Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Living through an earthquake

My hubby and I had the misfortune to be en route via Christchurch last Saturday and got stuck there when the earthquake struck.

I have experienced tremors before...when you live in New Zealand, you accept this as a way of life. But this earthquake was something else. We were staying in the airport hotel and on the first floor. When the earthquake started, my hubby heard a great roar which he thought was a plane crashing. But then we realised it was an earthquake.

I have to say, I have never been so scared in all my life. All the bedroom doors were flung open. We thought the hotel was going to fall down. I am so grateful Mark was there telling me what to stand in the doorway. I felt totally panicked...I just could not think what I was supposed to do.What is most scary is that you are completely powerless...totally at the mercy of Mother Nature. And you just don't know what is going to happen...all you can do is wait....

I am very grateful I do not live in Christchurch and could go home to relative safety. But I have been surprised with the effect the earthquake has had on me physiologically. Every time I think I can feel a tremour, my heart starts to pound and I go into panic mode again. Goodness knows how the poor people in Christchurch are feeling with the regular after shocks they are still feeling.

Moral of the story
Get prepared...think what your contingency plan will be in the event of an earthquake or natural disaster...make sure all your family knows what to do. The other thing I am going to do is check my insurance and make sure I would be covered if something like the Christchurch disaster happens here in Dunedin.


Mike Bogle said...

I grew up in the highly tectonically active Los Angeles area so I relate to this post a lot. I remember watching the San Francisco bridge partially collapse during one quake, and sections of the freeway collapse in another. I also recall more light-hearted memories, like watching our swimming pool turn into a wave tank and losing 1/3rd of the water due to all the sloshing that took place; and the fact animals would always go crazy just before a quake hit - they seem to sense signs that we're oblivious to.

Times like this really frame our place in the world, and how we really do sit within the environment rather than on top of it. Mankind overestimates its place on Earth to our own peril I think.

Glad you're ok over there :)

Sarah Stewart said...

Fascinating to hear this, Mike. Reminds me there is always someone much, much worse off. We're making a big fuss over here but we have nothing to complain about compared to Haiti.

Mike Bogle said...

Yes exactly. Periodically you'll hear terrible stories about countries whose infrastructure is not built for earthquakes (or other natural disasters) and the effects are catastrophic. It's very sad :(