February 22, 2011 was Christchurch's darkest hour.
But that was a natural disaster, unyielding, indiscriminate Mother Nature - it can't compare with the sheer depravity, hate, and evil shown by the murderers involved in today's mass mosque shootings.
Bloodied bodies dying on the ground. Killer gunmen on the loose, getaway cars wired with IEDs. Chaos in all directions. A city paralysed by shock, New Zealand's 9/11.
Lockdown. Rush hour and the country's second largest city a ghost town. Empty scared faces peering from office block windows. Shaking heads, how to make sense of it all. Sirens and lights flashing in all directions, cars of heavily-armed police storming seemingly every street.
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Confused reports. Nine gunmen. Ten. Nine confirmed dead. Maybe dozens.
"Why us? Why here?" one woman screamed outside Linwood mosque, police yelling at young hood rats to step off and stop filming on their phones.
Cops with guns helping unload strapped and bandages patients at A&E just over the green fields from Al Noor Mosque - Hagley Park the jewel in the Garden City crown, now a terrorised killing field where people ran for their lives. Huddles of tears and hugs and fear. Phones to ears: "I'm ok I'm ok, where are you?"
Minor traffic accidents, abandoned Lime scooters. The nearest pub pretty full, gates just half closed. The TVs rolling the news, eyes glued, conversation subdued, again like 9/11.
Reports of a bomb in a white van, over in Strickland St. Police tape off more cordons, several streets deep, residents still want to go home, before the bang. "Can I just grab my dog. He'll destroy my furniture again."
All on a grey, cool day where there was no wind - an unusual thing for Canterbury. But evil blew into town alright, scattering more ghosts in a city already full of them.
And as one mate said, "We were just getting over the quakes. We'll never get over this."