Sunday, September 19, 2010

Canterbury Earthquake 040910

It's been 16 days from the day a disastrous earthquake which happened in my beloved Christchurch city. After shocks have been fading and fading and will hopefully disappear. Some people said the feeling of after shock has deeply crafted in all Canterbrians' minds, including myself. It's been like a norm in our everyday life in the past 2 weeks. There have been hundreds of after shocks shaking the whole Christchurch with the largest one i think 5.4 something Richter scale. The 7.1 earthquake indeed was really an experience for me, first time in my life feeling the real shake with all the panic and worrying feelings enveloping me.

4 September 2010, 4.35am - I was watching the recent Cantonese drama "Can't Buy Me Love" while enjoying my mung bean soup with Winter Melon and sago. All of a sudden, I heard a large exploding sound far away. After a few seconds, my laptop and table started swaying, I could feel the floor was like moving left and right in a continuous fashion, the shake was really strong, I couldn't even walk a straight line, lamps and my clothes could be seen wobbling, I stood up and supported myself by leaning against the wall..I thought it might be some heavy vehicles or airplane zooming by which made the house to wobble..But..The shake didn't stop at all and it kept getting stronger, my whole brain was blank, I had no idea what to do, IT MUST BE AN EARTHQUAKE...what should I do? I looked up to the ceiling with the hope that the ceiling wont collapse, looking at my stuff on the table, so many stuff, what should I do.. The power was suddenly out...oh my god, the whole house and even outside were so dark...had to use my phone as torchlight..and..I knew I gonna sacrifice all the things on my table, all my gadgets..oh gosh...what to do..i got more and more panic, the shake didn't seem to stop, i thought that the whole house might collapse soon, I've been listening to people that during an earthquake should stay and hold tight to something, don't run out or escape..I held my table tight, praying hard to myself, hoping that nothing would collapse on me....After about a minute, the shake got weaker, but things were still wobbling around, in my mind, i think it's time to go out and scream.. I did scream, standing on the corridor, knocking all my housemates' room doors trying to wake them up..Only Isaac and Wei Chia were sleeping, CS and I were awake..WeiCHia asked us to stay inside, don't go out yet.. Isaac walked out, blurred..CS rushed to wake Shirley up but Shirley got frightened and cried..WEiChia actually tumbled down from the bed because of the strong shake. Okay, now another after shock came, quite powerful, we couldn't wait anymore, first thing to grab was our sweater, it was less than 5 degree  of Celcius outside, so cold...I grabbed my cell phone and wore a jacket and dashed to the living room, I could see my tv set fell down and papers dropping on the floor, things got displaced..We ran out and wished nothing happened to us...A lot of our neighbours were gathering outside, it was really dark outside, i thought it might be the end of the world...I could even see the whole galaxy of stars above me..Everybody was talking about the quake and it was really cold outside...No choice...had to be outside and wait till everything became stable before entering my house....After a few minutes, the shake faded..we went back to our house but stayed at the living room together as the main door was near to us, easier to escape if anything happened.. I grabbed my wallet and additional sweater and hopefully nothing collapsed on me while walking to my room...We all stayed for some time in the living room, talking about our own experience while feeling the first shock,...Isaac initially thought that who on earth outside who yelled late at night, so frustrating, waking up seeing stuff wobbling, he thought that it must be a dream, after some time only he realised it was an earthquake..CS was studying and his heater fell hitting floor..It was cold and no power and no heater...we stayed together for some time while WC and Isaac went back to their rooms as they were too tired leaving their room door opened...We then collected a reasonable amount of water as the water and sewage system might got disrupted...I called my mum to tell her the situation hopefully parents and people in Malaysia wouldn't be worried much on us.....all of us received a forwarded msg saying :" There was an earthquake 7.4 on the Richter scale just 30km away from Christchurch. Power is out for most of Christchurch. apparently there might be an aftershock soon..Please take care and hide behind cover if aftershock comes..Pass this to everyone you know".........2 hours to sun rise...we waited and waited..every now and then the after shocks kept us in an uneasy situation, we couldn't sleep properly.....................It was 9.30am and the power was finally recovered....I went to have a rest but all of us were like in a standby position and couldn't sleep properly.. Luckily there was no damage in our house.. I tried to log in to the Internet to see the latest updates...

Some photos of the damages caused by the large earthquake:
From TVNZ website:

From The Star Online:
From my phone:
University Central Library - notice the falling of book racks (closed for the whole semester)
Central Library fenced
Photos above were taken along Manchester Street which has most of the damage

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