Friday, February 25, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Disaster

It is in horror that I watched the television the last couple of days.  Right after Rick and Travis left, and only hours after we booked our tickets for Christchurch next week, the news report of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch interrupted Katie's show. At 6.3, it is not the strongest earthquake they have had, but due to the proximity to the downtown of the city of the epicenter, as well as the shallow nature of the fracture, the destruction has been massive.  And many lives have been lost.

Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Christchurch. We hope that our friends are safe, and that their friends are safe as well.  Many people have been trapped in buildings, crushed by walls and rocks and glass, it is truly horrifying.  Especially heartbreaking are the stories of those trapped, lost in the piles of rubble, able to phone or text to family and loved ones, but unable to be found before it was too late.  Australia has rushed to their aid, as have rescue workers from many parts of the world.   There is no running water, no power, most of the downtown has been cordoned off, and the airport has been closed.  The aftershocks continue, measuring up to 5 and adding to the difficulty of the rescues, and schools are closed.  They are expecting over 200 lives lost, and many, many more injured.  It is beyond sad.  And this type of disaster will take a long recovery.  The Red Cross is trying to set up temporary housing and food and water, sanitation.  This is not a place for tourists.  I think our trip to New Zealand is off.

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