Ten years ago on Monday Christchurch was rocked by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, killing185 people and severely damaged much of the city's buildings infrastructure.
Logan Tutty and Mike Tweed ask Whanganui locals to reflect on their involvement in the aftermath of one of New Zealand biggest disasters.
Whitney Cox says it was a normal Tuesday until everything changed in a split second.
The Whanganui resident was living in Christchurch when the earthquake hit and said her memories of that day are still vivid.
"I was on my lunch break at work, so i was just walking on the street," Cox said.
"It felt very different to other earthquakes, almost like going side to side, and it went on for what felt like forever.
"Across the street was six or seven-storey glass building and all the windows on it were just popping out and shattering on the footpath. I was really lucky to be on the side of the street that I was on."
Cox said all she could do was to "try and stay upright".
"There were cars stopped at a red light next to me and I remember a woman getting out, looking at me, and saying 'what do we do?'.
"It was very clear that we had just been through something pretty big. Everything was different.
"I was so lucky that I didn't lose anybody. A lot of people did, and it's incredibly sad. it was just a normal Tuesday and in a split second everything changed.
"To me, the real lesson of it was that you have to let go of the idea that you have control over everything that's happening in your life."
Meanwhile several Whanganui people were dispatched to help out with the relief effort.
'The air was just silent'
Trudy Taylor was part of the Whanganui Disaster, Welfare and Support team sent down two weeks after the earthquake to help co-ordinate teams and agencies for the New Zealand Red Cross.
Taylor said they did all sorts for the locals, from delivering food and water to those who needed it, dropping people to appointments, picking up prescriptions and just lending a hand where ever they can.
She said initially they were quite excited and pleased to be able to help, but that feeling changed quickly as they were flying into the city.
"On the trip down there, you then realise there were people in the plane that were from Christchurch. From the air you could see the devastation and you look around the plane and it was deathly silent with lots of people crying," Taylor said.
"It was then that it really struck you. You are going into a disaster zone. The air was just silent. As went in, the devastation, you had never seen anything like it."
Taylor said she was only there for four days but worked around the clock.
"The teams in the field were so exhausted, but it was so gratifying to help people and feel like you are making a real difference."
She said the continual aftershocks caused fear in the community.
"Even the slightest tremor, you could see the absolute terror on their face," Taylor said.
"They didn't know whether to go under the doorway or move away from the buildings all together because they were scared the buildings would collapse on them."
A member of Red Cross for more than 20 years, Taylor said it was one of the most memorable times of her life.
"That Christchurch one had the biggest impact on me. It just reiterated why I volunteer for Red Cross because it really stood out that you can make a difference. It was massive."
She visited the city again some four years later, taking a tour through the broken city she had helped get back to its feet.
"Man, that bought back a lot of emotions. There was alot of different people on the bus, there was those chatting away and then there were the four of us that had been there and we were just silent. That really hit home for us."
She said the Christchurch earthquake was a "real game-changer" for the Red Cross, allowing them to work on community preparedness as well as the response and recovery phases of a disaster.
"It was quite a eye-opener, it was the first big disaster in New Zealand for a very big time.
"Red Cross today is what it is today because of Christchurch. We have 22 response teams throughout New Zealand because of Christchurch. We have a lot more ability to do a lot more things. We have had other disasters since and we keep growing and diversifying into what we need to for the community."
'You never forget something like that'
Whanganui's Bryce Coneybeer was the head of the New Zealand Fire Service Urban Search and Rescue Team that was dispatched to Christchurch soon after the earthquake.
"We actually had our whole team doing some training in Palmerston North on that day," Coneybeer said.
"One of my colleagues from Christchurch called me and said that the **** had hit the fan down there, and he needed help."
Coneybeer said there was a long delay at Ohakea airbase before his team were able to fly south, something he found "very frustrating".
"There were continued calls from Christchurch asking where we were, and were just waiting and waiting."
His team set up a base in Latimer Square after they had arrived in Christchurch, Coneybeer said.
"The scope of the damage was pretty obvious before we even got there.
"You couldn't just drive into town like normal, because there were bridges that had been damaged and roads that were broken in half. It was pretty chaotic.
"When we did get there the first thing we had to was make an assessment and figure out the best places to send our resources. A soon as we did, everybody was busy.
"You never forget something like that, and it will be the biggest job that anyone who went there from here will have in their career.
Coneybeer said he remained in Christchurch for a month, before leaving for Japan to help with tsunami rescue efforts.
"Something like this will happen again, and we need to be prepared for it.
"I think there's certainly a greater level of awareness of what could happen, and what you can do to keep yourself safer than if you did nothing.
"People need to know what to do if things start to shake, and to be able to provide for yourself afterwards, because you can't guarantee anyone is going to be able to help you immediately."
'Gradually, as the city stood up'
Chester Borrows, who was Whanganui MP at the time, said he was in select committee meeting at the time talking about rules around campaigning.
"We knew that it was huge and not just another little shake like the one during the September prior," Borrows said.
"After that, the caucus met to talk about the magnitude. Not so much as the earthquake physically, but what it was going to mean in terms of the economy."
He said the National Government at the time was finally digging out of the 2008 financial crisis and felt as though they had turn a corner.
"All of a sudden, we knew it was going to cost tens of billions of dollars to get things up and going again."
All the costs related to the earthquake is estimated to have cost the Government around $40b.
"It became the major focus of the Government for quite a long time because you realise you didn't have the labour force to do all the work you needed to do and didn't have the skillset."
On a personal level, Borrows' daughter was working at one of the buildings that was badly destroyed and had just left for lunch a couple of minutes before the earthquake.
"We felt relief she wasn't caught in that."
He applauded the resilience of the Cantabrians throughout the response and recovery post-earthquake.
"Gradually, as the city stood up, you saw radical changes. Different styles of buildings, architecture, bigger green spaces and some significant attractions.
"When you go down there now, you struggle to see any significant indications of the earthquake.