Quake +2mths - Photoshots - the web folio of Tony Stewart.

Quake +2mths

The changing face of CHCH - block wide demolition, Colombo St, Sydenham.

The changing face of CHCH - block wide demolition, Colombo St, Sydenham.

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The funny thing is that 2 months on from the Feb 22nd quake, there are still a myriad of stories emerging. You learn a lot, and being a generation without the ravages of war or true global recession (as our Grandparents experienced in the 1930’s), I guess this is about the most extreme event most Kiwis have lived through – certainly CHCH folk!

While the quake toppled many buildings, and shattered much underground infrastructure, the damage still continues. Not from aftershocks as you would expect, but from the tracts of cordoned streets now at the whim of insects, rodents and rotting produce.

Not widespread, but friends and clients working in the city cordon tell stories of butcheries, fish & chip shops, cafes, hotels where food was left exactly as it was at 12.51pm when the city evacuated. You never think of that initially after a disaster, but it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure visions of butcher shops writhing in maggots, fish stench permeating through buildings, or the state of restaurants where the sole remaining guests are mice and rats.

Recently friends told of access granted within the red zone to recover essential supplies from their building. On recovering vital computer and office records, they now wish they hadn’t, as the stench permeating from these items, is too much to bear. They didn’t even have any food in their premise. The cause of their contamination came from a nearby sushi bar.

Food in cabinets within cordoned buildings.

Food in cabinets within cordoned buildings.