Mary Pat and I were just in Christchurch about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I had to go down there for the last stage of my credentialing process with the Medical Council of New Zealand. The interview went fine, but we were on edge as they city was still having some significant aftershocks – they had a 4.5 quake earlier in the day before we arrived.
We took a few pictures in the square, near where the cathedral tower collapsed. We were struck by how many businesses were still shut down after the quake last September. We saw a few buildings that looked pretty seriously damaged. One, in particular, had huge cracks in it and had these large metal rods propping up the corner of the building. Before this most recent quake, the city was obviously damaged, but was still, overall, quite lively and bustling.
We didn’t feel anything from the quake up here in Auckland, on the North Island. We do have a lot of people we know who are visiting New Zealand right now, but luckily, none of them were in the Christchurch area.
The country is really focused on the quake, Christchurch is the second largest city in the country. The news is running without any commercials, just non-stop updates and new film footage. I don’t think anyone died in the September quake, but there are estimates of at least 100 people who died in this quake. 80 percent of Christchurch is without water now. Power is out for about 50% of homes. Workers are still trying to find out if people are alive under the rubble.
I’ll post a few photos of our recent trip to Christchurch. It is strange to see us having such a good time in a landscape that is now dramatically changed. The church in the photo behind us is the one that the steeple collapsed:
Here is a link that shows the church from above, with the damage to the steeple.
We have been getting a lot of email inquiries to make sure we are ok. We are ok, but the situation in Christchurch is serious. We appreciate everyone sending their thoughts.