Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Earthquake: Part 3

I can't believe it. I really can't.

Due to the 22 February earthquake earlier this year, my school is wrecked - and because of that, I now go to school in the afternoon (from 1PM - 6PM) at another campus. The host school uses their campus in the morning.

But that's not what I can't believe. I've been in this routine since 15 March, and I'm really quite used to it now.

What I can't believe is this: even though my city, Christchurch, has been crippled by the earthquake on 4 September last year, and then again in February this year, Mother Nature has decided to cripple us again. Meet the 6.3 magnitude quake, 13 June 2011.

I woke up on that day unsuspecting. I can't remember what I did in the morning, but I left for school sometime after midday. There was an aftershock while I was on my way - a big one too. So when I got to school I had to go straight to the field, the emergency assembly point.

But soon we were back in class, and everything was back to normal. Just kidding. Half an hour later there was a huge earthquake. It measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale, and felt incredibly violent.

For those of you who have never experienced what it feels like to be in a major earthquake, this is quite possibly the best way I can describe it: when the ground moves like that, you suddenly feel helpless, and you realise that there is a wild and uncontrollable force at work - and it is a lot bigger than you are. The ground can either jolt or roll, but it's terrifying either way. And when it lasts for more than twenty seconds, it feels like an eternity. If it's only small, you fear whether it will build up to be huge or not.

It's hard to explain.

But anyway. I need to go, so I'll leave you with this: I think the biggest thing on peoples' minds now I think is that no-one knows when this is going to stop. After September, we thought it was over. After February, we thought it was over. After June ... well ... is it really?


  1. I'm sorry to hear about everything happening in your part of the world, Nick, just as I'm sorry to hear about the tornadoes striking the midwest and southern states here in the U.S. I'm glad to hear you are okay and that your power was restored. I'll continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  2. The only "earthquake" I've ever been in is the machine at the science museum that is made to shake and copy the worlds worst earthquakes, so I could never imagine a real one. I'm sorry about everything that's happened to you guys over there. A lot of people are thinking about you and hoping everything turns out right, including me.

  3. Hey, thank you both for your support and concern :) Earthquakes are pretty much impossible to describe. ...

  4. My brother spent a few weeks kayaking there last year. Loved Christchurch.
    I'm in Alaska. Big earthquakes suck, way out of control. We get lots of little ones up here. I've been in a few above five on the scale. While in Seattle we had an earthquake that lasted 2 minutes. Felt like it would never end.

  5. So sorry, Nick. I've never been in an earthquake, and I can only imagine how frightening it is-- especially when they just keep coming. Internet hugs coming your way. Good luck!

  6. @Jolene: Two minutes! Yikes! I've been in three big ones now, but none of them have lasted even half that long. I sort of know the "it will never end" feeling - but two minutes ... wow. (Oh, and thanks for the follow.)

    @Shallee: Thanks :) Things are returning to normal again (the post-February normal anyway) - for me at least, since I'm not up to my knees in liquefaction and my house isn't cracked up.


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