Image by Martin Hunter/Getty Images; sourced via The Atlantic.
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This is my homeland. The place on earth I hold most closely to my heart. And, earlier this week, Christchurch city was thrown into a state of upheaval by earthquakes once more.
New Zealand isn’t called the Shaky Isles for nothing. Fault lines run like veins underneath the surface of a lot of the country. It sits astride the colliding edges of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates and has both active and dormant volcanoes scattered across the land.
Around the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi only half of Wellington was there. The coast road came out of the sea in 1875 and The Basin Reserve became landlocked. Before that it was the basin harbour and ships sailed right in for repairs to be done. Napier was on the hill, there being little of it down on the flat before the 1931 earthquake changed the coastline.
This knowledge does not bring me comfort as I follow the #eqnz tag on twitter. What does bring me comfort is the power of social media. People are offering beds to strangers, messages are being RT’d to help people locate their loved ones. People on twitter are sharing links to sites set-up to provide information and links to ways people can help. Like this one from Public Address.
A huge, emotional part of me wants to get on a plane and get back there to help. Doing SOMETHING. Anything. Holding people’s hands; Moving rubble; Manning a phone; Going round to people’s homes to check on them for their friends/family that haven’t been able to make contact. But the practical side of it is that I’m not qualified in search and rescue and wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the CBD. The public are being asked to stay away so rescue teams can do their job and I’d probably be more of a hindrance than a help.
Instead, I will keep spreading the word on twitter. Passing on messages so people can find each other. Making a donation. Living with hope. Offering silent prayers to the universe that everything is going to be okay.
Today’s reminder: Life is fragile. Cherish every moment. Be kind. Love. #eqnz
If you would like to help in any way, here are some suggestions:
- Follow the #eqnz tag on twitter.
- RT any messages you see from people looking for loved ones and ask your followers to do the same
- Make a donation via one of the links on Public Address
- Check out this NZ Herald page for other ways to help
- Visit the TradeMe Christchurch Earthquake Support page for more ways to help
- Grab yourself over 50 tracks of awesome New Zealand music: Buy Songs for Christchurch with a minimum NZD$5 donation (about USD$3.80). Donate via PayPal & receive a download link. All money goes to Red Cross
- Offer up a prayer (or – if praying isn’t for you – simply hold the people of, and visitors to, NZ in your thoughts for a moment )
- Think about your own situation. Are you and your family ready should a natural disaster occur?
- Tell someone you love them.