February 28, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

It has only been six days since the big quake hit us, but already it feels like weeks. At the moment, things are picking up in Chirstchurch, with water and electricity back on for 75% of the population. The Mayor is doing as much as he can to speed up the recovery of the whole city and I must say he's doing a commendable job so far.

Day 3, 4, 5 have not been easy for Cantabrians. With the city now closed, lots of people have lost their jobs and are surviving on government support. The death toll has risen too. No one has been pulled from the wreckage alive since Wednesday afternoon. The official death toll at the moment is 145. That number will definitely increase as there are still hundreds of people missing in the CBD. And the fact that it has been six days make the chances of survival rather slim.
The development in Christchurch so far
  • There are still more than 200 people listed as missing
  • More than 600 rescue workers are searching the region
  • 62,500 residents remain without water and 100,000 have no sewerage service.
  • Thousands of the city's inhabitants have left in droves, flying, driving, even walking away, with no plans to return any time soon
  • Experts predict the exodus from Tuesday's killer 6.3-magnitude earthquake will continue in the weeks and months to come
  • There is a cruel prediction by some that another big one will come on March 20
source: 3NEWS 

That's what I've gathered from the media. Some days, I just ignore earthquake-related news cos it's just depressing to watch. It's sad to see how people are suffering, having lost their loved ones and livelihood. One becomes paranoid and emotional you know. My solution to this is to turn off the news for a couple of days and just focus on what's in front of me. Things like what my kids do, what we're having for dinner, when to do the laundy and when I should continue writing my thesis. Basically, things within my control.

Most of my time were spent with the dynamic duos...

Watching her eat is a joy 

Alden was bored

so he decided to bully Alva

I cooked rendang...(from a packet)

and baked a chocolate cake ( from a box)

I did the laundry whenever there's sunshine

So that's what I did on Day 3 and 4. On Day 5, I decided to check my uni's website and email. Yoda sent me a message asking me how I was doing. He's not affected by the earthquake cos he's living in a suburb quite far from the city. After replying his email, I continued reading the message from the College's Dean. One of the announcements caught my attention.

Te Pourewa, where my office is located has suffered significant damage and it will be some time before we can access it. This came as a shock because the building seemed sturdy to me. When I thought about my data and research files in my office, I felt paralysed. I regretted not taking them with me when the quake hit. I replayed the scene over and over again and the more I thought about it, the more obssessed I got. Hubby snapped me out of it when he saw me crying in front of the computer. 

He said I am not the only one affected and surely I'd be able to get my data when the engineers have inspected the building. He's right. From that point onwards, I decided to apply a SO WHAT attitude to overcome my earthquake-related anxieties. So my office might collapse. SO WHAT! Kusai's passport is in there too and I'm sure he's freaking out like me. 

SO and WHAT have now become my two favourite words.

On Day 6, we went to have a drive around the city. I thought it was a good idea to get out of the house cos all of us have been cooped up at home for almost a week. When we got closer to the city centre around Moorhouse Avenue, I was shocked to see how much it has changed. I knew what to expect  but seeing it for myself was kind of surreal. A lot of roads are damaged, many buildings have collapsed or are on the verge of collapsing and policemen are patrolling all over the city. Like I said, it looks like a warzone now.

At Moorhouse Ave

Damaged warehouse

Don't know what this building used to be

Effects of liquefaction

A church along Bealey Ave

Burger King

A body was pulled from the rubble of this bookstore

Liquor selling cheap

All this for $25

This 4-bedroom house belongs to hubby's colleague, Martin. He's now renting a 2-bedroom apartment

Those are the effects of the big quake. Although it looks pretty bad now, the Kiwis are relentless on rebuilding their great city. Thousands of volunteers  from around the country are helping with the clean up, from kids as young as 12 years old to adults and senior citizens. They also include university student volunteers who call themselves Student Army and farmers who are described as Farmy Army. These unsung heroes are working around the clock to clean up after the big quake  and some are assigned to distribute supplies to residents of stricken areas. The disaster was Christchurch's darkest moment, but it certainly brought out the best in people.

I'm optimistic that things will get better in Christchurch. Like the mayor said in his speech "This too shall pass. It can only improve".


CathJ said...

I am so speechless reading this.. Putting myself in your position, it must be hard.. and the only thing to do is like what you doing.. some sort of fighting the feeling..

I hope your office is safe and you can take what ever left behind there..

and I prayed that all the rumors about another BIG hit is just a rumors..

Be strong ya.. Take care..

Isabelle said...

I felt so overwhelmed reading this...and the pictures, well, they are enough to tell how situation really is at your place right now. I hope things will get better soon.

I'm your new follower..=)

Lizeewong said...

Hi Cath...I'm praying that it won't happen too. I ddidn't mean to make this post sound depressing...although it might turned out that way. Don't worry, we're fine :)

Hi Isabelle..Thanks for following :)

Vera Peter @ Princess Becky said...

Take care and hope everything gonna be fine!

Anonymous said...

Goodness me!! *sigh*...this is disaster...sia takut dgr suma ni nature disaster, made me believe that this will be the end...and remind me of the 2012...sigh....

Take care there...God Bless You and Family...

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Glad you have that SO WHAT attitude, if it makes u go through the day, so what huh? I'm sadden to see the city in wrecks...and i thought i wanna go traipsing there :(

dgnoey said...

aduiiii...speechless terus sy lepas baca ni Lis...Syukurlah kamu nda apa-apa. Sy ada send ko msg d fb psl bercuti di sana hujung tahun ni tp kasi ignore sajalah, silap timing pula sy send tu...nda pula sy jangka begini keadaannya...Take good care ya & hugs utk Alden & Vava :)

chegu carol said...

duiii Liz, my heart really goes out to you and all the people there. nyilu juga sia rasa while reading your entry.

gunsirit said...

Glad that you and family are doing fine..:=)

ms d33 b33 said...

Gosh! Thank God that u and ur family are doing fine... Anyway, do take care and be strong, ya!

Tina said...

Yes, Lizee, this too shall pass. Keep your spirits up and take care.

Lizeewong said...

Vera - Thanks moi! :)

erin- Sa pun takut ba ni cos dorang ckp there's another big one coming in March. Fed up suda kami balik2 aftershock.

Manda-This year isn't a good time to visit la moi. It's still shaky, and not just in the city. Other parts of Canterbury too :(

Noey- Ok juga ba ni. Harap teda lagi la. Suda reply your email :)

Kay-Iya ba..Sad tgk those people yg sengsara. Byk yg pindah suda.

Guns-Thanks buddy.

ms d33 b33- Hi there. Do you have a nick name? :) Thankd for your kind words.

Tina- Yeah. I'm trying to do just that :) Thanks.