Wednesday, 8 September 2010


This is a tough read. We know Amy and she a good woman.

Nothing we can say or write can add anything to what she has written.

Date: 07 September 2010 12:00 AM
Author/s: Amy Adams MP

The early hours of Saturday morning were without doubt some of the scariest of my life. Wrenched from deep sleep by violent tremors and a deafening roar, the mind can't even comprehend what is happening.

Once I realised it was an earthquake the next thought was quite simply that we were going to die. There just didn't seem any way the house could withstand the forces throwing it around. In those moments your instinct is simply to reach out for your family.

Grabbing my husband we both started screaming out to my daughter (my son was thankfully away in a safe area) and as soon as we could stand we pushed through debris in total blackness to my daughter's room. Later when the sun came up I would learn that the fish tank that flew across her room missed her head by mere inches before crashing on the bed post but at that moment the priority was getting everyone into the kitchen and under our very solid table.

In the darkness the house felt totally unfamiliar and progress was slow picking our way through the remains of our once treasured possessions. In bare feet broken glass was the biggest challenge and once we reached the table it felt like a refuge. We huddled together there for a while before venturing out for blankets, shoes and our civil defence kit which luckily enough we had.

Thoughts quickly turned to friends, family and neighbours. Where text contact could be made we were reassured but we couldn't get any response from my husband's family down the road. A heated debate ensued - we couldn't stand the thought they could be buried under rubble but we had no way of knowing if the roads were safe or even still there. In the end my husband headed out to check on his family while my daughter and I took turns comforting each other that no matter what else happened we were ok.

I remember thinking if it feels this bad here imagine how bad the epicentre must be. When the radio told us we were the epicentre, it was oddly comforting. At least no where would be much worse than this and there was no risk of tsunami.

There was little more we could do then but try to stay warm and wait for the sun to come up. When it did get light it was all a bit surreal. Total stillness & a sense of an ordinary morning until you looked at all the damage and then my brain seemed incapable of knowing how to process it all. I spent several hours just wandering around staring at things not even abe to formulate a plan of where to start.

Power, water and landlines were gone and would be for the next 48 hours and cellphones and radios became invaluable. In the hours ahead it seemed everyone else in the world knew more about what was happening than us.

By mid morning there was little more we could do at home and family members were there helping out so I left to survey damage to the local area. Needless to say it was significant in parts but other areas had largely escaped unscathed.

Roads that had been flat and straight now had hills in them and tarmac had ripped apart, large pine hedges had moved metres from their original sites but it was the devastated houses that left me shell shocked. Time and again I heard stories of lucky escapes and the fact no-one died seemed more and more miraculous.

The randomness of it all is bizarre. One township will be badly hurting, in the next barely a glass has been broken.

Now as the days wear on the euphoria of being alive is waning and the scale of the disaster is weighing on us heavily. No-one is sleeping much as aftershocks rattle our frayed nerves and exhausted, hollowed eyed faces are everywhere. It will be some time yet before we know the full extent of what this has cost us financially & emotionally.

On the positive side though something like this brings out the best in the vast bulk of people. Our communities are resilient and supportive and make me proud to be a Cantarbrian. Our people look out for each other and something like this certainly reminds you what is important. Together I have no doubt we will get through this.

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