Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lived by the Brick Died by the Brick, Christchurch Quake 22.02.11

National State of Emergency. Day 6 post quake. As I was tired of media spin about the 22.02.11 Christchurch quake, 6.3 magnitude, it was time to see for myself what went on.

Media spin I'd found irritating over the last 4 post quake days:

Mayor Parker - "There is no shortage of fuel." An hour before, I'd driven to local BP & Shell garages searching for premium fuel before I filled up at a Mobil garage. The day before I'd queued for more than 20 minutes at Mobil for fuel. It was the first time in my life in several countries' driving I'd queued for fuel. I wondered if BP & Shell were finessing shortages to increase prices?

TV Cop & TV announcer - "Looters" Blah Blah Blah. To that I'd ask, "What looters?" Petty thieves yes, but looting, sick joke. Cops had jabbered on about "looters" post Sept 4 quake too. After that 2010 state of emergency, "looters" vanished & became thieves or burglars again.

26.02.11. The Star editor Clarke fear-mongered about quake shakes & "scumbags" impersonating rescue workers, recovery & earthquake officials - 'I hope those army boys show a bit of cold steel if they catch anyone up to no good'. Incitement to murder Clarke. He crapped himself about the quake, after he'd lived through the 7.1 magnitude, Sept 4 quake & aftershocks: 'The sheer power of this quake is staggering, and the aftershocks are very, very frightening.'

TV Cop - "Stay off the roads as cars get in the way of service vehicles." Really? I'd driven on quake damaged roads several times for things like fetching Leah hours after the quake, family matters, getting petrol, shopping, helping my son move from his quake flooded flat to another flat. How else was I supposed to do those essential things? I saw cop cars, fire engines, ambulances, cranes, earth-movers with plenty of room for cars on quake damaged roads too.

I was also concerned about the slow response of authorities to the hazards of old, brick & stone buildings damaged by the Sept 4 quake & adequately condemning those bldgs that were quake damaged & condemning similar undamaged brick bldgs.

If a single storey, old, brick bldg was badly quake damaged, it should've been condemned & demolished. Likewise a similar undamaged, old, brick bldg should also have been condemned & demolished, as it was a potential hazard. Bigger, quake hazardous bldgs, same regulations & demolitions. Simple Huh?

Not in Christchurch. Despite the horrors of the Sept 4 quake & Boxing Day quake, there was debate about saving seedy, heritage bldgs, even a demonstration of two, to stop demolitions post Sept 4 quake.

Sadly 166 quake deaths later, completely avoidable deaths post 22.02.11 quake, bldgs weren't adequately condemned & demolished in the 5+ months interim between the Sept 4 quake & the Feb 22 quake. Authorities hadn't done their jobs properly, blood on their hands. I expected ass covering post Feb 22 quake. (Death toll was later increased to 185).

When I voiced my disgust on Facebook about unnecessary, Sept 4 quake damage at Bexley & unnecessary Feb 22 quake deaths, some South African "friends" bollocked me, showing their lack of integrity. They were a Nelson accountant & family, a Brisbane engineer, a Durban architect & a survey drawing bloke.

The Sept 4, mag 7.1 quake epicentre, west of Christchurch, was a warning. Christchurch was lucky no one was killed, as the 7.1 magnitude quake was early in the morning, leaving many damaged, old, brick & stone bldgs scattered around Christchurch.

The afternoon, Feb 22 killer quake, 6.3 magnitude, squashed Christchurch hubris, when damaged, brick & stone, death trap bldgs left standing post Sept 4 quake collapsed.

I had many pics of post Sept 4 quake, death trap, brick & stone bldgs, some with gaping holes in them, boarded, nylon strapped, wood & iron braced, tarped walls & roofs, loose brick & stone projectiles hanging around for months, behind puny fence cordons.

What were engineers, architects, bldg inspectors, repair men, councillors, heritage fanatics, MPs thinking? They could save those rotten bldgs? People who left brick & stone death traps standing post Sept 4 quake had much to answer for. They'd had more than 5 months to demolish.

Post Feb 22 quake, heritage fanatics still squealed about quick demolitions of rotten, brick & stone bldgs, during the national state of emergency. And heritage brick lovers complained about demolitions, while bodies were still unidentified in CTV & PGC rubble & the Burnham morgue.

Facebook friends & family had responded mostly compassionately to the Feb 22 quake. Phone lines were jammed, some took days to get through to us: calls from NZ, SA, USA, Scotland, Australia. Some folks delayed calls, knowing landlines were jammed. A Melbourne mate called Aussie Red Cross to search for us, as he'd battled for days to call us. We were listed "Missing  Persons," until found by a LANSAR lady knocking on our front door.

Like the Sept 4 quake, my circadian rhythms were affected by Feb 22 quake shaking. I didn't sleep the first night after the Tuesday quake & thereafter I crashed early & woke at sparrow's each morning 3-5 am, for a week, some deep, caveman instinct waking me early, vigilant for my sleeping family.

As I'd already seen Sept 4 & Feb 22 quake damage to old, brick & stone bldgs in Christchurch, I was curious to see more. On a beautiful, sunny morning, blue skies, after a couple of gloomy, overcast days, I drove across town: Clyde Rd, Riccarton Rd, Wharenui Rd, Blenheim Rd, Wrights Rd, Lyttelton St past Pioneer Stadium, converted to a quake welfare refuge. So far, not much quake damage to bldgs & roads & not a quake service vehicle in sight.

Many private vehicles drove on the roads, Kiwis ignoring the TV cop who'd ordered us to stay off roads. What national state of emergency authorities wanted in Christchurch & what Kiwis wanted didn't match. Authoritarians hadn't asked citizens.

Citizen outsiders were dictated to by authoritarians, via media, in an indefinite, national state of emergency, a first for NZ. Citizen outsiders saw strangers descending on Christchurch, like Aussie cops hired & sworn in to patrol Christchurch suburbs, like citizens weren't trusted, after enduring quakes & aftershocks. Priests were invited to grieve at broken Christchurch Cathedral... Ordinary citizens weren't invited to the mawkish media party.

It was a sunny day, 6 days post quake. Citizen drivers celebrated life. We'd survived.

What more?

Quake water bearer images, Lyttelton St & Cashmere Rd:


27.02.11. Girl water bearers, West Spreydon School, Lyttelton St, national state of emergency. Taupo District Council published the pic in its Quarterly Connect Community News, Nov 2013 - Jan 2014

More liquefaction silt piles appeared the closer I drove to Heathcote River. I stopped at West Spreydon School & asked a dad's permission to coolpix two girls offering roadside water from a tank on their dad's ute to anyone in need.

A Southbridge water driller on Cashmere Rd did the same for those needing water. No fuss, no bother. Kiwis helping each other, without authoritarian hoo-hah on TV. A message on the the green, plastic water tank read:

        WATER
             FRESH
from SOUTHBRIDGE


27.02.11. Southbridge water bearer, Cashmere Rd, by sewage polluted Heathcote River, national state of emergency

Images, quake damaged Ashgrove Tce & Colombo St:


27.02.11. Man sweeping liquefaction silt off Ashgrove Tce pavement, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Liquefaction sink hole, Ashgrove Tce by Heathcote River, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Liquefaction silt & slumping of Heathcote River bank, Ashgrove Tce, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Demolition site where Beckenham shops once stood, destroyed by the Sept 4 quake. Colombo St, national state of emergency

The top of Barrington St by Port Hills was cone cordoned, so I couldn't approach Colombo St that way. I detoured along kinky Ashgrove Tce by sewage polluted Heathcote River. At one point, cars weaved around a water-filled, quake sink hole, with brown liquefaction mud on the river bank & cars driving along the sloping bank.

A grizzled, old man in slippers swept liquefaction silt off the pavement. Wherever liquefaction mud had oozed & been cleared, cloying dust stayed on streets throughout Christchurch.


27.02.11. Liquefaction silt, Colombo St, nr Southey St crossing, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Filadelfio's restaurant sign, Colombo St, Beckenham, national state of emergency

Colombo St, a handwritten sign on Fidladelfio's restaurant window read:

Closed
Sorry

Just need water
supply

Building fine & safe

Hoping to OPEN
MONDAY 28th FEB

Thanks
Tony


27.02.11. Filadelfio's restaurant, Colombo St, Beckenham, damaged in the Sept 4 quake, repaired & damaged again in the Feb 22 quake, as seen in pic, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Beckenham Baptist Church, Colombo St, Feb 22 quake damaged, soon demolished, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Red stickered coffee shop, Colombo St, next to quake damaged Beckenham Baptist Church, national state of emergency

On Colombo St, I passed piles of liquefaction mud near Southey St crossing. To look at old & new quake damage, I walked past the southern Christchurch cop shop & coolpixed new quake damage to Beckenham Baptist Church. (Soon demolished).

Across the road, Feb 22 quake damaged shops I'd coolpixed during the Sept 4 quake state of emergency were gone, including Simo's Moroccan restaurant where Luke's girlfriend had worked & lost her job post Sept 4 quake - just an empty demolition site. Modern built Nando's on the corner & other modern shops were still standing.

Across the road Filadelfio's restaurant, damaged & repaired post Sept 4 quake, was slightly wall damaged in the Feb 22 quake.

Further down Colombo St from Brougham St crossing, Sydenham businesses were guarded by NZDF soldiers, often in pairs at crossing cordons. Uniformed, NZDF soldiers wore orange, Hi Vis vests.


27.02.11. NZDF soldiers, cnr Colombo St / Brougham St, demolished stone Sydenham Heritage Church, a rubble heap. Pre quakes, the church was unused for years.

NZDF soldiers stood by an orange digger, behind a tape & fence cordon. Across the road by Sydenham Park, another NZDF soldier directed traffic at Colombo St / Brougham St corner, by moving orange, plastic road cones & talking to drivers.


27.02.11. NZDF soldier directing traffic, cnr Colombo St / Brougham St, national state of emergency

Images, quake damaged Hutcheson St & Buchan St:


27.02.11. Quake damaged brick house, Hutcheson St, national state of emergency


I parked my car on quake crumpled, Hutcheson St, beside a quake damaged, brick house, the red wall parapet gone. Liquefaction mud lay in piles along the road & a big mud mound sprawled on the pavement by the house.

Across busy Brougham St, I crossed a soggy, liquefactioned lot & walked deserted Buchan St, parallel to Colombo St, as I wanted to see Sydenham cordon bldgs I'd coolpixed post Sept 4 quake.


27.02.11. Liquefactioned lot, cnr Brougham St / Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Quake broken, concrete curb, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Liquefactioned Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency

I could've entered the cordon, as each crossing was manned by 2 NZDF soldiers & taped off by white & red police DANGER tape, but bldg gaps between crossings were only danger taped, not enough military personnel. If I'd entered the gaps, I would've been arrested, due to the national state of emergency. There were night curfews too.


27.02.11. Brick wall ripped off Crown Masonic Centre by a playground, cnr Buchan St / Wordsworth St, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished




In the distance down Buchan St, in the CBD I saw high rise Holiday Inn & Feb 22 quake trashed, Hotel Grand Chancellor, both later demolished.

At Wordsworth St crossing, by a deserted playground & a garden bell, I coolpixed the back of Crown Masonic Centre, its brick wall peeled off, rubble on the ground. I looked straight inside two large halls. The bldg was later demolished.

Down Wordsworth St I saw serial quake trashed Ascot TV & 2 NZDF soldiers, by 2 blue portaloos, behind a fence cordon. Ascot TV was later demolished.


27.02.11. Serial quake trashed, Ascot TV, Sydenham cordon, cnr Wordsworth St / Colombo St, national state of emergency. Ascot TV was later demolished


27.02.11. NZDF soldier, 2 portaloos & speed limit sign, Sydenham cordon, cnr Wordsworth St / Colombo St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. City Mission, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency

By City Mission I coolpixed metal goods, lying in front of the locked, glass door.


27.02.11. Liquefactioned Mullany's, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency

By Mullany's Soft Furnishings Studio I coolpixed liquefaction mud by the wall & on the pavement by a Telecom pole.


27.02.11. Quake damaged brick gable, Chan's Martial Arts, Buchan St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Quake damaged brick parapet, Mixed Martial Arts, Buchan St, national state of emergency

By deserted & wet Penbury St car park, I coolpixed two martial arts bldgs: Chan's Martial Arts, parapet bricks flung onto an adjoining roof. (7:55 aftershock, magnitude 4.1, Mon 28.02.11 while I typed).

A breeze block parapet on the opposite Academy of Mixed Martial Arts bldg was quake damaged too, blue blocks hanging above an alley. Martial Arts were useless against quakes.


27.02.11. Cnr Buchan St / Byron St, Sydenham, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Buchan St view of Sydenham cordon & NZDF soldier, Byron St & Colombo St crossing, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Quake damaged, brick wall, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Two NZDF soldiers on cordon duty, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Quake bricked car, Buchan St, Sydenham, national state of emergency

Two NZDF soldiers stood guard at Byron St crossing. Cars drove slowly on Buchan St, past liquefaction mud piles. No pedestrians, but me.


27.02.11. Quake damaged Carlyle St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Quake damaged bldg, Carlyle St with Colombo St beyond, national state of emergency

From Buchan St / Carlyle St corner, I coolpixed quake damaged bldgs near Colombo St - walls peeled off, rubble on the road by a plastic tape cordon. Down Carlyle St I saw St John ambulances coming & going from their temporary depot.

In the No Go, CBD cordon, St John HQ bldg, St Asaph St, was badly damaged by the Feb 22 quake.

Images, quake damaged Brougham St:


27.02.11. Fence cordon obstructing Brougham St, east bound traffic, cnr Brougham St / Colombo St, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


27.02.11. Sydenham cordon, cnr Brougham St / Colombo St, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


27.02.11. Demolished Sydenham Heritage Church (unused for years) cnr Brougham St / Colombo St, national state of emergency. The bldg right was demolished


27.02.11. NZDF soldier on cordon duty by demolished Sydenham Heritage Church (unused for years) Brougham St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Liquefactioned Sydenham Park, Brougham St, national state of emergency

I crossed busy Brougham St again, to liquefactioned Sydenham Park, where I watched two orange, Hi Vis vested blokes inspecting muddy, liquefactioned grass. I coolpixed NZDF cordon soldiers by demolished Sydenham Heritage Church, Brougham St / Colombo St corner.

I walked down deserted Durham St South to see military cordons & quake damage. Durham St South had more liquefaction mud than parallel Buchan St. I couldn't see Colombo St, Sydenham, quake damage from parallel streets, due to the NZDF cordon.

Images, quake damaged Durham St South:


27.02.11. Deserted & liquefactioned Durham St South, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Rubbish & liquefaction silt, Durham St South, national state of emergency

Along Elgin St, near WINZ bldg, I saw 2 NZDF soldiers seated on chairs, behind their plastic DANGER tape, fluttering in the breeze. Slack soldiers.


27.02.11. WINZ bldg in the Sydenham cordon, Elgin St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Two NZDF soldiers, Sydenham cordon, Elgin St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Liquefaction silt & NZDF soldiers, Sydenham cordon, Elgin St, national state of emergency

At KB's bakery I saw a bus painted with Christian symbols, busy body Christians gawping inside. They were scoffing KB's pies & tarts. Lost, they'd already blocked traffic on Colombo St corner.

The Christian bus tried entering the CBD cordon at Sandyford St, by the railway over bridge, guarded by a cop & 2 NZDF soldiers. The cop directed Christians elsewhere. Ghoulish time wasters.


27.02.11. Quake damaged, brick bldgs, Durham St South




27.02.11. Cop directing a bus away from Sydenham cordon, cnr Sandyford St / Durham St South, national state of emergency. NZDF soldiers by the cop car


By Battersea St, I saw the 2 NZDF soldier cordon in the distance, coolpixed a quake crack on the pavement at my feet & a zoom view of Churchills Tavern in the distance, where I'd done close ups during the Sept 4 quake state of emergency. Churchills Tavern was later demolished.



27.02.11. Churchills Tavern damaged in the Sept 4 quake, Battersea St, Sydenham cordon, national state of emergency. Churchills Tavern was later demolished


27.02.11. Liquefaction silted Durham St South, national state of emergency

I drove to Selwyn St via Coronation St, heavily muddied by liquefaction, side streets too. Sept 4 quake damaged, Selwyn St corner shops were fence cordoned right across the road. By MP Anderton's office, the shops had been closed & fence cordoned for months.

Feb 22 quake trashed, Selwyn St shops, flung parapet bricks on the road. No quake deaths there. The shops were later demolished.

Images, quake damaged Selwyn St:

A fence sign read:

EARTHQUAKE:
  GO AWAY!!!
  WE'VE HAD
       ENUFF!!


27.02.11. Quake fence sign, Selwyn St, national state of emergency


27.02.11. Post Feb 22 fence cordon across Selwyn St, national state of emergency. Shops were demolished


27.02.11. Selwyn St brick shops, damaged in Sept 4 quake, trashed in Feb 22 quake, national state of emergency. Shops were demolished


27.02.11. Selwyn St brick shops trashed in Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes, national state of emergency. Shops were demolished

I detoured to lower Selwyn St via Barrington St. Back on Brougham St, I coolpixed a digital road side warning traffic exiting the motorway:

EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE AHEAD

CAUTION REDUCE SPEED

Near the sign I found a one dollar coin on the pavement, quake souvenir. Two girls in a van giggled at my joy.


27.02.11. Wood braced headstone tilted by Feb 22 quake, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, national state of emergency


Selwyn St again, I walked Addington Cemetery, where I'd coolpixed before the Feb 22 quake. I found more quake damaged headstones & memorials: broken, toppled, twisted, cracked, one of a pair of angels I'd previously coolpixed, toppled, & gouging another grave. Two headstones, propped by wooden poles, leaned on a chain fence by Selwyn St pavement.


27.02.11. Quake trashed graves, Addington Cemetery, Selywn St, national state of emergency








By Riccarton Road circle, Hagley Park, I coolpixed two quake damaged bldgs: A double storey, brick bldg on the corner. (Later demolished). Another double storey, brick bldg up the road, St Christopher's Dove Bookshop, a death trap. (Later demolished).

A bricklayer died there in the quake.

On the fence: Flowers, hand written messages on wooden, painted hearts & family letters. A woman wept. Others paid respects by the fence cordon.

A car was crushed by rubble. Roof metal sheets were collapsed in a skirt on top of the rubble. Top floor: brick walls were ripped off, showing dark rooms & roof trusses. The bldg was later demolished.

Images, quake damaged Riccarton Rd & Riccarton Ave:


27.02.11. Brick wall ripped off St Christopher's Dove Bookshop, Riccarton Rd, by the Feb 22 quake. A man died here, his car crushed by falling bricks. National state of emergency. The bldg was demolished

Fence letter: "Lived by the brick died by the brick..." Adult daughter's loving letter honouring her dad.

Hallowed ground, a shrine for people to visit, outside the CBD cordon.






27.02.11. People paying respects to a bricklayer killed in his car, parked by the brick, St Christopher's Dove Bookshop, collapsed in the Feb 22 quake. Riccarton Rd, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


27.02.11. Mod bldg left, survived Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes well. Old, brick, St Christopher's Dove Bookshop death trap collapsed in the Feb 22 quake, killing a man. Riccarton Rd, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


27.02.11. Quake broken window, Riccarton Rd, national state of emergency

Saddened & angered at the death & many others, I drove to Christchurch Hospital at the end of Riccarton Ave, plastic tape, road cone cordon & two cop cars in view.

I coolpixed an orange, hospital emergency sign on the road island, while pedestrians wandered the pavement by parked cars. Two nurses puffed cigarettes on the pavement below a tree.


27.02.11. Boarded after Sept 4 quake damage, smashed by the Feb 22 quake, later demolished. Riccarton Rd roundabout, brick bldg, national state of emergency




Mon 28.02.11. Aftershock while I edited 10:36, magnitude 4.3. Another aftershock 10:44, magnitude 3.8. (Geonet).


27.02.11. Hospital road sign, Riccarton Ave

FACEBOOK

After days of goodwill comments from Facebook friends & family, personal attacks from trolls:

Mark: Sorrow City. Heard Jake's friend, who worked in a CBD bar, perished in the quake. Jake was moving into a flat with him in 2 weeks time. Jake worked with his mom.

Stupid bldg inspectors, govt officials, council engineers & Earthquake Commission morons had 5+ months to condemn unstable bldgs since the Sept 4 quake. This Feb 22 quake did it for them. WITH LIVES LOST. Blood on bastards' hands. When will they ever learn? Feb 24 at 1:07 pm.

Mark: Wonder if anyone has the guts to PUBLISH NAMES of inspectors who passed bldgs now demolished by the Feb 22 quake? Bet they'll be scurrying & squirming. Feb 24 at 1: 17 pm.

Cassidy (Aus): Typical. The same everywhere. Feb 24 at 3:17 pm.

John (RSA): Heard from someone else that went to the CTV building after the September quake that it was severely damaged and shook from passing traffic, etc. Despite it having been declared safe, they felt unsafe and were happy to get out of the building. From photos it would appear that this is one of the worst collapsed buildings and I believe rescue workers have now stopped searches in the area as it has been declared unsurvivable.

I think the problem arises in the definition of a safe building. While many buildings were probably damaged in the September 4 quake they were probably "safe" in that they were not going to collapse under normal circumstances, however they were probably a lot less likely to survive another major earthquake.

It is a matter of economics, the owners have to weigh up the massive losses incurred by everybody if a building is closed down until it is made totally structurally sound against the possibility of another major quake happening before the building is totally repaired.

As it is unusual to get two severe earthquakes in the same area within a short period of time [BS] it is normal to declare the building safe for habitation. Unfortunately with many things in life it is a bit of a gamble and in this case man lost. Probably in future, NZ (and other countries) will apply stricter criteria to damaged buildings as a result of the Christchurch quake. However this will result in problems and criticisms.

From the numbers we are hearing that are unaccounted for it would appear that the final death toll may be quite a lot higher than it stands at present and most people in NZ will be affected in some way by the disaster. Let's hope for some miracle survival stories. Feb 24 at 6:23 pm.

Mark: Sorry John. I like you, but dislike your rationale. No time for economics, gamble, stricter criteria arguments, which I doubt would comfort families who have lost loved ones in the Feb 22 quake.

Fact is, too many people will be scurrying, covering their asses after allowing many crappy, old, brick & stone bldgs to be around pre Sept 4 quake & not properly sorted out in the 5+ months before the Feb 22 quake. Feb 24 at 7:55 pm.

Luke (UK): I would point fingers at the insurance industry, I am sure their actuaries played a big part in landlords' decisions on whether to fix or rebuild. Feb 24 at 9:52 pm.

Alan (RSA): A terrible event. Feb 24 at 7:55 pm.

Sue (UK): Really so sorry to see the dreadful sights in Christchurch. Very glad u r all safe. Feb 25 at 1:38 am.

Averil (RSA): Shame - Sorry to hear Mark. Feb 25 at 2:48 am.

Mark: Thanks folks. I think arguments will rage for decades afterwards & Christchurch will be an example of good & bad, life saving / killing decisions, nod to John & Luke. After the Sept 4 quake some people had the courage to cordon & close bldgs & relocate / fold businesses. Others didn't. e.g. Feb 22 quake: Christchurch Anglican Cathedral, Cathedral Sq, open, tower fell, 20 dead [false, the figure was quoted often in the media for days until no bodies were found under the collapsed tower]. Catholic Cathedral, Barbadoes St, (best in southern hemisphere according to GB Shaw) cordoned & closed, 2 towers fell. IMHO 1 dead is too many. Feb 25 at 4:05 am.

[Another e.g. Old, stone, Methodist Church, Durham St, was damaged by the Sept 4 quake. Three people were killed inside when the Feb 22 quake trashed the church. Why were people allowed inside to fix the organ, after the church had been cordoned & closed for months post Sept 4 quake?]

Danie (RSA): Some events are just greater than we mortals will ever grasp. Therefore I can never point my own sacred finger at any of those "Humans who had to make God like decisions." Sorry Mark, but I cannot write them off without hearing their version of the event as well. Feb 25 at 4:44 am.

Richard (UK): I am sure there are many who have loved ones, lost and injured, and our thoughts go out to one and all. Feb 25 at 6:08 am.

Mark: Thanks Richard, toll rising, all those "missing."

Sorry Danie disagree with desk murderers. Why condone cover-ups? With mawkish sentiment? Which we're now having to endure - heroic images of saved, crying women, soapie stuff on TV, except real. Avoidable, if inspectors got it right with loads of time they had.

You're sacredly happy to let them get away with it. That attitude allowed Nazis to get away with the Holocaust, those puny bureaucrats also made godly decisions, building gas ovens, transport timetables... And in RSA, migrant labour paperwork, which even I had to process at DeBeers Kleinzee. Hope you never have to face families who lost loved ones & tell them your sacred excuses for the inexcusable.

That's why I suggest bldg inspectors names be published. Let's hear their snivelling excuses. They had 5+ months between the Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake to get it right. Feb 25 at 7:04 am.

Colin (NZ): Sorry Mark, looking back with 20/20 vision is easy. What about all the new buildings that collapsed? Feb 25 at 9:17 pm.

Mark: Cheap shot Colin, you're not here. I just happened to be here with 2 major earthquakes & over 10 000 aftershocks [sic]. Come take a walk round post quake Christchurch, if you dare, as I have many times. You'll see more crappy, old brick & stone bldgs collapsed than new. Feb 26 at 1:36 am.

Margie (NZ): Our thoughts to all those who have lost loved ones and friends. It is human for us to go into blame mode out of grief or sorrow, but the safety of buildings and whether they should have been condemned will be debated for years yet. We don't know all the facts and probably never will and laying blame right now - wont help anyone, but we think of you all and thank all those who are doing so much to help everyone out in Christchurch. Feb 25 at 12:39 pm.

Mark: Blame, my foot Margie, stuff debate, that should have been done long ago, post Sept 4 quake. Someone's gotta take responsibility damned soon. If you were here you would be as cross as I am. 98 dead, incl a baby, 226 missing, last count. The Star's Friday headline: "Sister clings to dead brother's hand in the rubble" [He was Jake's friend]. "Doctor amputates trapped man's legs with hacksaw." No grief or sorrow Margie. I'm amazed you think you're an authority on MY emotions. Feb 26 at 1:50 am.

[This patronising, troll family wouldn't let the matter rest. Days later, Colin and adult daughters continued personal attacks on Facebook. Projection of their mawkish grief.

In 1995 the RSA, troll family coattailed us from SA to Sumner. In 1994 SA, they solicited free info about my LSD trip to NZ, without bothering to go on a LSD trip themselves.

In 1981-82, Leah & I did an emigration dummy-run to UK / Israel. We'd also travelled extensively in southern Africa & Europe.

The RSA. troll family, inexperienced travellers & migrants: Soon after their 1995 arrival in Auckland, a Somali crashed his car into theirs'. Culture shocked, Colin & family arrived in Christchurch.

After Esslemonts had checked out Christchurch, the RSA troll family followed us: Parents rented a house in Sumner near us & enrolled their 3 kids in Sumner School, after we'd enrolled Jake there. Soon after their cheapskate arrival in Christchurch, they weren't shy about socializing with Leah's relatives in Parklands.

They soon moved to Heathcote Valley & Dallington. After battling to find professional work in Christchurch, by 1998 the family had moved to Nelson for good. After they left, I removed a load of garden rubbish from their Dallington garden & composted it. Their hysterical quake comments were mad].

Mark: Prodigal son returns. Luke home 3 days post quake: On Riccarton bouncing bus when earthquake struck; watched trees sway in Hagley Park; Moorhouse Ave cracking & liquefaction mudding. Bus driver dropped all off at Pak 'n Save. Girlfriend's dad drove Luke to New Brighton, 4 hour trip over broken roads, normally takes 1/2 hr. Need 4x4 now. Feb 24 at 1:59 pm.

Mark: Luke slept 2 nights camping outside a quake damaged New Brighton house, possessions wrecked, 80% kitchen stuff gone. Luke could actually HEAR the rumbling aftershocks while camping, his head on the ground, never mind the shaking. Feb 24 at 2:48 pm.

Averil (RSA): Both boys safe at home? Feb 24 at 4:54 pm.

Mark: Jake still roaming, trying to save things from his flooded flat, moving out pronto. You never know? [Huge, old concrete mill nearby]. Feb 24 at 6:00 pm.

Averil (RSA): Shame, hope things start getting back to normal soon for you guys. Feb 24 at 7:52 pm.

June (RSA): Hope you have all had a good sleep. Thinking of you and will continue to pray for you. Feb 25 at 5:37 am.

Mark: Sleeping like a dog June. Leah & Luke still asleep now.

Problem now is water, although we're one of the luckier suburbs with dirty water & power, our boiled water is finished. Been boiling water ever since the quake. I haven't showered since the quake, peeing outside, using toilet at a pinch, still have liquefaction strained, grey toe nails, quite artistic. Leah & Luke had showers.

Now using our emergency water, which I filled up in our organic wheelie bin, quite a few gallons after the Sept 4 quake. A lot slopped over the top when the Feb 22 quake struck. (Mental note: Don't brim fill next time). Now boiling water in small quantities. If it runs out we'll have to join a queue at a school & fetch water, Africa style. Water being trucked to designated schools in Cronos tanks.

God help us if cholera & typhoid starts. Luke already gyppoed after his 3 day post quake roamings. [Eastern suburbs]. Warned him about dirty water. Feb 25 at 7:19 am.

Averil (RSA): Hoping things are starting to improve there a bit for you guys. Expect though it will take a while to get back to normality. Feb 26 at 1:48 am.

Mark: Will take a while Averil, drove around for the first time yesterday, Friday, outside the military cordon, roads very lumpy & bumpy, have to avoid water, mud, cracks, lumps, sink holes, road cones, fence cordons, dangerous & surreal. Many traffic lights now working.

Towed a trailer of Jake's house-moving goods across Christchurch yesterday [from Waltham Rd to Cranford St] Fri, once in a lifetime experience. Still muddy in places, mostly grey mud, some brown, lots of mud piles, cleared liquefaction mud on roadsides. Not much flooding, water mostly gone.

Workmen going flat out clearing streets, saw an earth mover clearing mud on Cranford St near Jake's new [garage] flat: scooped mud then chucked it into a truck alongside. Must be thousands of tons of mud on Chch streets. [The Press 08.05.11 estimated 8 million tons demolition rubble, 1/2 million tons silt & sand].

Also gangs of volunteer students roaming with spades & digging mud into roadside piles. Dried mud will be a health issue, as moving vehicles throw up dust clouds, some people wearing masks. Military soldiers at cordons & traffic directors at crossings.

Last night's news: 50% of Chch connected to water. We're lucky, connected, just having to boil water. Saw water tanks in Waltham area & Phillipstown area, Friday, with citizens filling containers, African style. Had my first shower this Sat morning, post Tues quake, was over ripe. Feb 26 at 2:28 am.

June (RSA): Glad to hear you finally had a shower. Rod says we could smell you from here! Feb 26 at 2:37 am.

June (RSA): Rod says to remind you that you can use one 1 teaspoon of JIK to 20 litres of water (household bleach - my bottle says "Sodium Hypochlorite 3.5% m/v when packed") to disinfect water - you must let it stand for a few minutes before using it. We used JIK during the KZN floods many years ago. Feb 26 at 2:42 am.

Mark: June. Will try water disinfection & tell Jake too, as their [garage] flat is in a waterless zone. Have to get water from transported roadside tanks. Feb 26 at 3:36 am.

Mark: Helped Jake move goods from their quake flooded Waltham Rd flat across town through gridlocked Stanmore Rd (nearby 4 Avenues in CBD shut down by cops & military in the National State of Emergency). Bumpy trip, dodging quake obstacles. Goods wet & stinky, much washing to do. New flat liquefaction damaged, cracked concrete slab by dodgy garage & mud mounds in garden. No power or water. Feb 26 at 3:48 am.

Keylim (RSA): Read the article from the paper [Daily News, Durban]. At least Jake wasn't inside the restaurant when it collapsed. His things are replaceable, he is not. Feb 26 at 3:53 am.

Gary (RSA): You guys are getting all the natural bangs this year, you and Aus. Feb 26 at 4.03 am.

Mark: Thank goodness for that Keylim.

Banging away in the antipodes alright Gary.

Woke up this morn, Sat, with a 2 am+ aftershock. 5.5 mag aftershock while on Facebook now, jolting & shaking. Feb 26 at 4:14 am.

Gary (RSA): Scary stuff and new, so guess you not used to this. (Not that you could get used to stuff like that). Feb 26 at 5:23 am.

Mark: Sure is Gary, but quake experts now for life. Feb 26 at 8:18 am.

Sheila (RSA): Jeesh Mark that aftershock was another big boy hey! Mike wrote a good article for the paper [Daily News]. Feb 26 at 8:20 am.

Mark: Good on Mike. Feb 26 at 8:22 am.

Mark: Fri, drove Christchurch 1st time since quakes. Military cordon Bealey Ave / Fitzgerald Ave. London St & Stanmore Rd by Leah's school now main roads round CBD, gridlocked. Old bldgs collapsed, worse than Sept 4 quake damage. Bealey Ave / Colombo St cnr Pharmacy collapsed [later demolished]. Stanmore Rd, Worcester St cnr, bad [2 people killed, Wicks Fish, later demolished].

Jake's Under The Red Verandah restaurant, Worcester St, 3 walls gone. Tables set like Marie Celeste, window glass gone, furniture jumbled, wire cordoned. [Customers injured by flying glass, bldg later demolished]. Feb 26 at 4:29 am.

David (RSA): Mark thanx for vivid descriptions / updates during such difficult times. Feb 26 at 4:33 am.

Mark: More old, buggered bldgs I saw collapsed on my Fri trek, towing Jake's flatting gear:

Ferry Rd / Aldwins Rd cnr, old, brick bldg behind boat, damaged [later demolished]. Ferry Rd "laughing ladies" mural bldg & old, brick shops kaput [later demolished & rebuilt, new "laughing ladies" mural painted]. Percy St, old, double storey house, walled peeled off, "dolls house" inside [later demolished]. Saw several "dolls houses" that Fri afternoon, 3 days post quake.

Cashel St, old, brick Samoan Church, saw right through the church nave, curtains waving on opp, holed wall, Tuam St [later demolished]. The Pump House, old brick wall & roof collapsed. Old Worcester St house collapsed near Jake's restaurant [both later demolished]. Brick rubble heap & huge liquefaction mud heap near JoJo's Massage, Worcester St. JoJo's Massage survived.

Papanui Rd, several old Merivale "dolls house" shops, brick walls peeled off, showing lower storey shops & upper storey goods, some lights still on [later demolished]. Many damaged bldgs, fence cordoned, obstructed foot & vehicle traffic. Feb 26 at 4:51 am.

Mark: Keeps me sane & alert thanks David. Also partly some record of what I saw, rather than hearsay.

Bugger, another aftershock 4:53 am, while I type, computer shivers at the slightest shock, seat shudders too, monitor jerks. Feb 26 at 4:55 am.

Averil (RSA): Don't you think you guys should maybe think of relocating somewhere safer? Worried about you all. Sorry not meaning to be insensitive - just stressing for you when I hear it's not calming down, but rather aftershocks continuing. Feb 26 at 7:42 am.

Mark: Averil. Money issues as usual. As my mom-in-law says, "You make your bed, you sleep in it." Feb 26 at 8:10 am.

Janet (NZ): Come to visit us Mark. No school for Leah, you might as well get some rest and a good night's sleep. You are all very welcome. Just 3 hours drive away. Feb 26 at 3:37 pm.

Mark: Sat latest: 123 dead, about 200 missing. [We later heard our family was "missing," as a Melbourne friend had contacted Aussie Red Cross, after unsuccessfully trying to phone us].

Mayor Parker jabbering on TV, 10:00, "There's no shortage of fuel." Well Parker, more than an hour ago I drove to Wairakei Rd Shell & Clyde Rd BP, no premium fuel I use. Wondered if Shell & BP were finessing a shortage to increase prices? [They were, fuel prices soon rose in NZ, but not in Chch]. Drove to Mobil Creyke Rd, got my fuel! Feb 26 at 8:15 am.

Mark: TV news: 1/3 of CBD bldgs need demolishing. 1/2 of brick bldgs need demolishing. CBD 4 Avenues cordon, indefinite National State of Emergency closure.

All human remains must be dug out & demolishing done before any objective scrutiny is allowed in. Nice to have indefinite State of Emergency time, guarded by soldiers & cops for insiders to plot & feed outsiders plausible excuses. Feb 26 at 1:36 pm.

[5+ months post Feb 22 quake, NZ govt still would not allow free funding for families of those killed in the quake, to be fairly, legally represented in the Royal Commission of Inquiry, as to why Christchurch bldgs collapsed, killing 185 people.

Govt cock and bull excuse was that families of the dead had a Commission liaison person & Commissioners would discuss things with families. What was the govt covering up? After all, it allowed free funding for families of the dead to be fairly, legally represented in the Pike River Mine disaster, Commission of Inquiry.

Royal Commission Integrity: Snag with the integrity of the Commission was that the only people allowed into the post Feb 22 quake, CBD cordon to check out damaged bldgs were the very people who would be covering their asses in the Commission, if called to testify: geotechnicians, engineers, demolishers, councillors... Bldg owners were not allowed into the military cordon for many months. USAR / TF teams, medics, foreign cops & soldiers long gone.]

David (UK): Is the corruption that bad? Feb 26 at 9:30 pm.

Alan (RSA): Horrible situation. This sort of disaster brings out the best and worst in people. Of course there will be looting, but the miracle stories outweigh the negative. My heart goes out to those affected. May the Lord be especially close to those trapped still. Feb 27 at 2:50 am.

Mark: Dunno about corruption David, but there were a helluva lot of crap brick & stone bldgs in Chch, Victorian era, diff bldg regulations (cheap rents) before the Sept 4 quake & a reluctance thereafter to demolish fast. Seedy Heritage bldg debate for 5+ months post Sept 4 quake, then the Feb 22 quake struck to wake them all up. Nitwits. Pity about the collateral deaths for stupid, greedy thinking.

I spent many hours coolpixing quake damaged bldgs, putting my life at risk & going back months later seeing them still standing with puny wooden bracing after many aftershocks, should've been demolished. Peaches & Cream bldg, red Light district, cnr Manchester St & Tuam St springs to mind. I know I'll be accused of hindsight, but what the hell, I'm saying it.

Last night's TV news confirmed 1/3 CBD needs to be demolished.

Also 145 dead, 200 missing.

Authorities had enough time to sort out the good bldgs from the bad, but the Feb 22 quake proved them wrong. But that's very un pc for me to say. I'm already getting hell from engineers, drawing office guys, accountants for voicing my disgust.

Funny how defensive people get when shit hits the fan. We're literally in it, in the streets & rivers, in drinking water, rather pongy walking around. Feb 27 at 4:51 am.

Mark: Alan. Agree about the best & worst. Agree, those genuinely grieving need help. Unfortunately there's a lot of mawkish sentiment generated by the media too. Feb 27 at 4:54 am.

Mark. Saw workmen picking up quake collapsed, concrete wall bricks at the African wild animal mural, showing a cheetah & rhino, on a white garden wall, cnr Heaton St & Papanui Rd. An hour later the wall was demolished & crossing traffic obstructed in the process. Feb 26 at 1:49 pm.

Mark: Sat TV news: Confirmed 145 dead, 200+ missing. 1/3 CBD to be demolished.

Star article, 25 Feb: "New" fault "cemented" over by millennia between Taylors Mistake & Halswell, reflected seismic waves off Port Hills rock, to cause "rogue wave" damage in Chch. "Rogue" huh? Rogue seismologists, bldg regulators & inspectors, looters & landlords upping rents for CBD businesses scrambling to relocate to suburbs. Feb 27 at 5:11 am.

Mark: Day 6 Sun, TV news: 75 000 properties no sewage services.
65 000 properties no water.
Power needs conservation.
9 kg gas bottle refills - free various suburb points.
Welfare Centres open, like at Burnside HS, near home.

Our cat's better off than 1000s of people now, nagged me out of bed for cat brekkers. Feb 27 at 6:06 am.

Kelvin (USA): Good to hear that you are OK! One wonders with things like this that happen so suddenly you don't have a hope in hell. We were in a small one in California in 89 and missed the huge one by a month and the road and bridge we had driven over the month before, collapsed! Feb 27 at 8:47 am.

Mark: Kelvin. I drove around the city this morn, beautiful sunny day, looked at Sydenham old Sept 4 quake cordon extended for this Feb 22 quake, so walked parallel to main st, Colombo St, via Buchan St & Durham St Sth. Saw old, brick bldgs damaged in the Sept 4 quake, more damaged in Tues Feb 22 quake & lots of liquefaction mud.

All crossings to cordoned Colombo St were guarded by pairs of soldiers & Durham St Sth railway over bridge was guarded by a cop & 2 soldiers turning away sporadic traffic. Bridge OK. Otherwise a few cars were dodging road damage & drying mud. I was the only walker.

Agree about suddenness, but at least our family was prepared for this quake. Having had adequate warning from the Sept 4 quake & many aftershocks, we could look after ourselves. Reaction time quicker, as it wasn't, "What the hell?" We knew immediately what to do. Feb 27 at 11:44 am.

Mark: Saw where a man died in the quake by old, brick, double storey, St Christopher's Dove Bookshop, near the bottom of Riccarton Rd, near Hagley Park. Flowers & messages on cordon fence, rubble & fallen bldg behind. A weeping woman & others paying respects. Nothing justified his death. Nothing justified the quake deaths of other Christchurch people too. [185 killed]. Feb 27 at 11:49 am.

Mark: Drove around Chch today, got close to CBD cordon several times, cops & soldiers quarding. Walked Buchan St & Durham St Sth, saw old & new quake damage. Brougham St busy with traffic. Hagley Park buzzing with people giving the BIG FINGER to cops who ordered, "Stay off the roads!" Their own agenda. Think I'll start a list of risible quake sayings. An idiotic editor suggested soldiers use "cold steel" on "looters." Feb 27 at 11:57 am.

Cassidy (Aus): Cold steel on looters? How primitive. Seems like this quake has made certain people savage. Feb 27 at 12.01 pm.

Mark: And he's a supposedly respectable editor Cassidy, wimping out because he was burgled. Wonder what the security of his home was? I call his attitude incitement to murder, not a good example of someone lauded for moulding public opinion. Prick! Feb 27 at 12:05 pm.

Cassidy (Aus): How bad is the looting there Mark? Feb 27 at 12:16 pm.

Mark: Couple of young male idiots stealing communication equipment & electricity generators, little else. Cops & a judge huffing & puffing, getting the word out in the media that "looting" was not acceptable, more spin than substance.

Silly little TV announcer aping on TV this morning that there were 14 (I think) cases of "looting," whatever that may mean, certainly not riotous looting. I think the so-called "looting" is exaggerated cop speak & insulting to Kiwis.

Lots of emotional blackmail flying around TV, leaves me nauseous, like the judge opining that 2 naughty "looters" were "looting" communication equipment, while people were dying. Wonder what the judge would've said if there was no quake? Forgot to ask why equipment was left lying around in the first place, or effectiveness of military cordons?

Trouble with that sort of judge fear-mongering is that every Joe citizen is then under suspicion of being a "looter," like me on my lonesome walk parallel to Colombo St cordon this Sunday morning, through a business district, as I was curious to see what was going on, with some motorists cautiously driving around & cops & soldiers guarding their patches. Pisses me off that I must feel guilty satisfying my curiosity about what's really going on, & not accepting media waffle.

No offence meant Cassidy, but gotta ask how effective NZ cops & military are when they hire a bunch of Aussie cops to come & help them patrol the quake? Maybe Kiwis need some Aussie mongrel to put spine into lily-livered Kiwis? Also the implication is that Chch citizens who have survived major quakes & 1 000s of aftershocks are not trusted. Highly insulting. Feb 27 at 1:50 pm.

Cassidy (Aus): Indeed, Interesting points Mark. Feb 27 at 1:58 pm.

Mark: Cassidy. Clears the mind after shaking & busy bodies emotionally blackmailing. Funny I saw a cop turn a "Christian" bus away from a cordon on Durham St Sth rail overbridge this Sun morning. Christian busy bodies getting in the way, young rubberneckers wanting to gloat over others' misfortunes. Feb 27 at 2:09 pm.

Colin (NZ): Mark most countries including USA & SA shoot looters during a national emergency. A looter's one who steals during a crisis. I have full sympathy for all the police, rescuers, army, and navy working in the CBD area.

Maybe now is not the time to complain but get off your Facebook arse and do something instead of complaining all the time. I tell you this if I could get up amongst many others who would like to help I would, but unfortunately we have to go to work. Mark if u think u can do better then go and help.

15000 students, many people from around the world have all got stuck in and helped. Those who cant get to Chch have helped in many other ways. What have you done? Oh yes I forgot you have complained. Feb 27 at 2:14 pm.

Colin (NZ): Mark u are a very sad person. Christians don't gloat, they were probably going to HELP. More than u are doing. Get off your arse and do something positive. The only rubbernecking I c is u. All this complaining is disrespectful to the dead and the rescuers who are digging up all the bodies.

[Troll Colin's HELP for quake shattered Christchurch & quake traumatised citizens was to shoot cop fantasized "looters."]

Complaining doesn't change anything. U are quite capable to do something positive r self. I challenge u to go out tomorrow and work with the students clearing the streets. It might be a new experience. Feb 27 at 2:30 pm.

[This troll & his family were some of the few Facebook "friends" making unprovoked, personal attacks, while I reported on Christchurch quakes.]

Fritz (RSA): Thanks for the updates Mark - more news from u than our newspapers this side. Feb 27 at 10:53 pm.

Mark: Fuck off Colin! You haven't a clue. Get out of my life. Go preach elsewhere. As it's taken two days to lick your puny ego & come up with this, YOU are the SAD person preaching for yourself. Go see a psychiatrist, as you're a danger to yourself & others.

Never having commented to me on Facebook before, couple of days ago you made a stupid, insensitive comment on a status I'd made about my son's best friend dying in the quake. Now you're scrambling to save face, showing your malign character, making a public idiot of yourself, as many people read my Facebook comments.

If you wanna do something useful, stop massaging your ego here & follow your own preaching. I haven't seen you in Christchurch yet. If you had any intelligence you'd've known anyone found in Chch military State of Emergency cordons would've been arrested. Those "helpful" Christians filled their faces at the only shop open on Durham St Sth, KB's, then tried to get into the cordon. They were lucky they weren't arrested, just turned away by the cop.

My family is my responsibility & I've been off my arse for days, months in fact, since the Sept 4 quake, doing my helpful thing the best way I can. So who's complaining here? U are. You've made an idiot of yourself & can't take it. Go jump with your childish challenges. Now FUCK OFF! Feb 28 at 3:31 am.

Mark: Thanks Fritz. Good man. Feb 28 at 3:31 am.

[Thereafter two arrogant comments came from Colins's adult daughters, who soon deleted their Facebook comments after slagging me off. They didn't have the courage for others see what trolls they were].

Mark: For the record Colin chose to insult me on Facebook, after we'd turned down his family invite to Nelson, a day's drive from Chch. We had family responsibilities, in particular Jake who lost everything in the quake - best friend, job, flat, possessions. Mar 1 at 1:55 am.

Fritz (RSA): It's none of my business - just block their names - to get "mal" is not good for u or the people u care for - trust me on this - just block or delete and ignore - no one has to justify what action they have done or not done to anyone. Mar 1 at 2:34 am.

Mark: Fritz. A sorry state of affairs when one chooses to insult, but I had too much of that in SA & will not let it pass in NZ for whoever or whatever reason, especially if my family is involved. Appreciate your concern, there are others concerned too, who have messaged me. Mar 1 at 2:34 am.

Mark: Saw two little girls by Spreydon School handing out water to anyone in need, their father with his baby manning the water tank in their ute. Saw a water driller from Southbridge doing the same from his ute in Cashmere Rd. Many people still not connected to water service in Chch. Feb 28 at 4:13 am.

Sean (NZ): Hats off to all the good people of Christchurch, your community spirit is inspiring. To those plonkers stealing from devastated homes, you should be locked away and the key thrown into the sea. Feb 28 at 6:00 am.

Mark: Dodge & dust city: Roads holed & lumpy cause erratic driving & cordons all over cause gridlock. Have to find side roads to avoid gridlock. Liquefaction dust now everywhere, like being on the beach at times, blotted out the sun this afternoon. Feb 28 at 5:44 pm.

Mark: Saw home made road signs on roads today Sean, like SLOW DOWN before bad bits of road damage, not enough cops to police roads, but good citizens are ensuring others are aware of bad bits of road near their homes. Good on them. At the moment diggers are clearing roads & pavements of tons of liquefaction silt. Will be interesting to see what strong winds predicted for tomorrow Tuesday will do to all that silt dust? Feb 28 at 6:30 pm.

Mark: Sat NZTV news: 147 dead, 200+ missing. Feb 28 at 7.01 pm.

Averil (RSA): Shame that's high Mark and they are probably not even finished counting. Feb 28 at 6:11 am.

Mark: Sadly more to go, the crushed, unrecognisable "missing." Feb 28 at 5:43 pm.

Averil (RSA): V. sad - feel for their families. Feb 28 at 5:43 pm.

Maggie (RSA): Sad news. Must've been scary. Mar 1 at 5:21 am.

Mark: V. sad Maggie, still scary, lots of aftershocks rumbling & grumbling. Like your Facebook comments about normal things outside Chch. Every time we drive our cars it's chaos outside. Broken roads mainly. Our suburb got off lightly. Mar 1 at 6:16 am.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.