour later i had to park on QE11 motorway and walk home as the whole street was flooded but walking inside my home i just wanted to make sure everyone was okay and then i seen the state of my house, be brave i told everyone we are lucky to have survived this.

That night we all slepted in the lounge with candles no power no sewage and every aftershock was no better, the house was on a massive lean and you could hear how stressed the house was with every aftershock, the next morning we didnt want to stay their another night, we got some more clothing and we went to New Brighton to my sister in laws who had a generator, watching the news that day was when i relised what had happened, tears rolled down my face, it was like a nightmare. But i had to pull myself together we had to find some water and food as they were saying we werent going to have any for awhile.

My hearts goes out to all the people that lost their lives that tragic day… but peoples spirits had lifted me, yes we talked about that day and everyone had a different story to tell but that is what we did to get through it, we had to collect water from the army and food from the salavation army. We also had to text people to see if they had water so we could go and have a shower..you dont relise how much you rely on power and water until you have none. My house got red stickered and then the land was red and a few weeks ago my house got demolished and this morning i was woken by a 4.3 and i listened to my grandson who is now 2 screaming and telling the earthquake to go away. This is something you cannot forget and that day in Feb is a memory that i will never forget so many innocent lives lost all because of Mother Nature.

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