– Shirley, Canterbury, New Zealand

I was driving on Feb 22 when the 6.3 struck. I had made a spontaneous decision to go and get the vegies the kids needed out of the house… how true that was, I had my 3 kids in the back, I thought we had been hit from the side and I was driving up and down the gutter, until the shaking really kicked in, I was so glad to have my kids with me but trying to get in touch with my husband to make sure he was ok was impossible. The roads flooding behind us with water or liquification, roads collapsing in front of us. Our street was too flooded so we couldn’t go home yet – we waited for 3 hours until it drained, I could hear our house alarm screaming and didn’t know what to expect when we got home, we parked the car on the side of the road near the entrance to our street, a lady who was waiting for her son to come home was telling me the damage to her home, and how she didn’t want to be in there yet she went in a got us a blanket. My kids just wanted out of the car but it was so cold and I thought that they were safer in there although with very shock I could see the rocking and rolling and I knew it felt worse in the car… I didn’t know what to do.

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