23/02/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
As most of the world would have heard by now, Christchurch (South Island, New Zealand…1000km south of where we live) suffered a devastating earthquake yesterday, leaving the inner city looking like a warzone and resulting in much loss of life.
It has been so frustrating and heart-wrenching to watch the events unfold on TV. I feel so near, and yet so very far away.
What has been wonderful, though, is the way that people have turned out in droves to help…helping their neighbours, providing shelter to strangers, providing food and warmth. I was listening to the radio this morning, where one young chap – living alone in Christchurch – rang the radio station in tears as he was so frightened. A local girl rang up to say that she was immediately on her way to comfort him.
Other countries have offered aid. Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) teams are coming from Australia and America and help is pouring in from as far away as Israel (no surprise there – Israel is usually one of the first on the scene in international disasters).
There was a message, posted on a Facebook page this morning, which I think summed up the national response well. It read “Hang on Christchurch, the rest of New Zealand is on its way.”