We spent yesterday in Christchurch and spent the night just south, camping in tents with many of the quake victimes. Here's the skinny on whats going on.
What's it like being here?
It's damn DUSTY, due to the sun-dried silt blowing all over the city. It makes you feel REALLY THIRSTY and knowing that water is short and much of it is poisonous and needs to be boiled makes you feel even more thirsty.
There are portaloos everywhere. I heard hundreds more are coming in from Australia. Lots of churches are fallen. Large cracks and holes in the roads. Many of the traffic lights dont work so it takes AGES to drive anywhere.
People are grieving and shocked and yet there is no sense of finality to that shock because the CBD is closed off to the public so there is no way to actually go in and see the damage.
Most homes have water but the house we were at yesterday had neither water nor electricity nor sewer. Actually the power came on briefly and our friends went out to buy frozen food but then it went off and they were taking it to the other side of the city to keep it cold.
The Salvation Army are doing a splendid job. I stopped in to say hello and that my blog was recommending them. They told me 500 had turned up yesterday for food.
"Whats your greatest need right now?" I asked them and they said canned food, or non-perishable foods. I asked about overseas people who might want to give but live too far away to send cans. They said the best thing is cash to buy canned food.
Thousands of people went to church on Sunday, many of them gathering at outdoor locations because their own buildings were either down, condemned, unsafe, or just because people felt safe meeting outdoors. More about church and the earthquake in the next post
Facebook group worth liking and watching is Rise Up Christchurch
I am working with some leaders in Christchurch on a strategy to help churches in their efforts towards opening their homes to others. If you have ideas or want to support through gifts, webdesign, or whatever then email me at tallskinnykiwi at gmail dot com.