Still alive

Another couple of big aftershocks yesterday – a 5.5 and a 6.0. Big enough that we evacuated our building at work after the first one (the 5.5), though there wasn’t much real damage that I could see – just the usual ceiling panels down and a bit more plaster falling off the walls. Still, it’s good to know management take these things seriously enough that they want to have an engineering check before we’re allowed back in.

After the first one, once they announced they were closing the campus for the rest of the day (and today as well, as it turned out, so another unexpected day off), I walked home. I thought about taking the bus, but the traffic had already got so heavy with people trying to get home or to schools to pick up their kids that it was approaching gridlock, so walking seemed the faster option.

I spotted some real damage on the way home:

(not a great quality photo, sorry – I didn’t have my proper camera with me, so had to take it using the little camera in my mp3-player)

This block of shops has been closed since the February earthquake when its roof was damaged, but the big hole in the side is new (as you can tell by the rubble on the footpath). It’s amazing nobody got hit by it, because although that stretch of footpath was originally cordoned off, the cordons had been moved (probably by people who’d found it too inconvenient to have to cross to the other side of the road right beside a busy intersection), so I’ve often seen people walking along that bit.

I got home, where H told me of his adventures (he’d just left the supermarket, and was about to get on the bus, when the bus suddenly started bouncing up and down). And then the shaking started again, and got bigger and bigger and just kept on going. We could hear things crashing down all over the house – it actually sounded worse than the September one.

Thankfully, once the shaking stopped (or at least settled down to a low rumble – it didn’t really properly stop all afternoon) we discovered that we’d once again somehow got away without damage. Most of the crashing sounds had come from the pile of CDs H had stacked on top of the CD player in the kitchen, which went flying across the room (we’re still finding CDs in odd places, but so far none broken). The laptop fell over, but fell on a soft surface so wasn’t damaged, and the medicine cabinet came open in the bathroom so its contents were distributed across the floor and sink, but again no breakages.

So apart from a bit more wear and tear to our nerves (we’re getting little aftershocks to the aftershocks every couple of hours, the biggest so far a 4.something), we’re ok. George has even come out from under the bed 🙂

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