Is it getting closer?

4 03 2011

After last week’s tragic event in Christchurch, everyone seems on heightened alert. No matter where you are in the country.

It was always expected that Wellington would receive The Big One, not Christchurch. So imagine the panic when the capital finally fell a tremor of its own. It was just after 10pm on Tuesday 1s March. One week after the Christchurch quake.

We didn’t feel a thing. We were in the car returning home from a lovely dinner out with our visiting friends. The first we knew about it was when we had to knock on our landlord’s door because our garage door had broken (again) and he asked if we’d felt it.

I’m not sure if we were relieved or disappointed. It was 4.7 and only 20kms up the coast. Thankfully it was deep though – which, as we’re all quickly learning, is important.

Then last night, the city was woken at 2.19am by a 4.5 quake. A bit further away this time. Again, didn’t feel a thing!

We’re probably lucky not to have experienced these rattlers. Who knows what our nerves would be like if we had. Coming from a country (or two) where earthquakes are really completely unknown, we seem to have taken this last week in our stride, compared to many NZers who have felt the pain of Christchurch themselves. We’ve been here less than six months. I can only think that our emotional attachment has not yet deepened enough to attach us to the country like so many of our fellow countrymen.

Don’t get me wrong, we care. A lot. We’re extremely saddened by what happened. I wish I could do more on a practical level to help out my stricken NZ family, but I feel quite powerless. I also feel a strong need for the rest of the country to carry on as normal (or as normal as it can be) to keep NZ going. The rest of us need to work at ensuring that NZ as a whole can pull through and avoid the tragedy defining us as a nation by plunging our economy through the floor. If that happens, the resurrection of Christchurch – because it will be reborn – will be a long, hard and painful process.

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