Christchurch City is never going to be the same.....
New Zealand is a beautiful country, Christchurch was a beautiful city. It appears that 60% of the buildings are going to be condemned, they are talking about rebuilding the Cathedral which was the heart of the city again, but of course it will have to be earthquake proof this time.
The people are traumatised as I have said before, many have left and come up to Auckland to friends and Family, I met one such family yesterday.
Her story of driving down the road when suddenly the car started to shudder, her first thought was that she had a flat tyre, but then the road was breaking up in front of her, and then she realised it was a quake.
She did not hesitate and turned the car around to head home her first thought to get her son from school.
What was normally a 15mins journey took her over an hour and all the time she was frantic as she saw all the destruction about her. She arrived home and found her house in tact but all the windows and contents broken and liquid faction everywhere.
Whilst she was talking she was very emotional, she will need some counselling at some stage, she wants to go home but she is scared. She said
"we are the lucky ones" in respect that they were not injured.
At least she will have some time out for a few weeks up here, but many are not as lucky, and are stuck in Christchurch.,to cope, to be resilient and to be brave as aftershocks are still happening .
The Government are doing everything they can but of course it is never enough.
We have been so thankful for the Australians, Japanese, Taiwanese and the Americans who have arrived this week with their expertise to help us in our time of need. Over 300 extra police to protect the city, engineers of all types, it is overwhelming.
The cost is huge, not only in financial terms but human terms as well.
There have been 146 confirmed deaths, but there are still 200 persons unaccounted for. The emotional cost however cannot be measured, normality will not come for years.
On Tuesday 1st March at exactly 12.51pm the country will observe a 2min silence in memory of that fateful time and how it has changed everything.
28th February 2011