Naturally, (despite the best efforts of our isolationist British press ), we finally heard about the massive earthquake in NewZealand's south island yesterday.
Wow, 7.1 on old Mr. Richter's scale is not to be ignored, now is it ?!
The wee cousin and her family all live on NZ's south island ,, so we thought we'd better Skype her to see if all was ok ? Needless to say ,,, no answer ,, power / phone lines down we guessed ?
Although it was about 4am local time when we called ! Oops !!
We did see some pics on Google world news and it looked not too bad !! Well not too bad if you're 12,000 miles away on the other side of the planet !
So we left messages ,, on Skype, on MSN ,, on Facebook etc ,,
Call us when ( and gulp ! .. if ,, ) you can .,.,
Some 4 hours later we got a call ,,, & there she was, the Weeyin, sitting in her dressing gown eating her breakfast & smoking her ciggie as if nothing had happened !
The epicentre was less than 20-miles from her front door, the 2nd city of NZ is in a state of ruin, looters are out snaffling everything they can get their hands on, a National emergency and curfew has been called, buildings are wrecked, sewage water is flooding the streets and our kid is chomping away on her morning cereal !
Her grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter and also her son have moved back into her house temporarily ,, theirs have suffered a bit of superficial damage ,, TV's seemed to be falling off walls in every other home ! but weeAnnie needs her breakie & her fag !
She's telling us, between mouthfuls, of the numerous aftershocks that are still happening ,, some as severe as 5.5 on the R scale .,., aye this always happens she says ! They can go on for days ??
Whit ? I never even knew they had regular eathquakes in NZ ? Och aye, she says, we have them all the time ,, but this is the worst one for more than 80-years.
Well you live & learn eh !
Just as we're discussing this, live on Skype, she suddenly stopped eating and said something like ,,,
Ohhhhhh hang on, here it comes agaaaainnnnn .,., and as we watched, there on the computer screen it was like the world was maybe coming to an abrupt end ! We could actually see her whole room shake, the pictures on the wall looked like they would be on the floor any minute .,., ditto the books in her book case as she held on to her breakfast plate !
Less than a minute later it was all over .,., Wow now that's got to be a first .,., watching a live quake, as it happens !
She then calmly announces that a more severe quake is anticipated in the next 36 hours .,.,
I guess she'll be nailing her plate to the table for that one !! ( & smoking two at a time ? )
So there you have it ,,, isn't Skype a wonderful thing ?,, and all for free too !!
Footnote 2-days later ..... It appears that considerably more damage was done in Christ Church than was originally thought .,. Maybe that's due in part to the ( so far ) 228-separate after shocks they've recorded .,., Yeah, that is what I said ,,, 228 !! Bloody Hell .... and they still expect another BIGGIE tomorrow,.,.,. best estimates put it at 6.1 on the R scale !!
Oh & just for the record she tells me they live on the side of some mountains .,., with a bloody Volcano on top but it too ( like their Quake ! ) has been fairly quiet these past 1000 years or so ,,,, she thinks !!