As you may know, there was recently another large earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand (the city endured a magnitude 7.2 quake in September last year). This one was of a lower magnitude, but with an epicentre much closer to the surface, so the damage done to the city has been a lot worse. In September, miraculously, no one was killed in the quake, and a lot of buildings weathered it very well. In this aftershock the number of confirmed casualties is still rising and the central city has been devastated.

Christchurch Cathedral after the quake; the spire crumbled.

You can find some coverage of the earthquake which should be regularly updated here. Much of New Zealand lies along a fault line so earthquakes are a risk we are all vaguely aware of, but this event is made all the more distressing by the fact that the aftershocks of the September quake just seemed to be dying down. After this large one, it seems that more high-magnitude aftershocks will be in store rather than less.

I live in Wellington, New Zealand. We are also on the fault line and potentially at risk, but then, Wellington is always potentially at risk from a major earthquake. The events in Christchurch certainly do bring it home, though (and the words of a certain Kaumatua must be haunting more than a few people).

The cynic in me has sighed deeply more than once in the last few days at the number of people who gasp at the television as exclaim “oh, how terrible!” – then continue with their days without a care. I sigh more deeply at recognising the same reaction in myself, and have resolved to do something about it. If you’d like to as well, here are some of the things I’ve found around the place.

The Red Cross is one of those trustworthy groups that we’ve all heard of, and they do good work. You can donate money directly here. Depending on your preferred method of donation, there are bank accounts set up at various banks, lines for txt donation from mobile phones, and other things – TV3 has a good list here.

As well as feverishly putting together your own disaster kits (many people I know are doing so and I might just follow suit), think about anything you might have that you could send to Christchurch. Here are two messages for Wellingtonians that appeared on my Facebook page:

Wellingtonians, if you want to help, there is a drop off point at 44 Wigan Street, Wellington City. The truck leaves at 5pm on Thursday. Batteries, torches, toilet paper, deoderant, soap, sheets, pillow cases, …food, new buckets. Pretty much anything.



The Wgtn City Mission has advised that evacuees are being hosted at Toi
Poneke (Wgtn Arts Centre) and they are in urgent need of adult clothing
and shoes for tourists.

Some people are arriving with just the clothes that they are wearing. If
…you can drop any clothes/shoes to Toi Poneke to 61 Abel Smith St either
today or tomorrow it would be greatly appreciated.


Finally, for those more creatively inclined, there’s a rather neat initiative here: make some home baking and drop it off on Monday to be sent to Christchurch. There’s a personal touch about this that I like – homemade cookies may not be what is most desperately needed down there, but they sure would show that you care and maybe bring a smile to a face.

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