A year ago, at 12.51 pm Canterbury was hit by the second earthquake. The first one was on 4 September 2010.
By pure coincidence on both days I was flying to Australia on the redeye flight, so found about both in airport lounges.
I recall after the first earthquake thinking how it was a minor miracle that no one died, and partly putting it down to the timing at 4.35 am, when most were asleep in their beds.
The second earthquake was not so well timed. It was technically less powerful than the September quake, but it was centred closer to Christchurch and was centred at half the depth. The combination of the timing, the earlier damage and the location led to 185 human beings losing their life.
There is much one can say about what has happened since, with the $30 billion estimated price tag, the decisions on reconstruction etc. But I don’t think today is the day for that. Today I just want to say to those in Canterbury that a year on we have not forgotten, and we will not forget.