Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Christchurch Earthquake - One month later

Wow... it's hard to believe that a month has already past since the September 4th Earthquake.

For most of us, life is pretty much back to normal, though for precautionary measures, most of our ornaments and wall hangings are still stowed away safely under tables and places where they wont fall and shatter again. However, as a recent drive around downtown reveals, there are still quite a few businesses that remain cordoned off; I pity those business owners in this situation, and those whose stores have been completely obliterated. Sympathies also to the people still stuck with portaloos in the middle of the road.

And perhaps as a one-month anniversary gift, Mother Nature just released upon us a series of strong aftershocks. All had been quiet for nearly a few days now, with the aftershocks dying down in frequency, though the intensity with which they are felt always seems to be increasing (though official reports only ever list them as tiny 2.8's). Lulled into a sense of normality, slumped in front of the TV, and all of a sudden... rumble rumble QUAKE!

Just before 10:30pm this evening, we were rocked by one of the biggest aftershocks in ages (officially 5.0, followed by a 4.something a few minutes later). It was one of those wide North-South-shift ones... the kind that actually do damage instead of just jittering things like a subwoofer. And it seemed to shake for a while too, though not as long as some of the really nasty ones we've had.

Interestingly enough, I happened to be standing at the time, and barely felt a thing, though everything else in the house was moving. The water in fish tank sloshing around with the fish floating perfectly still in the middle of the tank shocked or perhaps just confused about all the fuss. Meanwhile, the TV antenna shook violently, and the hot water jug (which was busily boiling some water) threatened to topple at any moment. Thinking back to the way I was standing, I realised that I was standing a bit like the Eiffel Tower: in a strong and stable triangular stance. Wow, that thing must really have had some serious engineering genius behind it!

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