It’s been a moving day for me in two senses of the word – I spent the day helping my sister and her husband move their belongings out of the house they’d just moved into two days prior to the earthquake here. Their new home is extensively damaged (left) and is on the lower slopes of a hill that is now unstable. It was another example of the power of “WE”, as several friends with trailers came and worked tirelessly to move all of their possessions to a new location.
It was moving also in the emotional sense, as I watched my sister and her husband see their dream of a new house on the hill come to an abrupt end. Not only them, but at least a dozen other families up the same road – the place was awash with trailers and vehicles, all doing the same as we were.
The enormity of the impact of this quake is only now beginning to sink in for many of us – the past two days have been non-stop action to attend to the urgent tasks, and now as we reflect on the longer term prospects, there is a sense of feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead.
To illustrate the scale of what we face, here are the numbers (from yesterday’s NZ Herald):
145 confirmed dead
More than 200 missing
Nationals of more than 20 countries among the missing
329 people in welfare centres
About 120 patients moved to other NZ hospitals
About 180 aged-care residents moved out of Christchurch
About 1200 police in Christchurch, with 324 Australian officers sworn in yesterday
More than 600 search and rescue personnel including overseas teams
More than 1400 NZ Defence Force personnel working on the rescue effort
60 per cent of properties in CBD deemed safe, 17 per cent as safe to access and 20-25 per cent deemed unsafe
More than 4000 checks carried out on residential properties
341 suburban properties deemed unsafe and evacuated
Power restored to more than 80 per cent of Christchurch
70 per cent of general practices up and running
62,500 people remain without water and 100,000 have no sewerage service.