Sunday, March 24, 2013

Delivering Katrina to University - Day 5

Our final day in Christchurch had arrived. It was time to farewell Katrina but before we left, Callums Step dad took us on a tour of such, to the suburbs of Christchurch still living daily with the effects of the earthquakes.

This house has fallen forward into the ground
First we had a look around other homes in Kaipoi.
Many of the homes around where Callum and his mum live have either been demolished or are still in the process of it. The whole community out at Pines Beach will have to be demolished and the camp site moved further up the hill.

We drove passed whole suburbs of houses that looked fine but would have to be completely demolished as the houses and/or sections were unsafe now. Some of these homes were near new and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The thought of whole suburbs; people that have built connections with one another as neighbours, in community centres, schools, churches etc now having to spread apart is unnerving to say the least. If we move from a place, we can come back and still expect to find things about the same as what it was when we left, but this was not going to be an option for these communities.

We then went around to Sumner where the cliff tops had tumbled away. All along the bottom of the cliff there were now rows upon rows of containers to help hold them up and to stop anymore falls onto passing traffic.

The cliff face fallen in the earthquake
Tiles missing from roof's

 It was also here we could see homes that had been shown to us on tv in the news etc.
The middle house fallen forward

Homes, where all their roof tiles had fallen down like a Lego home.

Parts of the house exposed

Homes still perched on the side of cliffs.

Half the house gone...

Houses with half of them missing as the other half had fallen down the cliffs.

Homes, where we could see inside because of the brokenness – people’s privacy exposed to the world.
...leaving it open for the world to see
More cliffs fallen. Top left house...
...has its' corner tiles missing

It was like seeing a ghost town in its making.

uneven road...everywhere

We could have gone on to see the streets of homes that still use porta-loos and have roads still not sealed properly. Those that still have one or two people still living in an otherwise empty street because they don’t want to leave or have nowhere to go.

But by this stage once again we felt a sickening for the people and needed to turn away from their plight, not because we wanted to ignore them, but because we hurt too much and did not know how to help them.

But we will constantly remind the rest of New Zealand what still happens in Christchurch.

And in time we had to say our goodbyes to Katrina, leaving her in the care of Callum and his family.

We drove home up the east coast making sure we could get to the ferry in Picton before it got dark as there were issues with the rear lights on the Wizard.

I managed a snap one of the may rail tunnels that run beside the road all the way up one stretch of highway. It’s quite interesting and it brought memories back of when I had travelled that way with my parents many, many years ago.

With plenty of time at the terminal we had a cuppa, before boarding the 10.25pm sailing of the Arahura Interislander.

Arriving in Wellington at 1.35am Friday morning, after a bit of a snooze in the ships lounge (well I did while Harry watched the cricket on a wide screen TV) we drove to my brothers for the welcomed sleep in a comfy bed.

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