As news broke of the earthquake in Christchurch on 22nd February 2011 my heart sunk. The last earthquake in September had shaken the Cantabrians and they had all lost so much. The realisation that this was so much worse as lives were lost as well as historic buildings and livelihoods made me feel nauseous. The news unfolded throughout the afternoon and we were glued to the TV in horror as large clumps of plaster and brick tumbled from Christchurch's beautiful, proud buildings, scattering dust, eliciting screams and clutched hugs as strangers weathered the aftershocks which thundered through the city. The mayor Bob Parker was interviewed live in front of Christchurch's broadcasting building where many of his colleagues and friends were trapped inside. He spoke with dignity and poise, answering impossible questions while his life was thrown into the same chaos and turmoil as his fellow people.
Foodbank drop offs have been set up all over the country, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to the Red Cross and Salvation Army to assist Christchurch and we have joined many thousands to offer our home to house those who have lost everything.
New Zealand is a small country. The death toll has risen to over 100 with double that many people still missing. The earthquake has decimated buildings, lives and has irreversably altered the future of the city, the south island and the country. I have faith that human spirit will push through these grim months ahead and I know New Zealanders will do all they can to support those affected by the earthquake.
God bless all those affected.