On Saturday, we had the anniversary of Christchurch’s big earthquake that wrecked our city and killed 185 people. It was a magnitude of 6.3 but it was only 5 kilometres deep, so that is why it made a city fall apart.
|The Christchurch Cathedral on Feb 23, 2011|
The earthquake happened at 12:51pm so I was having my lunch at Selwyn House School. Then suddenly there was a huge shake and a rumble and the school started shaking violently. The school pool started leaking its water all through all our courtyard which is funny because it is an indoor pool. The girls started screaming and running around in circles. I watched on as my friend ran out from the atrium in horror and fright. I kept screaming her name to come to me as fast as she could. As I did so, I hung to a pole near me in terror. Finally after what seemed like 5 minutes it all stopped. My friend and I ran to our assembly point and waited. We sat down just as it started to shake again. We got given duvets for warmth until our parents came. When I saw my dad hurrying towards me, I ran to him and clung on to him for as long as I could.
Dad drove me home and after about 30mins of traffic we came to our house. I sat on the lawn opposite my driveway since I was not allowed inside my house. Our family members came to us to help getting clothes and necessities out of our house. When they brought out my bag of clothes, I heard the one word that I didn’t want to hear “ruined” followed by “completely fully ruined. “ I didn’t like the sound of this or understand.
|A ruined house in Christchurch- photo from www.stuff.co.nz|
After three weeks at my Grandma and Grandad’s house, we heard news of our own house.
Red-zoned. I didn’t know what that meant so I went up to my mum and said quite shortly,
“Can you tell me what a red zoned house is?”
She chuckled. She sat me down with a very serious face and said,
“It means we can’t live there anymore”
“Ever?” I replied.
“Sadly, never don’t mention anything about the red zoned or our house to your dad.” She wouldn’t tell me why I shouldn’t bring it up. I, then burst into tears at the thought that where I’d lived nearly my whole life was the one place where I couldn’t go.
|A red sticker on a dangerous building- photo by tvnz.co.nz|
Later that year, we had good news- yellow stickered! That meant we could get the rest of our furniture and belongings out but the house had to be demolished. (A red sticker would mean it was to dangerous to go inside and would have to be demolished with all our things still inside it!) I still couldn’t mention it to dad s
ince he wasn’t coping with losing our house well and when I mentioned it he looked like he was on the verge of tears. To this day, he’s coping quite well with the loss of our house but never wants to come to the old section so there is still some sadness in his feelings. Losing your home is a hard thing to go through.
The February 22nd Earthquake affected a lot of us, including some of my schoolmates. My friend Hana lost her house- it is getting demolished in the coming months, as it was too damaged to save got badly damaged as well. It was also in the Red Zone which means that land will never be built on again. Eilish, on the other hand can stay in her house, but it has to have lots of repairs from the damage. Imogen’s house also got red zoned and they had to move out and their house has been demolished.
Many of us know someone who died or lost a family member. It is so sad for those people.
Nearly everyone in Christchurch has had damage to their homes and is waiting for repairs.
|A damaged house in Christchurch|
|An artist thinks our new city might look like this- photo by the Christchurch City Council|