– Opawa, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

I was working from home after the September shake as it had damaged my place of work and it didn’t really feel safe. I was 4 months pregnant and my 3 year old was on his day off from preschool. Out of the blue the noise and violent movement hit, all the books from my study started to fall on me and I started to run to my 3 year to get him. The floor rolled the walls swayed plaster started to fall, my thoughts were I’m going to die, but I have to get to my son.

When I got to my son his head was out the door of the room and his body stuck with the heavy door moving back and forth the plaster roof had crumbled over him, the TV had thrown it self to the floor, games splattered everywhere.

I grabbed him in my arms and we stood together in the front doorway watching the 2 heavy lion statues being thrown from the door way, the blow up pool swirling and moving like jelly…very scary.

My panic then moved to how is my husband in the middle of the city, my son at the local school my parents, I need to get my cell phone which is back in the study, I could not leave my son on his own, so together we went back in grabbed it and ran out to the open part of our garden..no where felt safe, near trees near the house everything moving constantly.

All the lines where busy the network had gone crazy, so I called family in Auckland and asked them to get onto the computer and find out any information for me, I found out the shake was centred close to us and surprised that it was a 6 and made so much damage.

My husband was safe and managed to get out of a building alive he walked home covered in white dust he told me he saw people dying, panic and buildings falling people in shock it was chaos.

My son was safe at school but shaken and shocked by the time we got to him. My mother and father were safe, but my mother was in shock and would not come out from under the table.

We spent our first night all of us in 1 small tent in the garden using the BBQ trying to work out what to do next, with shakes rumbling and jolting us for weeks and months to follow.

Two years on we have just moved out of the garage and into a rental our house will be fully repaired sarting end July 2013 finished middle of 2014. Our earthquake baby will be 3 years by the time he will see our ‘old’ family home.

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