Thursday 24 February 2011

Here we go again

A brief post for folks who haven't caught the Twitter updates.

I was in my office getting ready to meet Peter McCaffrey for a late lunch when the quake hit. It felt bigger than the boxing day quake but hard to tell as I was on the ground floor visiting Denis for that one; this time I was five floors up. Grabbed the laptop from the docking station and ran. Power was out. No sirens or alarms. Just folks exiting. Susan was at St. John. A bookcase fell between her and a coworker; she caught a ride home with another coworker who lives on this side of town.

Took more than four hours to get home where it usually takes half an hour. I took my usual route home through downtown as I didn't yet know if I was picking Susan up when I started out. And Radio New Zealand was utterly useless for a good fifteen minutes. Just regular programming. If they would have had any kind of warning up to avoid downtown at all costs, I would have. Things in Ilam didn't look too bad. Traffic was light. No crazy damage. Power out in a few places, like Boxing Day.

It would have been really helpful had radio messages to avoid downtown gone out before everybody was downtown.

Big mess at the house, now mostly tidied. Water and power out. Nobody knows when either will be back.

But we have plenty of emergency provisions and had stocked thirty litres of water. The council has parked a giant water tank across the road, which also has been helpful. The folks queueing there when it first came round had pretty obviously made no emergency provisions. Thought September would have been a better lesson.

Thanks for the emailed well wishes and offers of help. We have ourselves sorted out. Lots of folks in worse shape. I was scheduled for a 2pm interview with Canterbury Television about US NZ trade issues; hope the reporter left her office early. Their building collapsed in the quake, likely a hundred trapped and dead in there.

Beautiful day outside. Our neighborhood doesn't look much worse for wear. A few more chimneys down. A few neighbours reporting serious structural damage. But anybody who wasn't in a collapsed building came out lucky.

Email is spotty as I'm still without power. Catch me on Twitter if needed.


  1. Good to hear you and your family are ok.

  2. Glad you're okay; good luck going forward.

  3. Hi Eric, I hope you managed to get some water out at New Brighton, else, per your post to the Stuff site after Sept4 2010, did you manage to buy your water instead. Perhaps you would like to review your opinion on rationing and the supply of water to all citizens in the event of an emergency (especially since the water hasn't been reconnected at Brighton)? Jo2lo

  4. @Jo2lo: No revision of the opinion. Facts in this case are different. Council got water out very very quickly - faster than the big grocery store opened. So need for price gouging on bottled water was lower. Petrol's the scarce commodity this time round with the bridges all out....