Earthquake Stories from the South Learning Centre Friday Computer Class

Five members of the Friday computer class for adults at Christchurch City Libraries' South Learning Centre write about their experiences in the September 2010 & February 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

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Lunch at Raspberry Café. Jammed in at our tables when the earthquake struck - "they called it an aftershock!!". Unable to get under the table, but boy, did things rock and roll. As an elder group of women, we all wanted to get to our homes, but as the restaurant had taken our orders, the staff insisted on cooking our meals, as they had gas cooking facilities - not good.
When finally dropped off at my home, it was an eerie experience, nobody in my right-of-way was at home, and I couldn't gain access to my home. Doors all jammed shut. Quakes continued, and it was a terrible feeling. A neighbour arrived and broke my laundry window, retrieved the key from the lock, and let me in. We scrambled over breakages, but felt it was too dangerous to stay inside.
Went out in to the garden and was promptly sick, then had to laugh, as beside me was a row of potatoes that had literally "dug itself". The potatoes were now on the top of the soil. I actually took time to cover them over to preserve them - the crazy things we do at the time.

.Brian's Earthquake experience
The ‘quake on 22 February caught me getting the car out of the garage, at least trying to close the rear door after putting my bags and boots inside!
The car tried to stay still, but the garage was performing an exotic, excited dance, of South American origin.
I was immediately certain that the car was the culprit and was about to run me down, so I stepped aside, into the garage and had a real earthmoving experience, greater than any that I had ever experienced before!
I staggered back to the house where Jean, my wife, was frozen to the spot, surrounded by the contents from cupboards on the kitchen floor. Wasn't I lucky?
On tidying up and checking the damaged crockery we estimated our total loss amounted to about $300. (Some of the broken crockery was wedding presents about 50 years old.) It is upsetting because no amount of money will replace the emotional capital invested by family and friends! So no claim to EQC was made.   Brian

Jo's story
I was very lucky too have missed the September quake. But not so lucky in February. I had just finished lunch and was having a quiet time I could not understand what was happening the house shook but we were very lucky only one item a ceramic bowl was chipped
I was terrified and went out and stood in the middle of the lawn then went into shock it took some time to get over it I am still very frightened whenever we have an after shock and have not coped very well I don't sleep very well for fear of another quake. Jo

The Earthquake and my "JEANS" No 2
I am a "JEANS" needy person and last year I made an earth moving decision to replace my two year old "JEANS." After endless searching I found the exact pair I liked and took them to my daughters who had offered her friend's expertise to take them up to where I had measured them to. However, where she left them was beside some discarded clothes to be put in the VDP bin. Yes you guessed it my precious "JEANS" went to the home of the discarded clothes.
One year later not to be put off by my previous experience I courageously searched and purchased another pair of "JEANS" but this time I was not going to be caught by first experience I agreed to have them altered by the shop (BALLANTYNES). They would be due for collection on Tuesday the 22nd February 2011.
The day arrives and I was excited beyond belief. Dressed and ready to go to pick up the perfect "JEANS". My husband suggested we have lunch before we went. I was less than happy because I thought the least he could do would be to take me to lunch in town. However being the compliant person !! that I am I served him lunch and was about to the first bite of mine when crash bang cupboard flung open crystal bowls, dinner sets, wine, jam and everything came flying and landed in an unholy broken mess on the floor.
But what about my "JEANS" they are where who knows.
The big question that continues to bug me, "Do I try to buy "JEANS " No 3." Or am I doomed.
My husband of course turned out to be the hero because he prevented us from being in the Red Zone in the 6.3 earthquake occurred. Liz

Earthquake 22nd February I was sitting down having my dinner when it struck; everything was falling out of cupboards and shelves. I was shocked and I went out to the gate and I saw all the liquefaction coming up out of the ground.
I packed up and went away for a week and came home a later and sorted it out.    Shirley


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Earthquake Stories from the South Learning Centre Friday Computer Class by SueC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License