Weekly Photo Challenge: Earthquake Resilience

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Resilient

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
― Elizabeth Edwards

On February 11, 2011 the people in Christchurch, New Zealand were eating lunch when their world started to shake. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake destroyed their beautiful city.

More than 130 people died in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. Falling bricks and masonry killed 11 people and eight people died in two city buses crushed by crumbling walls. When rock cliffs collapsed, five more people were lost from falling boulders.
img_3935Five years later (November 2016), we toured Christchurch, where many buildings were still boarded up waiting to be rebuilt. Why did it take so long to begin rebuilding? In 2012, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority began the arduous task of mapping the damaged homes and businesses into four zones.
img_3937A staggering 1,300 buildings within the city limits had to be demolished before construction could begin. Insurance claims were filed. People waited to be reimbursed so they could begin the recovery and rebuilding process.
img_3926Today, Christchurch reminds me of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. City blocks buzzed with the sounds of jack hammers, drills, saws, while supple construction workers chatted with each other on their lunch breaks.
img_3923Airy cranes swayed in the winds lifting steel and other heavy materials to the tops of the buildings, while cleaning crews rolled their wheelbarrows with the punches.
img_3911Versatile scaffolding surrounded and supported crumbled cathedrals.
img_3931Expansive graffiti covered boarded windows.
img_3915The quick to recover business community created the Restart Mall out of shipping containers. This was one of my favorite places in Christchurch. Creativity abounded with the shipping crates converted into stores.
img_3920The community of Christchurch is certainly resilient! They are accepting their new reality and trying to put together something that is good….until the next earthquake.

November 22, 2016 we were sitting in our apartment in Christchurch when a 5.8 earthquake struck again. Fortunately there wasn’t any damage. but it was disconcerting. We were very grateful for the resilient Kiwis and their experience with earthquakes.

19 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Earthquake Resilience

  1. Love the phase about resilience at the top of your post, Debbie. Adapting and finding ways to keep moving forward is going to be a big challenge for much of the world in 2017. Here’s hoping for some stability (both terrestrial and political), calm weather and a big sense of humor in both our little corners of the world! Anita

  2. Wonderful collection of photos and background. Glad you were safe and there wasn’t any more damage for those living there. Our world is in constant movement in so many ways and resilience is the only way to survive and still enjoy life. Love and Light!

    • Thank you Spirit. Our son just called me from Yosemite National Park where he works. They are experiencing heavy rains in the valley and heavy snow in the highlands. If the weather warms up they are going to have to evacuate 800 employees and close the park. 20 years ago this week, Yosemite valley flooded and this is expected to be worse. Please keep them in your thoughts.

  3. Earthquakes have a way of rattling your sense of stability (pardon the pun). I was awakened a few years ago, at 2 am, at a retreat place in Puerto Rico – by an earthquake. Being close to the ocean, we gathered outside, nervously shining our flashlights on the ocean, checking for the water pulling back in preparation for a tsunami….I will never forget that night!

    • I call the earthquake experience ground surfing. After it passes, I feel strangely unbalanced for a day. It is a weird feeling. While we were experiencing earthquakes in New Zealand, our housesitters were preparing for Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua. Then, the same day a 6.1 earthquake rumbled off the coast of El Salvador and there was a tsunami alert in San Juan Del Sur. Lots of shaking in our unstable world lately.

  4. Happy New Year Debbie! May Ometepe be all you you wish it can be in ’17 to you and Ron!
    From cool, rain drenched California,


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