The diligent reader will recall that I keep a German female violin-maker in Christchurch, for the twin purposes of recording earthquake damage and supplying me with A-strings. In fact Mrs Violinmaker only supplies the A-strings; it falls upon the shoulders of Mr Violinmaker to keep me abreast of earthquake damage in his partic'lar zone of Christchurch. The real spelling of Mr Violinmaker is of course Mr van den Nieuwelaar, according to that standard practice in English spelling by which a place called Hazebrur is actually spelt Happisburgh. Anyway I know of no keyboard in the history of computing that doesn't end up spelling Martin's surname as van der Neieiuweellieaarlaieu. So I don't even try. I expect he calls me Minndelont by way of vengeance. He rides recumbents and tandems, and so does Hanna. (Hanna is the violin-maker. See http://www.violin.co.nz/links.shtml
Howsoever, here's his experience of this merry affair: Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 10:19 AM
Subject: Earthquake experience...
Saturday evening, Papanui 6km north-west of Christchurch centre.It has been a long day. 4:35am earthquake. Strongest I've been in. No power, no water. Luckily a fine warm day today.All shops closed. No fuel, no ATMs. Many (1 out of 3) chimneys down. Some local Papanui shops with big cracks that will probably be demolished. Heard it's worse in the city but we're told to stay out.Had BBQ lunch with the neighbours at 90B. Then power came back on. Water is back on, but needs to be boiled. Still getting significant aftershocks. One now!!!! eek... doors going, house shaking. OK, it has stopped. Minor damage here at home, cars rolled forwards and backwards in garage, broken reversing light, lounge furniture suffering gouges but everyone is OK which is the main thing. Not sure when the shops will sell food again, but we have supplies for a while.Monday morning.There is flooding in the Avonside/Bexley area (east side of city) I believe but haven't heard specific details on that. They have liquefaction problems there with people reporting geysers spouting from the ground in their back yards. Lots of silt and goop through houses, and combined with broken sewer and water mains (water is now back in 80% of houses in Christchurch)... Large cracks in roads (un-passable by cars), bent bridges, downed power lines.The water storage tank behind the supermarket here in Papanui burst sending a torrent through the car par area and into the streams. Kaiapoi township 15km north of city centre is very badly hit. In one street all the houses are condemned. Aftershocks are still going. 5:20 this morning a fairly big one, that's 48 hours later, almost to the hour! Most people have been ordered to stay home till Wednesday. There is 7pm-7am curfew in the central business district and the army is coming in to help. The local supermarket was open yesterday, and was very busy. After reading about the Chilean earthquake we were personally very well prepared. Others were not of course and I'm sure were surprised to find no ATMs working, nor petrol stations pumping.Our house is OK but one door doesn't close properly any more. 86 Proctor St lost a chimney. Harolds fabric shop in the Papanui shops has partially collapsed as has the Egyptian souvlaki shop. Edex toys opposite also has big cracks. Alvorados restaurant in town next to where I work is a write-off; you can see tables and chairs on the second level because the walls are gone! My building, Radio Network House (I hear) is habitable despite bits of concrete falling in the stair well. It's a hub for communications so is quite important.
Martin van den Nieuwelaar
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For myself, of course, I'm thankful that I live in Motueka because we've suffered none of the above, though I don't know that being deprived of an Egyptian souvlaki shop would be too much of a hardship. The last time I needed to buy an Egyptian souvlaki - well of course I've not the faintest idea what one is, and don't look at me like that because you haven't either.