Today, Tuesday, September 4, 2012 marks the second anniversary of the first Christchurch earthquake.
I remember feeling that tremor in Dunedin at 4.35pm on that very morning. The earth moved quite significantly in Dunedin. I can't imagine, though, how it felt for the frightened people of Christchurch and environs.
This quake triggered a series of aftershocks that culminated in the February 22, 2011 event that finished off the parts of the city that remained standing. That February quake took 186 lives with it and destroyed many homes and businesses, many that were already struggling after the September quake.
I have many friends and some distant family in Christchurch. Today, I salute their and all other Cantabrians for their courage and fortitude in the face of ongoing adversity. While hope is slowly beginning to return, frustrations remain as the Earthquake Commission and private insurers play around with ordinary householders and small business owner's lives. Accordingly, many homes and businesses that can be repaired remain to be fixed. Other home and business owners in the red zone are hoping that their pay outs from government will come soon so they can begin the next chapter in their disrupted lives.
I have not been to Christchurch since 2007. I am hoping to return before year's end to attend a friend's 40th birthday. At that time, if I do journey north, I will find it very hard to cope with seeing a city so devastatingly transformed. As a South Islander, I have visited Christchurch many times and even thought at one stage of moving there to find work. Now that prospect is gone as the city is suffering an accomodation shortage. Moreover, as I need modified housing due to having a disability, I can't imagine myself successfully finding such a place right now. I am better off in Dunedin for a whole host of reasons - and many Cantabrians who have fled here would support me in that sentiment.
Today, though, we should all think of Christchurch and Canterbury. We should think of their heartbreak. We should think of their enduring spirit. We should support them as they look to move on from the events of 2010/11. On September 4, 2020 I hope that Cantabrians will gather in a rebuilt Christchurch to commemorate the past, reflect on the achievements of the rebuild and look forward with pride to the future.
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.