28 February 2011

Earthquake Update

I have more fun blogs to post, but I just feel weird doing it with all of the devastation in Christchurch.

An update for those of you not following the stories (found on NZ 3news website): Currently, 50 people are still missing, and 148 bodies have been identified.  Rescue efforts are still ongoing as the recent quake in Haiti showed success rescuing a girl who had survived 15 days under rubble.  About 65 per cent of the city had at least some water yesterday, and power has been restored to about 85 per cent of customers. An estimated 10,000 homes have become uninhabitable as a result of both earthquakes, and anybody with a job in the inner city is dependent on employers being able to set up shop in another part of Christchurch. Today the nation will stop at 12.51pm to observe two minutes' silence as a sign of unity for the people of Christchurch and out of respect for those who lost their lives (Source: Stuff.co.nz).

Pictures of the inside of Christchurch Cathedral have recently been released.  It took 40 years to build this magnificant church, and less than a minute for it to be destroyed by the earthquake.  Officials fear that as many as 40 people could still be trapped inside the rubble.
Watch the full video from which I snagged this image here.

It makes me sick to think that I went to the last Christmas Mass that they'll ever have in that church.  It was an amazing experience, one for which I am very thankful.  I was seated next to a local woman, and during a break after the carols and before the mass, she and I chatted a bit.  We talked about the earthquake that had happened in September as I didn't know much about it.  She said that the church had suffered some damage like much of the city, but nothing too extensive and they had all begun to rebuild.  I commented that the leader of the carols service was fantastic - he was funny, relate-able, and had a fantastic energy about him.  His name was Peter Beck, the Dean of Christchurch Cathedral.  This woman went on to tell me how he had really served as a pillar of strength and inspiration for the congregation during the weeks of uncertainty following the initial quake.  I'm happy to report that Peter was not injured in the quake, and I just hope he can once again serve as a pillar for his community during this unbelievably difficult time.

I've just read that they vow to rebuild the church as it's iconic to the lifeblood of the city.  I hope to one day be able to return to Christchurch to see it built anew, but it's hard to even imagine at this point.  Who knows, maybe I'll head down there sooner than later and help with the clean up.  I do have construction experience!

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