So, not much progress has been made since last week. It’s been a busy few days.
On Sunday night, Wellington was rattled awake by a 7.8 earthquake. Households around the southern coast and Hutt Valley were evacuated in case there was an tsunami. Since then we’ve been gently shaken and occasionally rather jolted by hundreds of aftershocks.
On Monday we had gale force winds of up to 140m/h. That isn’t too unusual for Wellington, but it made the buildings damaged in the earthquake even more dangerous. People were advised to stay out of the CBD.
On Tuesday, we had 83.8mm of rain (which is about how much we normally receive in the whole of November – all on one day). This wouldn’t have been too bad except all the ground had been shaken loose by the earthquake (leading to slips) and we had a king tide that day (leading to parts of the Hutt Valley and Kapiti Coast being evacuated).
Today wasn’t too bad, i.e. there weren’t any natural disasters.
Now all this sounds absolutely terrible, but it’s really not that bad – at least not in Wellington. There’s only been a few buildings with structural damage, mostly office buildings in the CBD which were thankfully empty at the time of the quake. My own flat came through like a champ – through it shook and rattled like crazy, we didn’t have any breakages and we also didn’t have to seek higher ground. The aftershocks and the feeling of being on ‘alert’ for long periods was probably the worse part and those have eased off.
Where is has been terrible is North Canterbury and Marlborough, were the epicentre of the quake was. There were two fatalities and multiple injuries. Kaikoura is a small town on the north coast of Canterbury and it was completely cut off by the quakes with slips over the roads going in and out (they’ve just cleared one road now). Today the navy began to evacuate people by helicopter and ship.
There’s also been moments of awesomeness amongst it all. There’s the farmer who flew 15 hours to make sure his family was okay. There’s Parliament opening its doors so those from nearby apartments could sleep safely. There’s even little things like the car I saw stop at a bus stop in the pouring rain to give to women (who I’m certain they didn’t know) a lift into town (Wellington bus stops don’t work in the rain).
So there’s been bad and there’s been good, but there hasn’t been much knitting or reading.
Reading: The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities, 1840–1920 by Ben Schrader
I’ve included a few links here to the RNZ website, New Zealand’s national public radio. For more news, head to their website. They’ve done a champion job of reporting throughout the recent events, including the reporter who was live while the quake happened (you can hear her here from 4.00 and get an idea of how long and loud the earthquake was). Despite this wonderful service, the government hasn’t increased their funding in eight years. More clicks – more demand – hopefully more funding.
See what everyone else is knitting and reading over on the original Yarnalong.