Tuesday 22 February 2011

Such very, very bad news

There's just been another earthquake in Christchurch. This time 6.3, less powerful than September's 7.1, but closer to the city centre and shallower, so the damage is very much worse - also the buildings were weakened. This time it was the middle of the day, not the night, and people have been trapped in and under collapsing buildings, and there have been many deaths. They've run out of ambulances and the hospital has been evacuated.

The news and pictures are still coming through from pale reporters with wobbly voices: blood-soaked people are struggling to get out of the city, on grid-locked streets knee-deep in liquefaction and mains water, around avalanches of bricks and concrete, through clouds of dust and aftershocks. I'm horrified and shocked and fearful of the details that are going to emerge.

But already, to see the Cathedral, the heart of Christchurch, without its spire is utterly, utterly heart-breaking. This is my home town.

This lovely building, home to Christchurch's daily paper, has partially collapsed: the upper left-hand section is now missing, the roof has fallen inside and at this very moment there are people trapped under their desks, under the rubble, on the third floor. I do hope Ken isn't among them. He's a big man, he wouldn't have been able to move fast.
This is the Provincial Council Chambers building, clearly already badly damaged, and now the stone part is just rubble. It's just one of many, many heritage buildings, all old friends, that have reportedly suffered severe damage.

But what about the people? There are hundreds and hundreds still trapped in the rubble of so many buildings, old and new, locals and tourists and young foreign students. The news that's to come hardly bears thinking about.


the queen said...

Good lord. The US news is far more interested in Moammar, but they did pt a little blurb out there. I'm sorry.

TravelSkite said...

Thank you. I'm sorry to say that there's little doubt you'll be seeing ChCh on your news tonight.


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