Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Earthquakes

Apparently there was an earthquake just off the north coast of South Island yesterday registering 4.8 on the Richter Scale which was felt in Wellington and in fact there have been about seven of them in the last 24 hours if you count the aftershocks. Can't say as I noticed but Fran did as the flowers on her coffee table went in for a burst of synchronised waving without any wind to assist. There's a website (isn't there always?) where you can look these things up - http://www.geonet.org.nz/recent_quakes.html

It was a rather salient reminder to get a bit more organised sooner rather than later. In fact Fran and I sat after tea and swapped emergency contact information, something we had realised we needed to do when at Wanganui and discussing funerals! Whilst I do have family over here none of my friends here know any of them yet and 'Emma in Taita' really isn't going to help anyone looking her up in the phone book (needless to say we've all got different surnames...) and Carole & Brian seem to keep moving every 6 months anyway. Various committees in the Meeting are going to be looking at this as many of us live thousands of miles from our next of kin and no-one locally would know where to start to find them.

Marion and I have been discussing earthquake provision etc over the last few days - basically we are supposed to be able to fend for ourselves for at least 3 days in terms of food and water, and possibly for up to 2 weeks. The earthquake kit in here has tins of spam, meatballs and macaroni cheese - I'm a dairy intollerant vegetarian! We're going shopping... meanwhile I've padded out my own kitchen cupboards with a few extras. It's all very strange trying to get my head around such things but it is important. After all, the damage in New Orleans was as bad as it was because maintenance had been slack on the levvies - as they hadn't burst in 300 years no-one thought they would and people weren't prepared. Apparently the local civic defence point is the school at the bottom of the road and a quick sprint (ahem, more like breathless scramble) up Elizabeth Street onto Mount Victoria would put me clear of the worst that can hit the city, so relatively speaking I'm 'safe' here.

Abi who was at both the Triennial and WGYF lives near(ish) Jakata and whilst he escaped the effects of the Tsunami his house was badly damaged by the earthquake at Easter. Fortunately he and his family were all ok. But it brings it home, these things don't just happen on the news, they are real people whose lives are affected and with the string of natural disasters we've witnessed over the last few months I'm not taking my chances. Wellington is due a big earthquake at any point in the next 50 years or so - I guess it's like taking your brolly with you so it doesn't rain!

1 comment:

Peter Mayes said...

Should have known that Wellington would have a few earthquakes... The "Sink F69" site http://www.divewreck.co.nz/F69 says Wellington is the most "vibrant" city in New Zealand. :-)