The 22 February 2011, will be a Date that will stick in my mind for years to come. I had planned on doing my Laundry the day before, but never got around to doing this.
So when I did get up at 11:30 hours, I went and had a Shower, then glumly looked out the window. But had I known what was set to strike, I wouldn’t have grumbled.
A little later on, one of my Flatmates knocked on my door, and let me know that a Digger was smashing up the concrete at the (Linwood ) end of the building. Would I like to take some pictures?
I sort of grumbled; so, grabbed my Canon Film Camera, and locked my door, headed down the stairs, around to the back, and there the Digger was. I took the first shot, then the second, and was about to take the third, when …..all hell broke loose.
“Bloody Hell!” I yelled out.
I tried to run from where I was, but with the ground going up and down, this was impossible to do. I banged into a steel pole, and got a bruise in the process. And ended-up jammed against the Fence immediately behind where I lived at the time. My thoughts were that this Building is going to come down; that this is going to get me. Also, I thought that the ground was going to fissure where I was, and fall in, and get crushed. Which, luckily for me, did not happen.
However, the entire Building lifted about 5mm, and was shunted to my left, in the direction of Linwood, and the reversed back, towards Hagley Park; as though this was on rails. The quake was using the 2 steel poles located either side of a concrete block, as a window smasher.
I wondered as to HOW LONG is this one going to go for. The same thought regarding the September 2010 early morning Quake. This one seemed to go on forever.
Immediately after, and still lying on the Lawn, I called out: “Is anybody hurt? Is anybody hurt?”
One of my Flatmates’ voice announced that she was okay. Because my first thought was to help my Flatmates, and then go donate my Blood. I had thought that this was going to be needed. This is no time to be afraid.
Getting back through the gate, which was by now lying at a crazy angle, and wrenching this open; it was stuck for a bit, I got back around to the front. A Bike in the shed, plus Paint Pots, were strewn all around. I made the effort to get back into my room, which, by now, was a wreck.
One of my other Flatmates had to get his medicine. And, that is when it hit me; I had somehow survived a major Earthquake, and now, shock set in. I did not want to be in this Building, in case it fell down. Then I would be dead, or seriously injured. My fear showed up in my voice. My fellow Flatmate kept his head, and communicated his calmness to me.
I went with my Camera, for a walk around Town. All out on the streets in bewildered shock. Chimneys down, and all kinds of vehicles streaming up Durham Street North, and all turning right along Salisbury Street, in order to get out of Town. One such vehicle was CanterburyLeisureTours, and I noted one passenger looking shocked at this new lot of damage.
Other places still had electricity on, and so, we watched TV. TV1 had a Special Report about the latest Christchurch Earthquake, and, now we are the latest News. This is a major catastrophe.
I tried to get down Durham Street North, but was refused. No one was being let down that Street, as the Durham Street Copthorne Hotel had been twisted at the top, and, until the all-clear was given, there was no way for myself, or any one, for that matter, to be let through: I was supposed to be at Work at 14:00 hours that day.
Ground swaying side to side like a slithering snake.
Helicopters flying overhead, but not one flew along Salisbury Street, in order to view this latest damage. Nobody asked us of Salisbury Street as to how we all were.
Garden City Helicopters with Monsoon Bucket flying to an fro, to battle a burning Building.