It’s been a tough few days in the south island of New Zealand. Christchurch was struck by a 7.1 earthquake in the early hours of Saturday morning. That’s nearly as big as the quake that flattened most of Haiti last year. Even though Christchurch is a first-world city, with first-world building standards and infrastructure, the city has taken a beating. Nobody died, mostly because of the timing I think. The centre of town where most of the damage occurred was pretty empty at 4:35am.
I was woken up by the shaking here in Dunedin, 400 odd kilometres away. Earthquakes are fairly common in New Zealand, so I just went back to sleep. It wasn’t until I read the news online the next morning that I had any idea just how bad it was in Christchurch.
On Saturday afternoon, nine people died when a sky diving plane crashed onto Fox Glacier, which is on the west coast of the south island. It’s the worst air accident in New Zealand for about 10 years.
And on Sunday evening gale (and even some hurricane) strength winds hit the lower half of the south island, knocking down trees and causing power and water outages.