Monday, 7 March 2011

Update Christchurch earthquake

This is man is representing one of the dean brothers sitting in one of the oldest buildings in Canterbury, Deans Cottage, build in 1843. He didn't live to see the finishing state of the beautiful Riccarton house he was building next to it. His wife Jane and her son John moved to Riccarton House in 1854. Riccarton house is one of Christchurch beautiful heritage buildings which is damaged. The damage is mostly internal but the future of the building is uncertain. Mr Dean couldn't foresee that what he and so many others had build up to become Christchurch could be destroyed in such a short matter of time.

Heritage buildings in the central city are all going to be bulldozed, without any consultation :(, except for Christchurch Cathedral, the Catholic Basilica, the Provincial Chambers and the Arts Centre. The demolishing of the city has already started and there is a lot of speculation about how long the central city remains closed. Some think it will be closed up till Christmas but the rebuilding is going to take  years and the cost will be around the 15 billion.

Mr dean in the above picture is lucky his little cottage is still standing,  but he is also lucky that he is just a doll who doesn't need to drink water and go to the toilet. Basic sanitary is an enormous problem in the worst hit areas. There are not enough chemical toilets or porterloo's and the ones which are there are overflowing.

Mr Dean is only pushed aside a little which is remarkable too. The PGA of the 22 February earthquake was in the range from 1.8 to 2.2. PGA means Peak Ground Acceleration and is a measurement of how hard the earth shakes.  2.2 was measured at Heathcote Valley school and is the highest measurement ever recorded in NZ and one the the highest in the world.

Mr Dean also isn't shaken emotionally like all of us are, as we watch our every step and have an antenna for every rumble and shake. The best thing would be to get into routine again but many have no jobs to return to and some children have no school to go to. Luckily 26 schools are starting this week, most after doing some clean up and making arrangements for clean water for example. A further 55 schools will follow soon as they have been given the green light that the buildings are safe. 34 schools are damaged and repairs need to be done. Some schools will be sharing buildings with part of the kids going in the morning and part in the afternoon.

Our kids school was in the central city so they can't return .The school had been offered a relocation but this was withdrawn and the location given to another school.  With friends moved away and no school to go to the life of our teenagers has changed dramatically. They are healthy though and have a roof to live under and material things don't matter at all anymore. We have each other. (Not my teens words ;) )


  1. I don't think that most people in my community are even aware of how much New Zealand has suffered and will for who knows how long. I am praying for you daily.

  2. Saying prayers for everyone down there, please forgive us up here in the land of the delusional and self absorbed but the earthquake has dropped off the news here completely.

  3. I'll be saying prayers too. Beach Bum is right, seems news like the quake stay for maybe a week, sometimes more, but then we go on to the next story. We are a fickle bunch here in good "ole USA.

  4. I'm glad for an update. As Beach Bum said, your situation has been dropped. Sometimes the news media has the attention span of a hyperactive 2 year old!

  5. Thanks for keeping us updated. Take care.

  6. Oh Marja,

    I think of you everyday! Our church said a prayer for Christchurch this morning.

    I think of how generous you were with my project in Nepal, and I think about the projects that are now in your future. How quickly things change!

    I send you warm wishes for peace and recovery.

  7. Hi Marja,
    What you have had to endure in Christchurch is truly horrific. It is also horrific how your disaster has been treated in the US press. It is just not an important item.

    Unfortunately, news here is no longer news. It is simply another form of entertainment.

    Bless you and my prayers are with you.

  8. I've come over from Fi's blog to say that New Zealanders are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for updating us and hoping that things ease up for you guys soon.
    With love

  9. Dear Marja, this was terrible! I truly hope that you won't endure this another time! I was so glad to see you on the blog again!

  10. We can't imagine the effect an enormous earthquake like that has on daily life.

    Reading your posts helps us realize.

    Thinking of you all :-)

  11. Marja, it's good to read stories from someone else inside the cordon. We are in the red zone and sometimes feel isolated. Kia kaha, Ruth

  12. Marja, this is the first time I'm visiting your blog. It is truly a different perspective reading a first hand account of what has happened.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I wish for the people of Christchurch that the fear and sadness will go away, anger and guilt will dissolve, and love and happiness will grow stronger for all.

    Thinking of you.

  13. Hi Marja, yes I he is my son. Thanks for the visit and comment :-).

    I have been reading your posts through Google Reader. We are very worried with natural disasters striking around you for the past few months. We keep praying for everyone.

  14. Thank you so much for your updates! It keeps us aware that so much still needs support. I am really glad that this blogging world exists so that we can stay connected on a personal level!

    Always thinking of you!


  15. Wow. This is so incredibly sad. I watched here in Ohio as the footage was shown for many days on tv. Just the bits I saw there were catastrophic, I can only imagine what it is like seeing it with ones own eyes.

    That's a shame about the school, I hope something comes about quick with that. Kids need normalcy. Even teens, lol ;o)

    Also a shame about all the historical sites. :o( As a genealogist, that tugs at my heartstrings.

  16. Hi Marja! Happy International Women’s Day!!

    Great to see that Christchurch is getting back!!

  17. I think every day to you,Marja!Thank you for your update!Saying prayers for everyone there!Take care!


  18. Good morning, Marja. Thank you for the update. What you all have to endure and rise above is incomprehensible.

    And then, last night, I turn on the TV just in time to see live video of the tsunami overtaking the coast of northeast Japan. The absolute horror of it. More for my prayer list.




Thank you for your comment