No bookish post today, instead here is one of the many stories of Christchurch's devastating earthquake
I’ve spoken to one
student who’s among the exodus. She doesn’t want to be named. This is her story: Canterbury University
Like many of my friends, I don’t know what my future in
will be. I have no idea of the scale of damage at uni because I left too quickly to find out. Christchurch
I was horribly hung over on Tuesday the 22nd of February. Monday night and the start of Orientation Week was a big one. I contemplated skipping my 12.00 biology class but decided to tough it out.
We’ve become used to earthquake safety briefings at the beginning of each lesson (compulsory after September 4) and I was only half listening to this one. The lecture droned on, as they’re wont to do on a sore head.
As the class finished I was thrown violently to the ground. I clambered under the desk, my head filled with the shrieks of class mates as our third storey theatre moved brutally from side to side. Apparently the ground shook for 60 seconds – for me it felt much quicker.
Dazed, we filed outside to the wail of sirens, and the crying and screaming of hundreds of people pouring out of surrounding buildings. Walking home I met two friends who had been caught outside on their way to class – they were distraught. I had no idea how large this quake was, so used are we to aftershocks. As I walked home I gradually became aware of the scale. It was then I began to get scared - I didn’t know where my friends and flatmates were. As I continued to wander home people were milling on the streets, power poles were bent to the ground and there were cracks and rents in the road.
With trepidation I entered my flat to face the damage; there was glass everywhere, mirrors off the wall, photo frames smashed on the floor. My flat mates began to arrive home. Two had been trying to find a park at Riccarton Mall when the quake hit – they thought they were goners. Another friend was half naked in a changing room. When it was over the changing room no longer existed.
As we sat in the lounge exchanging stories another aftershock hit, finishing off the last bits of crockery we’d managed to salvage, throwing us into darkness and leaving us utterly terrified. All of us have now left the city. We don’t know when, or if we’ll be back.
I’m lucky that my friends are ok. But for so many who aren’t, the thoughts of Christchurch’s students go out to you. This is our city too; the CBD was our play-ground, we were among
’s runners, we made day trips to Lyttleton and we frequented the local pubs. We’ve left because we’re traumatised and we want the comfort of our families, but our hearts are still in our borrowed home. Kia Kaha Christchurch. Hagley Park