An earthquake struck the city of Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand on Tuesday 22 February. The earthquake was 6.3 magnitude, centred at Lyttelton 10km (6.2 miles) south of the Christchurch city centre, at a depth of 5km. It struck at 12.51pm just before lunch.
It struck with deadly force, in the middle of a busy Southern Hemisphere summer’s day (unlike the previous quake in September which struck at 4 a.m.) Buildings collapsed in seconds and survival was simply a lottery with large office blocks and the city’s venerable cathedral paying a bitter price. For details of the quake check here. There is no sensationalism, just facts so do not be afraid to go and look.
How it affects New Zealand
New Zealand is a small country, so this has hit all of us, NZ national and immigrants alike, hard. We are all shaken. Around New Zealand collections are being made, bake-ins held, those we viewed as faceless corporate entities have stepped forward with donations of valuable supplies that will get the city back on its feet, everyone wants to help.
Donations are being made in so many different forms it’s hard to keep track. Community laundries are being set up for quake-affected Christchurch people with NZ firm Fisher & Peykel offering machines. Local communities are grouping together to help those worst hit closer to the stricken city. Builders are gathering to work three weeks on one week off for the city. Crafters are making and people are making a difference.
What I do know is that the response around the world has been equally strong. The USA and Europe were there offering help within hours. Expert teams from the USA, Queensland, NSW, Japan, UK, Taiwan and Singapore are here helping. They leapt onto planes knowing the suffering they would find and still they are came.
The concern of many of Twitter friends was for anipals @Baxter_Man, @Oslo_pup, @Polly_puss11, @LilycatQueen and @MrSootyMewvins. There were many worried tweets until, one by one, they checked in.
@PollyPuss11 has strong connections with the marvelous cathedral, now destroyed. Members of her family carved the cross on the steeple and the furniture within the cathedral — you can imagine how tough it is for her to see this magnificent building in ruins.
“My father made the cross on the Spire over 40 years ago when he worked for a company called Mercer’s,” @PollyPuss11′s mom said. “Over 30 years later, I married a man that owns the company that made all of the furniture inside the Cathedral. They were given some old furniture from the early 1900s and asked to replicate it…so they did…perfectly. They are all the chairs you see in the photos of the church that have been trashed.”
What about our anipal friends you ask?
An animal search and rescue team says no reports of serious animal injuries reported but a specialist 12-member team from Massey University in on stand-by in Palmerston North on the North Island to provide emergency in-field veterinary treatment if needed. The team includes an equine surgeon, physiologist, animal behaviour specialist and veterinary technologist.
However, there are many pets being reported found or missing (Trade Me listed 381 lost or found pets as of 26 February and Pets on the Net also publishes lost and found pet information). The RNZSPCA is co-ordinating rescue and safekeeping of the animals and have let everyone know that Hill’s Pet Nutrition is helping out with food requirements.
The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals receives no public funding, and I know they are working to reunite pals and their parents, so when @Rumblepurr posted a ChipIn on his blog, I took it up, too, and so did @MarioDaCat (who has been an awesome support), and then a lot of our blogging friends, so we have around 15 ChipIns! The amount raised for the RNZSPCA as of 26 February is in excess of $2000 US.
@JinJinDoggy suggested to me that the anipals might like to gather to celebrate the ChipIn with a #pawty, and after requesting the assistance of one of the hip-est organisers on the ‘net @TheNascarKitty who has loaned his considerable organising skills and the use of the prestigious #NipClub Details :- http://nipclub.blogspot.com/p/new-zealand.html We are indebted to him for his invaluable help, as well as that of @MaggieTKat our quizmistress and our prize donors.
Much good, and sad, news awaits this small but amazing country over the next few days and weeks, but, thanks to the worldwide community we know that we are not alone and this is a good thing.
A really GOOD THING.