Sunday, September 5, 2010


I woke up very suddenly yesterday morning at 4.35. The house was shaking and rattling enough that I got up out of bed to stand under a doorway, but nothing fell over or was damaged.

Usually when we have earthquakes in Dunedin the epicentres are over on the other side of the island where the big fault line runs under the Southern Alps, or out to sea somewhere. Imagine my surprise, when my radio went on a 6.30, to find that this one was close to Christchurch (400km away), was very shallow, and had done an awful lot of damage.

Luckily no-one has been killed, and there are only a couple of serious injuries. I hate to think what the toll would have been if the earthquake had happened during daytime on a weekday. As it is, they had no electricity yesterday, people are doing without running water at least until tomorrow, and it will be days, if not weeks, until the sewerage systems are fixed.

I keep bottles of water in my "beer fridge" for emergencies (and for my soda stream), and I have gas burners, candles and a stock of tinned, bottled, and dry foods, but I rely far too much on mains electricity. I have no battery radio, and I had never even considered what I'd do in the event of a failure of the sewerage system. In Christchurch, people are digging "long-drops" in their back yards.

I'm off to get a chemical toilet and a battery radio ASAP! We are overdue a "big one", and when it comes (hopefully not in my lifetime) it will be far worse than what Christchurch suffered yesterday.


  1. So glad to hear that you are well. I thought of you immediately when I saw the new yesterday on the internet. I thought that you were near enough to the quake although I am very poor at geography. Glad to see that people are safe. Having survived over three months with our power following hurricane with a newborn and two toddlers I know what you are going through. Every day will seem a little more real and you will have a better plan. You are in my prayers.

  2. I am so glad that you have posted today and you are well. I immediately worried about you when I heard about the earthquake. Having managed three months without power after Hurricane Andrew I know it takes a little creative thinking but you can do it. Happy to see that the building standards are stringent in New Zealand and that their does not seem to be any loss of life. You are in my prayers.

  3. Good to hear from you! Glad to know you are OK!

    do post pic of chemical toilet! LOL!

  4. Hi! how are you? any further damage by the 2nd round? Take care, do post to let us know u are well.

  5. All is good Emily, I've got a couple of posts to do, but I've been busy knitting! Have done four jerseys for me, one for the big granddaughter, and am now doing one for the small granddaughter.

    They are still having aftershocks in Christchurch but have moved into clean-up mode.

  6. Hi Bronwyn,

    Good to know all's well with you. You are getting ready for winter?

    Mmm, I am going to crochet something warm for my sis then, she is in Wellington if my memory serves me right!

  7. We're coming up to summer. I've been knitting things because I just felt like knitting them. Mostly I detest knitting, but every now and then I get all enthusiastic.

  8. Oh! Ok! then I shall keep it for myself and do one for her later!!! :P