Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Letter from New Zealand

Hi Mary,

We are all so upset and in shock. It is a terrible event. 75 are confirmed dead with up to 300 missing. The aftershocks are big and frequent, causing more damage and distress. I am not feeling the quakes where I live. (Wellington, on the North Island) We never thought that Christchurch would be place where earthquakes like this would occur.

Thankfully our family members in Christchurch are unhurt, but have damage to their homes and possessions. One cousin’s home is completely destroyed. The damage this time is far greater than the first one. (Sept. 2010) It will take a long time just to recover basic services like sewerage, water and power.

The beautiful, historical city of Christchurch and Lyttelton, where I used to visit as a child, is changed forever. The Mayor there is amazing, as are the rescuers, police, firemen, army, medical people, and so many others. Professional people are now arriving from other countries to help. We so appreciate their assistance and kindness.

There is real concern over the 17-story hotel in the central business district. It is leaning to one side and looking about to fall. You can see a crack down one side from the top of the building and the top is sagging.

Some amputations have occurred to free people. Many severe crush injuries are being rushed to hospitals around the country.

My sister, who lives 100k south in Temuka, was badly shaken, she could not stand up when the quake hit, so it was not just the city of CHCH.

Her daughter and grandson are in ChCh so she traveled up with food and money as banks are non functional and food shops damaged. Everything in the house was smashed to pieces.

My sister had to take out a loan to help her daughter. We are helping from here where we can. They cannot use toilets or showers. Drinking water is being tanked in, but not enough to meet the needs.

There are still reports and stories of amazing rescues. We are glued to the live TV to keep up with what is happening- it's compelling but so dreadful. There is a lot you can pick up on YouTube. Here is a link to the spectacular glacial calving resulting from the quake.

My Mum grew up in the areas so badly affected. She is so upset I spent much of today with her. She is 84 and lives about 9mins away from me.

Thank you for caring. It helps to tell someone. Your prayers are valued.


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