Christchurch Earthquake - 10 Years Ago

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Submitted by Mr_Lineberry on Fri, 2020-09-04 02:02

It has been 10 years since the Christchurch earthquake hit, the first one, and the time has certaintly gone quickly.

I had arrived in Chch the day before (!) having flown in from Sydneytown where I'd been helping out on Tony Abbott's election campaign a couple of week's earlier.

First time I had been back in Christchurch since departing in Jan '99; great timing Eli! haha!

The thing which was chilling is I had been at the Menfriends gay sauna rooting a couple of boys I'd met on the flight over, until about 1:45am.
Then wandered down Manchester street to Worcester, then into the Square and my hotel.

I avoided death - (Manchester street between Armagh and St Asaph was completely anniliated) - by an hour at most! eeekkkkk!

You may recall Simon Dallow conducting his live broadcasts for Channel One News on Manchester street, outside what had been a jewellers? remember that? Let me tell you it didn't do justice to what had occurred in that part of town.

Try to visualize, say, Featherston st in Wellington, or Wellesley st in Auckland being leveled; gone; entirely turned to rubble, and you get the general idea.

Did make me feel fortunate.

Anyone got memories of the quakes?


Here

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is Manchester Street I told you all about.

You are really going to have to use your imagination to visualize what it was like pre-crash hahahaha!!

I am at the Armagh St corner, looking south towards Glocester, Worcester, Hereford, Cashel etc; used to be full of buildings and shops and all sorts of things. Didn't survive the initial impact. Completely destroyed in 30 seconds.
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The

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old Price Waterhouse building - massive place - 20 stories (or more?) in Armagh street. Now a ruin.
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Armagh Street

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really took a massive beating. Annihilated.
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Armagh Street

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This is the site of the office where I worked when I first arrived in Christchurch as a naive, unworldly - (did you know I'd only had sex with about 150 guys back then?!?) - young fellow of 18. Now it's completely gone.
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The

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new public library building - much nicer than the old one!
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Now

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a rather pleasant Hotel
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Site

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of the old Press building, the vacant lot was the old Backpacker hostel I mentioned below; this is the spot where Ra and I first met! haha!
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The

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new convention centre is coming along well....
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Another

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vacant lot in the Square....
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The

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Cathedral....still rooted after all of these years
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Photos

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of the central city, site of the Claredon Towers, now a car park

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Good

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report on Channel 3 news this evening. Mentioned the student army of volunteers, and was quite evocative.

The

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Worst part of the last 10 years has been the involvement of government. Really breaks my heart.

The day of the quake, and the day or two afterwards..... (in some ways it's a blur, did "xyz" happen on Sunday or the Saturday?; did "ABC" event happen on the Tuesday? or was it Sunday afternoon?)...there was the magnificent sight of people helping each other.

People cracking on putting tarpaulins over damaged houses, helping their neighbours, making meals for complete strangers, clearing up broken things, boarding up broken windows.

And if only it had been allowed to continue.

Builders would have rebuilt; insurance would have paid; common sense would have prevailed.

But no

Oh no....

Oh no, no, no....

The government had to get involved (as if cups of tea, blankets, tarpaulins, brooms etc on the day of the quake never happened?!?). Government decreed that a rebuild was impossible, unthinkable, without the state controlling everything.

And it's been one cock up after another ever since. Breaks my heart.

That

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day was a genuine watershed moment for me.

One reason for my hasty return to Christchurch was a certain party was dying, alas, and they did indeed pass away a few hours later - although not due to the quake; (enough said, still miss them; still can't speak of it).

So that door closed. And I avoided death by minutes.

And then I met Rawiri....

He had been down in Christchurch as part of a school trip, a high school sports team, staying at a backpacker hostel - (cheap b******s) - in Cathedral Square. My hotel was next door.

As everyone was milling around in the square after the quake, shocked and disoriented, we found ourselves next to each other wondering what to do, and got chatting.

(In case anybody has ever wondered.... "Yes" what is known as "Gaydar" is a real thing haha!)

A couple of guys also staying at that hostel were standing next to us; Poms; were wearing only shorts, having rushed outside in a hurry. I couldn't help looking at their rather nice bodies (as you do), and Ra said "I can tell you like that bro; so what do you think of my body?" - thus beginning a beautiful friendship, marriage, children.

Funny how things turn out! Haha!

A

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magnificent event which occurred during that day was the speed with which everyone helped everyone else.

In the central city there were vast numbers of people around, all a bit shocked, and suddenly.... cups of tea and sandwiches were being made and handed around; blankets appeared; tarpaulins; guys were helping elderly people.

Numerous people pitched in to assist shopkeepers boarding up broken windows. Glass was being swept up. All very helpful, all very orderly, no one was making a fuss about their own situation.

A wonderful sight to see.

The reports of looting were just bizarre; didn't happen. I know because I was there. Total B/S.

This was ordinary people pitching in to help the person next to them, or strangers, just cracking on with it knowing that we could all be in deep s**t here (we weren't, as it transpired).

It warmed my heart to see and it all happened without the government being involved!

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