Dave Jackson is a university student from Hamilton whom I discovered on Twitter, somewhere in the lifetime of the #eqnz hashtag (which has become Twitter shorthand for everything Christchurch has been through over the past year and a half). He was in Christchurch until before Christmas 2011, studying at Canterbury University (where I also studied). He thus experienced both the first September 2010 quake and the big one a year ago today.
Dave was kind enough to let me cross-post a few words from his blog. The full entry is here; his words below are about getting home at the end of the day.
I sat down at the computer and the full extent of what had happened hit me, the checking in of people being OK and telling friends that you were fine. Then bed, snatched grasps of sleep between aftershocks. The booze and the sleeping pills looking tempting as hell, but you want to make sure you’ve got all your faculties about you if you need them.
Emotionally it was a frantic day. The initial panic of the quake, followed up by a sense of relief. Then the unease as you hear what happened, about the destruction and deaths. Then there’s the panic as you haven’t heard from people, the relief as people start checking in, and then as you get home to find power is back on you take a break, because you know that tomorrow is going to throw some challenges at you you never thought you’d face.