Saturday, September 04, 2010
Woke up at 4.35 am with the nasty sensation of reliving the 2008 St Helena rockfall...didn't take long to register that we were in the throes of an earthquake. Nick had some nasty strong fingers clawing at his arm and a hyperventilating wife to wake him up. After the rockfall my first instinct now is to panic, but we dashed into a doorway and stood holding on, waiting for the rocking, shaking and rumbling to stop. I was more panicked about the boys actually as they were holed up in the tent in the garage again - this seems to be a regular Friday night affair! As soon as things had quieted down (less than a minute) we went out to see how they were and there was much talking coming from within the tent. They were fine though - Caleb said he woke up, prayed, and then was okay. We talked about the event for a while, then prayed again, and they went back to sleep. There was no damage here, just a few pictures fell off shelves. Aftershocks kept coming at regular intervals which just set my heart pounding again each time. Got back to sleep eventually. Around 7.30 we check for some news on the internet: the epicentre was 55km north-west of Christchurch, at a depth of 12 kms, according to the BBC website, and measured a 7.1 on the Richter Scale. That's huge. The damage in Christchurch is extensive; I've heard tell of one heart-attack fatality so far and two seriously injured people. Looking at photos of collapsed buildings, flooded streets and heaps of rubble it's amazing that not more people were hurt - thanks to God for His gracious care. These are the very streets that we were driving around just yesterday. Temuka also suffered damage to one of its historical buildings - we would likely have driven past it yesterday! But, while for many Chch residents life came to a standstill, ours continued in the normal fashion. We made a cooked breakfast, weeded the garden, took a walk to the church and back, had a holiday club planning meeting, I trimmed Caleb's hair and worked a bit more on the scrapbook I'm producing, and Nick did sermon prep as tomorrow afternoon's guest speaker had to cancel as his flight from Auckland to Christchurch was cancelled - the airport was closed until after lunch. After an early tea (during which the table wobbled following a 5.4 magnitude shake) we took a drive slightly north to catch the sunset over green fields.