Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Earthquakes in Christchurch - again!!

Well, just as we thought things were settling down and people were preparing for a long and hard winter, the earth decides to move again (as forecasted). On Monday, we were hit by a long, rumbly 5.5 (upgraded to 5.6) just after 1pm. All the people in my office were beavering away at our computers and when the rumble started to increase and the shaking intensify, we all dived under our desks. One of my colleagues two monitors crashed on to the ground and desks were covered in the usual white dust that comes off the ceiling panels. After the shake subsided, all of us got together to figure out if we should evacuate. The alarm did not go off, so we continued as per normal, working through another small aftershock before we were told the polytechnic was closed. I left on my bike just after 2pm.

The 6.0 (upgraded to 6.3) came on just as I was cycling past the public hospital. The shaking was strong enough to cause me to come off my bike and pedestrians near me all fell to the ground. I could see the road ripple and the buildings and trees sway plus feel the earth shift beneath my feet! After making sure an elderly women pedestrain was OK, I made my way home, through traffic jammed Riccarton Road with all the traffic lights off and people milling around on the footpath as their buildings and the Westfield Mall were all evacuated (from the first quake). Got home to find out how strong the quake was and to txt my son and daughter to make sure they were both OK. Then rang friends out Sumner way (no replies but yesterday found out they were OK but very shaken about).

There have been a host of earthquakes since, keeping everyone on alert with many occuring in the early hours of the morning (a 4.7 yesterday at 3am) and a 5.0 this morning just after 6.30 am, visually displayed here for each day. The Eastern suburbs have weathered the main impact with liquefaction and flooding adding to no electricity, water or sewage facilities. Living on the Western side of town, it all seems to be a long way off :( No work yesterday and today but should be back to work tomorrow to help with the usual tidy up (books fell off shelves in the library) before students return to the campus on Monday. Using the time to catch up on a large pile of journal articles, collected over the summer, many through a Routledge 'open access' month in April? for education journals.


Andrew said...

FAR OUT. You poor thing, getting thrown off your bike. Mother Nature's angry, isn't she? I was in Akaroa, and it was so strong that it rocked our cherry-picker truck off it's stabilizers. Credit to the boys, they carried on working on an 11,000 volt live line. Take care, and see you soon!

Andrew ;D

Selena said...

Hi Andrew,

thanks for reading the post. It is always good to get nasty events off your chest by writing or talking about them :)

Keep up with your own blogging, Selena