Canterbury Quake - Day 5 - Photoshots - the web folio of Tony Stewart.

Canterbury Quake – Day 5

I cant help but reflect on how quick both national and local relief services have swung into gear. It seems we have been blessed with a massive and immediate response effort. To a lay observer, it seems the reaction of the local council (as well as governmental and corporate agencies), has been nothing short of magic. There seems to be a plan, people have tasks, things are happening… Best of all, people are making decisions.

It would appear (again as a lay observer) that damage from Saturday’s quake would largely be due to two main factors. The age, therefore construction style of the property, and / or the soil base upon which they were built. I was about Opawa & Mairehau today. By and large, things looked pretty normal in those two different suburbs. There was a distinct lack of liquifaction mounds, and little obvious structural damage. Weird, unlike Halswell, there are virtually no ground fissures.

Observations to date;

– expect the unexpected when you least expect it!

– there is a pretty good reason the ads tell you you might need an emergency kit. The problem is most people think they wont need it, and any disaster will be someone else’s concern.

– my wife is convinced chocolate is an emergency staple!

– CHCH drivers all of a sudden appear more courteous!

– there is no rhyme or reason sometimes. See the photo below where concrete has snapped, but glass remains intact.

– the TV actually looks a bit better on the floor. The cat is chuffed as all artwork, vases and frames remain at ground level so she thinks this was for her benefit!

– actually, there seems to be very, very few broken windows.

– We were bloody lucky. If the quake happened say 12 hrs earlier, deaths would have been inevitable when shops were trading and streets busy.

– There will be many stories of humanity, near misses and what could have been. Like the petrified family staying on the 24th floor of a hotel, the diary owner’s ‘make-an-offer’ payment when power to his till was down. Like the army of students giving their labour for free while varsity was closed. People who normally sleep in a certain place, but didn’t that night only to find bricks where they would been. Personally, I put two extra bottles of water in the freezer on Thursday, just in case we ever needed them. Why? I cant be sure.

Glasshouse safe, concrete cracked. Go figure?!

Glasshouse safe, concrete cracked. Go figure?!

Workmen making repairs, and popped drain cover, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Workmen making repairs, and popped drain cover, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Roadside cracks, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Roadside cracks, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Severe damage to road and bridge, Sabys Rd, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Severe damage to road and bridge, Sabys Rd, Halswell, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Garage with 'popped' forecourt, Bexley, Wed 8th Sept 2010.

Garage with 'popped' forecourt, Bexley, Wed 8th Sept 2010.