Christchurch earthquake: 'We escaped worst but expect a slump'

By Kelly Gregor

People are filling bottles for drinking water. Photo / Greg Bowker
People are filling bottles for drinking water. Photo / Greg Bowker

Richard O'Brien isn't going to let the Christchurch earthquake stop him from running his online advertising business - he was back at work yesterday and staff are expected to return on Monday.

O'Brien said his office in Middleton, and his home in Cashmere, suffered minimal damage compared with other homes but were still without running water.

"It may be a while between showers. We've been filling 2-litre bottles for drinking water."

O'Brien was backing up on to the road from a carpark when the earthquake hit.

"I thought someone had hit me. The car was really rocking. Then I saw all these people run into the streets and I saw powerlines all over the place. I'm very fortunate my family and friends are fine. There are houses with big holes in the roofs, garage ceilings have collapsed, tiles and bricks have fallen. Some of the roads have big potholes in them, water is pushing up."

O'Brien's business, NZ Biz Buy Sale, is an online advertising company that lists businesses around the country that are for sale.

He said his business was mainly focused on areas outside Christchurch and therefore not too badly affected by the first earthquake on September 4, but he expected there would be a slight slump this time around.

"The mood is very subdued. There aren't a lot of people around, except for people in red overalls [Red Cross]. We're feeling remote, isolated from the central city. But they will slowly open it up."

O'Brien's office is in an industrial area outside of central Christchurch that he says was not too badly damaged by the earthquake.

"Location wise it's better, we [the buildings] aren't as high or as old as some in the city - they had the worst of it."

- NZ Herald

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