Because no one died, it is tempting to downplay the impact of the earthquake, or in fact earthquakes in Canterbury. I recommend people listen to Amy’s speech.
Amy also blogged a couple of days ago on the quake:
The early hours of Saturday morning were without doubt some of the scariest of my life. Wrenched from deep sleep by violent tremors and a deafening roar, the mind can’t even comprehend what is happening.
Once I realised it was an earthquake the next thought was quite simply that we were going to die. There just didn’t seem any way the house could withstand the forces throwing it around. In those moments your instinct is simply to reach out for your family.
Grabbing my husband we both started screaming out to my daughter (my son was thankfully away in a safe area) and as soon as we could stand we pushed through debris in total blackness to my daughter’s room. Later when the sun came up I would learn that the fish tank that flew across her room missed her head by mere inches before crashing on the bed post but at that moment the priority was getting everyone into the kitchen and under our very solid table.
In the darkness the house felt totally unfamiliar and progress was slow picking our way through the remains of our once treasured possessions. In bare feet broken glass was the biggest challenge and once we reached the table it felt like a refuge. We huddled together there for a while before venturing out for blankets, shoes and our civil defence kit which luckily enough we had.
Treasury are now talking $4 billion as the total cost.