Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Finding Aotea - we interrupt this broadcast -
So much going on today that it's hard to know where to start. Yesterday, a huge earthquake hit Christchurch. It was a 6.3 which was not as strong as last September's 7.something, but it was much closer to the surface (only 7 km deep compared to 33km). This, and the fact that the city was already weakened, meant that it was much more deadly and costly. Get updates and see pictures in the New Zealand Herald online. And if you feel generous, you can donate by specifying the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal (which the U.S. is supporting with an urban search and rescue team) in addition to scores from other countries.
This disaster is devastating. 80% of New Zealand's second largest city is without water, and a significant portion, at least half, is without power. The city has been closed for what will probably be the week, with schools being turned into emergency shelter and distribution centers. In a show of kiwi spirit, the mayor has arranged for emergency cash distribution since all the ATMs are not working. I find this trusting and rational response very heartening, even though it is being made with a huge amount of grief and sorrow.
I'm safe and everyone I know in Christchurch is safe. I was going to blog about my recent trip to Aotea (Great Barrier) Island, accounting for why I was even further away from Christchurch than I normally am, but I'll save it for the next post.