This latest earthquake may be turning out to be New Zealand's single most tragic event. With the death toll reaching 145 as at Friday’s date and there are still 200 missing. The Prime Minister has called for a two minutes silence on Tuesday to remember the lives lost and to spare a thought for those grieving lost friends or relatives.
What is not being reported by the press is that Christchurch was still in clean up mode from the September 2010 earthquake. Insurance companies were still dealing with damage claims, homes are still un-inhabitable and many more are habitable but still awaiting repairs. This latest earthquake has just compounded the situation making more homes un-inhabitable and putting insurance companies back to square one. There was a shortage of skilled tradesman to carry out repairs previously, this situation can only get worse. Some relief may come from tradesmen crossing the Tasman sea from Australia but they have been having their own problems with the recent floods.
There are reports of people leaving the city in droves. With no where to live, job’s in jeopardy, no electricity or water you cannot blame them for seeking shelter and safety with friend’s and family around the country. There are also reports of rural communities and sport’s club’s getting together and heading for Christchurch to help with the clean up operation which is going to be colossal once the body recovery phase is completed.
Dot’s son Brent has been working hard behind the scene’s setting up computers in Wellington for the South Island electricity company, Meridian Energy so that they can carry on operating. Presumably their Christchurch office has been affected.
The Government is to announce an emergency package for Christchurch in the next few days while a long term arrangement is finalised over the next few weeks.