At 4.30am, I, like most people in Christchurch, was in bed sound asleep. A few minutes later, a rumbling sound woke me from my sound sleep and I knew from the sound that an earthquake was coming but what I wasn’t expecting was how ferocious the shaking was. It was very scary and I knew that I should’ve gotten under my bed to ride out the shaking but I was too scared to do so. A couple of things fell over in my bedroom and the lava lamp in the living room fell over but apart from that, there was no damage at our place.
This particular area of a then-cordened off Christchurch CBD has featured a lot on news reports since Saturday. On the corner was a jewellery store and above that a restaurant. The building itself is likely to be demolished because it is very exposed, not to mention old. The traffic lights were out, as was literally everything else in the CBD, as there was no power at all. Walking around, I got a sense that the city resembled a ghost town but then again it didn’t. It felt very surreal. The street sign in the pic was stuffed so that will be replaced at a later date.
My flatmate and I are very, very lucky in that apart from the few things that did fall over, we had no damage at our flat. I didn’t get back to sleep after the quake at all – I was trying to find out how big it was and just where it was located. I was able to do that because we didn’t lose power at all. I sent my mother a text message just before 5.20am, letting her know about the quake and that I was fine because I didn’t really want to phone her at that time of the morning – although she did tell me when I phoned her later in the day that she wouldn’t have minded if I did ring because she felt the quake in Invercargill!
I rubbernecked – I admit that. But I wanted to see some of the damage for myself. I wasn’t too sure if I had to go to work or not and when I walked past the mall on my way home, it appeared to be completely shut. In the meantime, I was online, reading up on various reports as well as telling various friends through Facebook that my flatmate and I were fine, while my flatmate was at his workplace, helping with the clean-up there.
As it happened, I didn’t have to work on Saturday. When I headed along, I looked at the mall carpark which was very empty and thought it was highly likely that I wouldn’t actually be working but because I hadn’t heard whether or not I had to be there, I went along.