I am a Wellingtonian, although not currently living in my home city, my Eldest Daughter does. The city – and much of the North Island have been rocked by quakes this afternoon. There were 29 in the space of 75 minutes, six of them classed as ‘severe’.
From the moment I found out about this substantial event I have been light headed and slightly woozy. This is an unusual reaction for me, but it is the way I once reacted to the most severe quake I was ever in when I saw the concrete floor beneath my feet crack open and, in the shock, lost about an hour of time….. I was sixteen then, and though much time has passed by, the fear remains.
A children’s verse that I am very familiar with begins with the words ‘The earth is firm beneath my feet,’ When the earth beneath our feet becomes unstable I think we lose our most primal sense of security. When all else fails us, we know the earth will still uphold us.
In the last two years we have had the tragedy of the Christchurch ‘quakes, when a beautiful city, [another place I once lived] was brought to its knees. That city is built mostly on a large flat plain. Wellington is a harbour city, surrounded by hills. there is only one main arterial route in and out and right now the city is in chaos – not because buildings have fallen, but because, due to the number and severity of the quakes, the public transport system has been closed down. For all we know my daughter’s partner may well be trapped on a road, in a traffic jam, beneath a hill or beside the ocean [or both] inching forward as the exodus of the city takes place.
I have just checked Geonet again and there have been another 30 quakes in the past hour and fifteen minutes – including a cluster of seven strong quakes with one ‘severe’ in the middle of them. They began sometime after 2pm today and now as I write this it is 6pm, Friday 16th August, and my child and many of my friends are in danger.
The concern is that the continuous shaking weakens structures to the point that a light or mild shake will bring buildings and hillsides tumbling down. I have never known so many, so close and so strong in my life time.
The Earth is changing, she is vulnerable and there are people who still want to continue raping her. I have a bee in my bonnet about fracking – there are people here who are hell bent on continuing this practise despite the fact that there is proof it contributes to earth quakes. In a country built on a fault line why in God’s name is it even considered? I don’t understand the mentality that places instant wealth for a few ahead of the lives of millions of people and the life of our planet.
I am just venting and writing and praying that my family and friends are kept safe while the earth convulses. That’s all.