On the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, three survivors share their powerful stories and why they now live every day as if it was their last.
Journalist Tim Cronshaw:
Newstalk ZB journalist Tim Cronshaw still vividly remembers the moment his world changed 10 years ago when he was buried alive in rubble during the Christchurch earthquake.
Cronshaw was a journalist at The Press at the time and had been tucking into a cheese sandwich in the fourth floor cafeteria while speaking with a cafeteria worker, Lynne, when the floors started rippling.
"All of the sudden that roller coaster ride and it was like a freight train had just come through and you could hear the floors rippling."
Lynne grabbed onto his belt, and together the two of them stumbled towards the stairwell.
"... I remember thinking we would have died there, we would have died there, we would have died there. "
They then clung to the 300-400mm cast iron pole when it suddenly snapped and the concrete above them came tumbling down.
Cronshaw dived forward, narrowly avoiding a large concrete beam, separating from Lynne.
"I was in a coffin-sized area, I could see a little bit of light. Blood was trickling down my face. I managed to get my glasses and put them on."
He then yelled out to Lynne and could hear her groaning and pushed himself under the beam to where she was, with a massive big concrete slab on top of her legs.
Cronshaw kept his promise and stayed with Lynne for hours before they were rescued, but with every aftershock he wanted to get out and also worried about his family.
"I nearly shed tears when I found my family was safe ... I thought if I go now at least I know my family is alright."
Cronshaw bumped into Lynne once after the quake where he learnt that she planned to move away from Christchurch as she couldn't handle it.
He stayed in Christchurch with his family but they now lived every day at a time.
While others struggled with the city's aftershocks, Cronshaw said for him it was the memories of being trapped.
"For me it was the memory of just being ... buried alive in sort of rubble. That was the horrible thing for me to do and process it."
Kendyll Lamont, was in the waiting room at Relationship Services in the CTV building:
Kendyll Lamont was on the top floor of the CTV building with her baby Dita and nearly-4-year-old son Jett when the quake hit.
Lamont remembers thinking she was going to die as the ceiling and walls fell away and she and her two kids were suctioned down.
She was knocked out and when she came to she realised she and her two children were trapped in a metre by metre cubby hole covered by rubble.
"I remember calling for help ... seen the smoke, smelt the smoke but literally couldn't get out but knew we were trapped."
It was then where their rescuer Dylan appeared and pulled them out and they were taken to Latimer Square - minutes before they would have perished in the fire.
Lamont said the family moved to Timaru to get away from the aftershocks as she did not think she or her son would have been able to recover mentally.
The experience had taught her to look at life in a really positive angle, because anything could happen at any minute, and life could always be worse.
She said they didn't speak about the earthquake that often, and had compartmentalised her life as before and after the earthquake.
CTV receptionist Maryanne Jackson:
Maryanne Jackson had just returned downstairs to her desk at reception when the CTV building she worked in started shaking.
"I got the fright of my life, I was in shock."
The glass windows were bending in and the staircase she had just walked down was moving in and out of the wall.
"The noise was horrific on the roof and that's what made me get out ... I thought it was the end of the world."
She rushed out of the building and when she turned around she saw the whole building had collapsed.
Jackson was the only one of the 17 CTV staff inside the building who survived.
"It breaks my heart that a lot of them with young children didn't make it out. They had so much to live for, and beautiful people."