Editorial: Spare a thought for quake victims

By Abigail Hartevelt

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On Friday, it will be two years since Christchurch's devastating earthquake which killed 185 people. It's hard to believe that two years have gone by and there are still so many people struggling.

We had a friend from Christchurch staying with us last week. He is quite a strong character, but you could tell how affected he had been by the earthquakes and some of the devastation he had seen.

He was actually in the Bay on the day of the September 2010 earthquake and his wife called him from Christchurch early that morning. It took him a while to comprehend how big that quake was, and then came February 22, 2011. On that day he was on a main street in Christchurch and had to dive under a parked car to escape falling building debris. Others in the area were not so lucky and at the time he spoke of a man next to him being in a bad way. He described the central city as being like a bomb site.

I've known this guy for quite a few years and he is the type of person that generally bounces back pretty quickly from most things. But while he was here last week, it was obvious the earthquakes still took a large amount of his head space.

He talked about how difficult it was driving around parts of the city and how it would be that way for some time.

He spoke of the damage done to his home and how he had started looking at possibly moving from Christchurch, worried there may be another big one.

He and his wife were among the lucky ones who have managed to get the insurance and the $75,000 worth of repairs done, but that doesn't diminish their feelings of fear and uncertainty.

As he put it, people may have seen what has happened in Christchurch on television but no one really has a clue about what Cantabrians are going through until they see it first-hand.

As we head towards the second anniversary on Friday, let's make a point of remembering the huge losses felt in Christchurch and even make a point of contacting friends and family down there to let them know we are thinking of them.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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