Although I did craft last week, I didn't post about it. It felt a bit wrong to be posting about such ordinary, normal stuff when one of New Zealand's largest cities lies in ruins. Its sad to hear about this kind of disaster when its in another country, but when its here, in ours, its devastating. I'm reminded of the images after the Queensland floods in Australia. They showed shots of people queuing in Brisbane, not to get help, but to give it. People who were willing to get out and help their fellow Queenslanders. That's what I (and I suspect, most New Zealanders) want to do; go and help. We'd turn up with spades and gumboots if we thought it would help. Instead, all we can do is donate money, and watch helplessly as so many of our fellow New Zealanders suffer.
One of the reasons that this has been such a sobering event, is that all New Zealanders live with a subconscious awareness of the big one. NZ is on the pacific rim of fire, an earthquake fault area that includes Japan (Kobe) and the USA (Los Angeles). When Christchurch was hit with a 7.1 earthquake in September, and no one was killed, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe we would all be able to survive a big one without serious harm. It was a cruel twist of fate that even though last Tuesday's earthquake was lower in magnitude, it was the real big one. And when the full extent of the damage became clear, so did the realisation that there, but for the grace of God, goes any major city in NZ. I never really believed there would be an earthquake this large and destructive in my lifetime.
And so my relief that no one I know has been seriously hurt in the earthquake is tempered by fear.
Kia Kaha Christchurch. The whole of NZ stands behind you.
If you would like to donate money, please visit the Red Cross. Civil Defence has all the latest information on the disaster relief.