Tuesday, February 22, 2011
And now it are all just flattened. Everything came down. The aerial photos look like someone detonated a large bomb in downtown Christchurch. The spire on the Cathedral is simply gone.
Earthquakes are something I grew up with. They don't frighten me nearly so much as hurricanes, tidal waves, or tornados. But on the other side, I also know how bad they can be, how they make everything feel broken. The ground is broken, buildings are broken, your sense of self is broken. After a big one, it feels like the whole world is unstable. New Zealand is such a small place, and Christchurch is one of its largest cities. It's the city where Jaime wants to go to college. It's a beautiful, vibrant community. And it is absolutely, unrepairably broken. Oh sure, they'll rebuild. But there are just a lot of folks not coming back from this one. Even when you rebuild a highway, house or building after an earthquake, it doesn't feel the same. What's broken beyond repair is the certainty that a building is a solid object on which you can count resting on ground. That sense of the very word 'ground' as something that is unchangeable and static never returns.
If you follow the news, I recommend the New Zealand Herald. Everyone else just wants to get "US tourist says... " "Australian police officer was there..." stories. The NZ Herald coverage is excellent: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
If you want to help, both the Red Cross NZ and Salvation Army are taking donations.
If you know someone in Christchurch and are not already aware of the Google People finder: http://christchurch-2011.person-finder.appspot.com/