Broken

On my way to Hanmer Springs for the weekend I had my first visit to Christchurch since the Earthquake four years ago. It is truly sobering. Where there was once a vibrant city it was eerily cleared and filled with bare spaces like a wasteland of emptiness. With hardly anyone around it had such a depressing sense of abandonment, a ghost city. My heart aches for all those slowly rebuilding their broken city… these are just a few images I took:

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and it was very poignant to see the memorial sculpture to those 185 souls lost in the quake.

dedication on the chairs memorial
Anne Lamott’s dedication on the chairs memorial

On our first visit to the city we were impressed by the resilience and optimism expressed by the locals we met, they seemed to be learning to dance with their banged-up hearts – we were just glad to get back to shakey ol’ Wellington!

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8 thoughts on “Broken

    1. I am in awe of them too. The rebuild has taken an age so far and it barely looks to have started… although there were some signs of life, the people were making the best of it.
      I found it very moving, desolate and sad. The images only portray a little of that really.

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      1. I recollect being in Corinth years ago and seeing all the buildings shored up by scaffolding like the residents’ world could fall around them at any time. It felt so very sad as people went about their business as best they could even while knowing that every rebuild could be wrecked again by another quake. To live under that pressure takes a certain kind of person. I admire heir guts especially as I’m not sure I could.

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      2. Me too, we had a number of sizeable earthquakes here in Wellington a couple of years ago which were pretty traumatic, even though damage was minimal. Their stoicism is unbelievable given they went through thousands of shakes over a long setting down period – which is partly a cause for the delays.

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    1. I’m hopeful (although not so confident) that the rebuild will result in a much greener city, especially around the river where it has been red zoned. And perhaps because it is taking longer it will enable more thinking and resources to be put into that. It looks at the moment that the city is just shifting further into the countryside, which is not so good.

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