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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The shaky isles

Watching a lot of tv footage coming out of Christchurch, none of it good. NZ resources stretched but plans are in place and survivors are still emerging. The rebuilding of the city will be a very long process. Julia Gillard's visit last week was big news here and there was lots of mutual back patting by the pollies and much positive talk about close relationships in the best ANZAC spirit. Oz help teams have already arrived in Christchurch and that's a nice thing - the sharing of expert search and rescue across the ditch.

Everyone is talking about earthquakes, preparation for and reaction as it happens and immediately after. We had earthquake drill at school back in the 1970s - kids under desks and teacher in the doorway. Things have changed. Doorways are no longer seen as sturdy enough, and the place to stand in a building now is as far away from windows as you can get and in a corner in the most structurally sound area you can get to. That said, I was listening to an office worker describe how he and five co-workers were running for their desks to take cover, but they were all thrown onto a buckling floor so the correct procedure went to pot.

Everyone we know is ok, but relatives have lost a house.

So we are all refreshing our earthquake kits ASAP. Lots of bottles of water stacked up. A battery operated radio. A tarp, warm clothes, some rope, canned food, penknife, the meths cooker.

Just heard on the tv that NZ has declared its first national state of emergency.

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