December 28, 2010

Shaky Sunday

It's getting more and more shaky in Christchurch now with more than 20 aftershocks in the last 48 hours. We haven't had any major shakes since November so the one we had recently caught everyone by surprise.

The earthquake measuring at 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred at 10.30 a.m. on Boxing day. At that time, we were all in the living room watching TV. When we realised what was happening, we quickly sat on the floor and held each other's hands in fear. I watched in awe as the house rattled furiously, causing the furniture and floor to vibrate. After 7 seconds or so, the vibration subsided. The moment it stopped, Alden got up and said "house moving mommy!". He thought it was the coolest thing ever.

It was terrifying, yes. But like Alden you can't help feeling a wee bit excited during the shake. It's a weird feeling you know, to be scared, in awe and excited all at the same time.

Anyway, the aftershocks have continued but they aren't as damaging as the one we had last Sunday. According to this site, the shaking reached MM6, MM7 and MM8 in different parts of Canterbury. These are measures of intensities for earthquakes and aftershocks.

MM6 shaking is defined as, “Felt by all. People and animals are alarmed, and many run outside. Walking steadily is difficult. Furniture and appliances may move on smooth surfaces, and objects fall from walls and shelves. Glassware and crockery break. Slight non-structural damage to buildings may occur.”

MM7 is defined as “General alarm. People experience difficulty standing. Furniture and appliances are shifted. Substantial damage to fragile or unsecured objects. A few weak buildings are damaged.”

and MM8 means "Alarm may approach panic. A few buildings are damaged and some weak buildings are destroyed.”

Although the shaking did not last long, GNS Science has reported that it was more violent than big quake  on 4 September. The big September quake, which we missed, was centred 40km away from CC. The recent one? Only 5km away. Because of this, lots of buildings are damaged, adding another setback to the city. 

These were taken two weeks before Christmas while we were out shopping.

Quite bad huh?

Well, things turned for the worse when the quake hit us last Sunday. Another 115 buildings were damaged and needed immediate remedial.

These are photos taken after the Boxing day aftershocks.

*Pictures courtesy of NZ Herald

The quake has certainly changed the cosmetic appearance of the city. Now everywhere you go, you see safety fences, rubble, detour signs and fallen bricks. It's a whole lot of mess.  

Having said that, the Cantabrians have remained positive and are confident that Christchurch will recover in no time. I hope for the same thing too. No more big shakes please.


Joan said...

nasib baik you all tidak apa2 kan...

CathJ said...

Oh gosh... I got goose bump reading this and looking at the pic... scary...

Thank God you all are safe and hope it will be the last...

Take care..

Mimi said...

The first sign of shake, I'd probably get the next flight home.. I don't know how you do it.. I hope nothing major will happen again... What's with Boxing day and natural disasters? Adui...

LaViaP said...

hmm... starting to see a trend here. boxing day = disaster. coicidence? maybe. nasib baik korang selamat.

if this were in KK, MM6 but Gaya Street (old building), Segama & Sinsuran (construction material not so good) ground zero. very scary.

Tina said...

Lizee, I get scared just reading about your experience! You wouldn't want to be caught walking along some kaki-lima when bricks and tiles come raining down. Take care and pray the worst has passed.

Yes, what's with 26th Dec? We had our share with Greg.

Lizeewong said...

Joan and Cath - Ya..kami ok saja ni..thanks for the concern :)

Mimi - I feel like going back juga but I can't..Paksa-rela bai ni..

Alex said the same thing bout boxing day = natural disaster..heran oh..

Paival- Ya ba, KK wouldn't survive the 4.9 quake..byk tall buildings kan..sini semua rendah2

Tina- thanks :) I'm hoping nothing major strikes again.