It’s February 22, one year since the major earthquake in Christchurch that resulted in 185 deaths.
One thing I notice is that in many of the blog posts and news reports about Christchurch since that day, very little context is provided or needed. Virtually every New Zealander knows about the earthquake and its aftermath in incredible detail. We’ve read, seen and, for about ten percent of us, experienced the disaster over and over again, with fresh perspectives adding new layers of clarity every day. It’s for this reason that sentences like the first one in this post are practically redundant. Everyone knows.
It’s for this reason also that I questioned putting anything on my blog to mark the first anniversary of the biggest #eqnz. What could I add to the stack of reports that hasn’t already been said? I used to live in Christchurch, for five years; I watched in horror from my house in India as the TV reports rolled in, scouring Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other previously unseen corners of the Internet for new information, especially about the welfare of people I knew. But does the world need my detailed perspective, too?
I contacted some people who were in Christchurch that day, as well as spoke to others who had strong ties to Christchurch but were elsewhere on February 22. A few indicated that they had things to say. I figure that while the world (or New Zealand) may not need more words about the earthquake, some people affected by it might value a space for self-expression.
So, that’s what my blog is today and for the next few days. I’ve asked some just to write about a negative and a positive emotion linked to the earthquake and the days that followed; others have come up with something different. (If you’re reading this and want to contribute something, get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.)
I hope everyone who suffered through the big earthquake a year ago, and who continues to suffer through aftershocks and trauma, is able to mark the occasion on their own terms. Kia kaha.