1 EAGLETON NOTES: Disasters

.

.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Disasters

Eight years ago on this date - although, as I was living in New Zealand at the time, I was 13 hours ahead of the UK - I wrote the following post on my New Zealand Blog.
Just after 1400 hrs today I received a text from a friend who is visiting Christchurch to say that there had been another large earthquake in the City.   It immediately became obvious that the quake was significantly more serious than the larger quake last September which was further away from Christchurch, much deeper and, most importantly, instead of being in the middle of the night when CBD (Central Business District = City Centre) was empty it happened just before 1pm when the buildings and streets were full.  Communication with the City had been temporarily cut off when power and telecommunications lines were disrupted or destroyed.  It took a short while for the television and radio networks (which were themselves damaged) to get up and running with their independent satellite equipment.

Reference Number
Universal Time
February 21 2011 at 23:51
NZ Daylight Time
Tuesday, February 22 2011 at 12:51 pm
Latitude, Longitude
43.60°S, 172.71°E
Focal Depth
5 km
Richter magnitude
6.3
Region
Canterbury
Location
  • Within 5 km of Lyttelton
  • Within 5 km of Diamond Harbour
  • 10 km south-east of Christchurch

Living in New Zealand one is constantly aware of earthquakes which, generally speaking, do little serious damage.   If one lives in Napier the effect of the 1931 earthquake which destroyed the City with huge loss of life and very significant geological effect in the area one is even more aware of what can happen.
However I cannot explain the feelings of anxiety knowing that someone you know and care about is involved even when you know that they survived the initial quake unscathed. I cannot even begin to imagine how people with relatives and friends who are missing are feeling at this time. At the time I'm writing this 65 have been confirmed dead but it is expected that that number will rise.
A State of Emergency has been declared.

The television and radio have been on the air with updating news since the quake. The friend who texted had no idea of the seriousness at the time because they had no power and therefore no TV or radio. 
I never forget the day or the occasion because it was my friend's birthday.

I've written about earthquakes many times in many contexts. I've posted this again because I've not been able to get it out of my mind. It reminds me every time how fortunate are we who live in areas that, generally speaking, are not subject to major natural disasters. I just hope that politicians worldwide (who can do nothing about earthquakes) do something about global warming which will bring on natural disasters we cannot even imagine.

23 comments:

  1. I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to get caught up in an earthquake, never having knowingly experienced one myself. The impact of any kind of natural disaster can be devastating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, Jules. I've only experienced serious disasters vicariously but even that has been fairly traumatic at times.

      Delete
  2. Prayers. Visiting your words, I believe is a healthy way to help healing, tending the scars of memory and heartache.
    Disasters ripple out like a stone tossed in a pond. Creating found object boards are difficult for me after the tsunami in Japan. I stopped working on them, and using cloth in abstracts. I don't know anyone in Japan. I do know the prayers from my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maywyn, prayers can bring comfort but I find the problem with disasters is that what is needed is practical help

      Delete
  3. Since I wrote and published that post I've seen the post by Fiona at Four Paws and Whiskers. You may care to pop over and read a short update eight years on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What we do or don't do will have little effect on our world. The world is more intelligent than us, it is a random system with finite limits governed by mathematics it doesn't suddenly do anything silly just because someone thinks it's their right to identify as a zebra, a woman with a willy or a muzzie. It just carries on doing what it does. Sometimes it's hot and sometimes it's cold but only by our interpretation of current experience. This sort of thing doesn't happen over a lifetime. Ask the dynasours? You can't but look at their remains buried in a million years of rock. Bet their demise was down to attention seeking vegan twats.
    Politicians are transient money grabbing folk who have little or no expertise in anything other than talking hot air and spending other folks money, mostly on themselves. No one notices if they aren't there, except maybe the BBC and Sky and other brain candy crap programming I don't watch.
    I like to keep my corner clean if that isn't too much information. I litter pick on my wanders. It gets harder as one of the main obstetricals is the local authority. They can't provide bins. Intransigent or transgenderant they are on the matter. They have money for queer folk marches and even send leaflets out. They have more interest in transvestites and vegans than they have in keeping the place clean and doing what they are paid for.

    I notice that everyone wants a car and air travel. I also notice my electric costs a fortune for what is likely to be an unreliable supply. Bring on fracking, bring on coal, it's cheap and will keep me warm plus the plants need the carbon dioxide. How are we going to feed all the vegans and other nutters without plants? The buggers are quite happy posing with soul beards having eaten a virtuous Jack fruit burger that has been flown halfway round the world. It's like living in a nut house.
    Yours Mr Disappointed of Muchty.
    PS. How do you spell dinasore and obstikal. Please I suspect spill chucker may have misinterpreted my wurds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Adrian, my friend, every now and then you produce a gem no one else could have even imagined, never mind penned or typed or dictated to Siri or whoever. Im afraid 'dinosaur' joins 'diarrhea' in my 'can't spell' brain compartment.

      Delete
  5. My friend lived in fear of earthquakes in Mexico City and experienced many tremors in her 4 years there. The biggest natural disaster that comes will be when, not if, and will wipe out the eastern side of the US and southern Europe and will be a tsunami starting in the Atlantic Ocean from Canary Islands volcanic activity and they will not be able to run fast enough to escape it. Istabul will be wiped out also by an earthquake, a different one. These things have nothing to do with global warming or climate change or man stopping them or not stopping them. Politicians around the world should let us keep our money in our pockets and stop green taxes and give us a refund.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, whilst I do agree that there is an inevitability - at some time even centuries away - of catastrophic damage to the West Coast of America and that tsunamis are likely in many other places I feel unable to agree with you over global warrming which does seem to me to be something it is possible to do something about. The earthquake related disasters could happen over millenia (or next week) whereas the global warrming will happen over centuries.

      Delete
    2. Natural disasters are what you referred to in your final sentence. These will happen. East Coast America for the tsunami I referred to, not West Coast.

      Delete
    3. Apologies, Rachel, I meant the West Coast (Seriously - I'm completely dyslexic when it comes to left and right and east and west - not, oddly, north and south or port and starboard).

      Delete
  6. I agree entirely with your comment about climate change, GB. It seems ridiculous to me that humans can devote resources to armaments and walls and ignore the issues on which the money should be spent - poverty, environment, recycling, litter (especially plastic)... Sadly the list is endless. As for earthquakes and the like they may not be preventable but in some countries the building regulations (or lack thereof) exacerbate the issues. So that's another one for some politicians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, CJ. Certainly places like Haiti where many several hundred thousand lost their lives in a the earthquake in 2010(?) do not have economies that could support earthquake proof buildings but it took the Christchurch Earthquake to galvanise NZ politicians into earthquake-proofing buildings inWellington where earthquakes are constant and a 'big' one a constant threat and worry.

      Delete
  7. Excellent to relate the natural disasters to climate change.People have no idea what could happen and believe that if it didn't happen before it won't happen now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly think, Red, that many don't want to share the scientists view of global warming.

      Delete
  8. I remember being very shocked about the Christchurch quake. An old girlfriend of mine was killed in the L'Aquila quake in Italy in 2009. As you say, lucky us who live in quake-free zones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Cro, the 'quakes in Italy are much closer to home.

      Delete
  9. Earthquakes must be terrifying to experience. I remember when I was a little girl seeing the movie "Green Dolphin Street" ....a story based mainly in New Zealand. It included a destructive earthquake and tidal wave, and the images stayed with me for years...as did the fear of earthquakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh, Lee, that film goes back a bit! I'm lucky enough never to have experience a really big one but I realised later that even the moderate ones leave one very 'cold' afterwards.

      Delete
  10. I remember reading/hearing/seeing videos etc about it at the time but I wouldn't have been able to say now which year it was. (I think I would have guessed it was more recently than eight years ago!) But the closer we are when disaster like that strikes (or know people involved) the more we probably take it to heart, even long afterwards ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, Monica, it feels like a lot longer ago. Indeed my whole decade in New Zealand feels long ago. You are, of course, absolutely right about taking to heart things like earthquakes we are affected by personally.

      Delete
  11. I remember it well sadly, ever sadder that people are still trying to rebuild their lives.

    ReplyDelete