Elms Homestead survivor speaks about tragic death of husband

The daughter-in-law of the 100-year-old woman rescued from the rubble of an historic homestead, while her husband tragically did not make it, has spoken about the tragedy.

Pam Edgar was lying in bed with her husband Louis at the historic Elms Homestead in Kaikoura, when the 7.8 magnitude quake hit at 12.02am.

"The room started to shake," Pam told Sunday from Kaikoura Hospital where she has been since the quake.

"You could hear the rumble it was quite frightening I thought I was going to die."

Pam told Sunday she jumped out of bed straight away and ran to the next room to help her mother-in-law who lives with the couple.

"I said to my husband get out but he doesn't move all that quickly and I got into the next room before I was thrown to the floor and trapped there it was just rolling and shaking and rumbling...and everything falling around me.

"The ceiling and everything from up above had just fallen into our bedroom and my husband was underneath."

Pam knew straight away that her husband had died.

She told Sunday she called out to him but he did not answer.

Once the shaking stopped Pam climbed over a wall, that had been partly destroyed by the quake, to get out of the homestead.

"I knew I wouldn't be able to get into my mother-in-law who was through another door so I ran down to my daughter's place and they had already evacuated and gone," Pam said on Sunday.

A neighbour came to Pam's aid and took her to his house before driving into town to alert firefighters that the home had been destroyed and there were still two people inside.

What the firefighters discovered when they got to the scene was a miracle.

"They said they could hear a lady calling out," Pam said on the programme.

It was Margaret Edgar, Pam's 100-year-old mother-in-law.

Margaret was rescued from the flattened property where she had lived since 1952.

Pam told Sunday Margaret is fine but not really aware of the significance of the incident.

"It's a miracle," Pam said.

Well-known locals Pam and Louis have been married for 50 years.

"We had a good life and he was a good husband and a wonderful father," Pam told Sunday.

She said on the programme that losing their house is nothing compared to losing a family member.

Rescuers spent hours searching for the three residents on Monday morning.
The women have "lost everything," said a relative.

Relatives were desperately trying to get into Kaikoura after the quake, which has been cut off by large slips blocking the only access roads.

- NZ Herald

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