It’s now after 9pm on Tuesday 22 February and our thoughts have been focussed on Christchurch for the past 8 hours or so. My wife was due to travel to Greymouth today for a couple of days. That trip is now off. Instead we are glued to the TV screen and supporting a friend from Christchurch who will be staying with us tonight. The disaster in Christchurch has got very close to home indeed.
My wife worked for four years in an office in Christchurch before moving to the Nelson branch. She was on the 5th (and top) floor of the CTV building near Latimer Square. That building fell down today. At the moment it’s still on fire. Her manager was in Nelson today and together they watched a couple of the Chch staff describing on TV a miraculous escape. They were at a meeting, about ten people in a room on that 5th floor, plus a baby. Then the earthquake hit, by all accounts much worse shaking than the September one. The whole building collapsed, their floor dropped, a wall fell out and they found themselves at ground level, able to be helped out by the people outside. Right now all but one of that team are accounted for, some with serious injuries. It is remarkable! We have no news about the person still trapped and our thoughts are with her. These are friends and colleagues.