We were hit by a 7.1 earthquake on Saturday 4th September, it was 4.35 a.m. and was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. We were so very lucky that no one was killed, our home is just a few kilometers from the epicenter and we have damage to the structure of our home plus just about everything inside it is smashed to bits. There are a lot of people worse off than us through this, at least we still have a roof over our heads albeit a damaged one.
The worst part of it all for me was that it happened in darkness, and where I live there are no street lights or such, you cannot see anything at night. The noise was so deafening, I honestly thought a 747 had crashed into the house. Then we had to get down the stairs because we knew we just had to get out and I really thought that there would be no stairs left. We got downstairs and grabbed my Nephew and Niece (who happened to be staying with us for the weekend) from a downstairs bedroom and we all got outside. It was freezing, icy and frosty and totally black but we stayed out there for hours until first light in just our pyjamas.
When daybreak came it was awful to see the destruction, we have brick walls missing, large cracks going through the house from bottom to top but surprisingly no windows were broken! Every room looked like a tornado had ripped through it, lots of china and broken glass everywhere. Furniture reduced to piles of sticks, my younger Sons room was the worse affected, his large strong wooden bed is now in pieces, all his furniture was completely up-ended. The force must have been immense to move some of that furniture, it's all well made heavy stuff. The trees in the garden are no longer straight, they now lean in different directions.
I have spent all week sorting through the rooms, trying to salvage what I could. We are living and sleeping in the lounge which we feel is the safest place. We have had hundreds of after shocks which are awful, very un-nerving and it makes you wonder if the rest of the house is going to come crashing down.
Through the first few days we had no power, phones or water but we had a radio that worked, and all we heard on the stations was that we were to ring this number or go to this web site. I think people had forgotten that many folk didn't have internet or phones and that was very frustrating. I think in situations like that they have to presume that no one has access to these facilities.
So we are slowly trying to get our lives back to normal, hoping that this never happens again, but the fault line is a new one that no one was aware of and apparently hasn't moved for 16000 years.
I am still standing by my win a skein of yarn post, my partner messaged me to say she had received her color swap package and I will announce the colour and winner in a day or two.
Amidst all that has happened this week Mother Nature is still doing her thing, beautiful blooms are appearing in the garden: