Earthquakes ruin more than property



The Christchurch earthquake has left me deprived. I can never show my grandchildren the city that was a part of me for the majority of my life to date. I will never be able to have them relate to the mystery of Chancery Lane, the beauty of the Cathedral and the \’feel\’ of Lyttelton.

Having been born in the city, growing up in the city, teaching in the city, meeting my wife in the city and having my four sons in the city, Christchurch has been a huge part of my life. A part that is now mainly gone.

Sure there is the relief that family members are safe, friends are safe although a bit bruised and concerned about property damage. I have relief that commercial and residential properties that I developed have withstood natures terror and protected those people within their structures.

I can say with all truth that I am pleased I no longer live in Christchurch. I don\’t know how people can stand the stress of hundreds of aftershocks and worrying that this could be another big one. According to scholars, ninety percent of people who are subjected to an earthquake have psychological problems in their future lives.

I don\’t know how residents of Christchurch will have the strength to restore the city and restore their own lives. Businesses will need to get off their knees and start all over. Tourists will have to be lured back to the city which will be so difficult because the beauty I remember and was so proud of will no longer be evident.

With over 3000 homes uninhabitable the road is going to be long and hard.

Today they are to release the names of those who have died and those who are missing. It is not a list I am looking forward to as I know there will be people I know listed. People I have enjoyed a laugh and good times will have been taken by the earthquake.

It may sound silly but I feel that I have lost someone close to me. A city that provided the setting for so much of my life has now turned into a place of fear and despair.