Forget regret

Earthquake Anniversary Contemplation

Exactly one year ago most Cantabrians were in bed asleep, unaware of the rude awakening they were about to receive thanks to Mother Earth.


Just like tonight, I was still awake for the 7.1. It was a fright for sure. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins, helping to delay the shock that was about to hit my system.

Post-September we managed to carry on with life. No lives were lost, just a few buildings. All in all, we were lucky, ridiculously so. If it had happened during the day, well, February 22nd taught us what would happen then. We lost 181 that day and 3/4 of our Central Business district, not to mention the numerous now unliveable suburbs.

Our luck in September compared to the devastation we experienced in February is why I’m finding it hard to sympathise with a friend of mine. It’s 5.09am, the exact anniversary was 4.35am and my friend has been crying non-stop since midnight. Because of the anniversary.

What happened in September last year really isn’t much to cry about. We had a week off studies, school and work. No-one died, we only lost a few buildings. There was liquefaction in the streets, roads were bumpier and some houses were a bit crumbly.

Since last September we’ve been through worse. And I’m sure that I’ll be bawling my eyes out when next February rolls around. But what happened last September is nothing to cry over. Really.

I think in some ways, Cantabrians owe their February survival to the events of last September. Without the 7.1, many Cantabrians wouldn’t have planned exit routes, checked their supply of clean bottled water and food, bought several torches and ensured that every member of the household knew what to do if it happens again. Which it did.

So thank you to last September. Without your trial run we couldn’t have coped in February. Not that we’re asking for another one. Or that we’re happy you occurred in the first place. But yea. You made us stronger and better.

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger.”




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