If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Earthquake Recovery by Warren Bull

Earthquake Recovery by Warren Bull

On February 22, 2011 at 12:51 p.m. an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit New Zealand’s South Island. It was centered 10 kilometers southeast of Christchurch’s central business district. The quake occurred about six months after a September 2010 earthquake. Although the earlier quake was more violent, at a magnitude of 7.1, the second quake was more shallow and closer to the city.

It occurred about lunchtime on a weekday, which meant that the business center was full of people. 185 people were killed. More than 130 deaths resulted from the collapse of two multi-storey office buildings.

In July of that year my wife, Judy, and I came to Christchurch. Judy was hired to teach a class in Pediatric Audiology at Cambridge University. I came along too.

In August of this year, 2016, we returned to Christchurch. This time Judy came on a fellowship to teach the same subject as before.  As part of our stay we went on a rebuild tour, which focused on what had been accomplished in rebuilding the city and what remains to be done.

Part of Christchurch was built over what had been a swamp. With the seismic event heavier material sank as much as a meter and a half while lighter materials such as dust, sewage and water came to the surface.  Homes had geysers of sewage come up through toilets. Water and sewage pipes broke under streets. Older buildings were especially vulnerable. Many of the heritage buildings that had given Christchurch a quaint and charming appearance were destroyed. Much of the downtown area was fenced off. People were not allowed to enter that area. Houses were rated as red, unsafe to enter or green safe. 

Some people were angry that they could not enter their own houses. Other getting a green rating were too frightened. When we left on November 12th, the last people living in tents got upgraded to better temporary housing. 

On the tour we saw considerable progress. We also saw how much still needs to be done. The central city is being created with height restrictions on the buildings. It will be smaller than before and it will have more parks and green areas in and around it with wider streets.  Major corporations are building offices. Smaller businesses have reopened. Restaurants and other service industries are also opening. Buildings are still being taken down. Empty lots full of rubble are common. The city allowed people to paint the outside walls of buildings with bright colors. Some walls resemble cartoons. Others look like fine art oil paintings.

Along side the demolition, construction is continuing. People who live here tell us that the central city changes from week to week as more damaged buildings are razed and new businesses start.
A cathedral at the heart of the central city is still the center of controversy. Some people want to save as much as possible of the broken outer shell that exists. Other people want to tear it all down and start from scratch. A proposed modern church was extremely unpopular. That design was abandoned. The debate continues.

A stadium built for the 2011 rugby world cup games is another project without a plan. The city and the insurance company have disagreed about the value of the stadium. No resolution of differences is in sight.

There are certainly fewer places that look like bombed- out buildings than there were five years ago. At that time people predicted at least a decade would be needed to restore Christchurch. I’m happy to report that progress toward that goal is happening.  I also think that more than another five years will be needed for a full recovery.

On a positive note, Canterbury University’s enrollment, which had dropped drastically, is now back to former levels. One student started a “Student Army” that helped people dig out and re-start. Farmers started a “Farmy Army” using their farm vehicles to open roads and clear debris.  

People here are resilient.


Kait said...

How devastating. Your picture of the Cathedral is gorgeous the juxtaposition of the ruins to the bright blue sky. The sewage events had to be the insult added to the injury. As I read your words I was reminded of what South Dade looked like after Hurricane Andrew. Leveled for the most part. No landmarks, desolation. It took a good ten years to finally erase the last of the scars. It's an awful, slow, but hopeful process rebuilding. Good luck to them. They seem to have made a fine start. Resilient is the perfect word.

Depan Depan said...

gambar xxx This is a very good post. Just wonderful. Nice one artis

KM Rockwood said...

A reminder of how resourceful and helpful people can be.

Let's hope those traits are tapped in other parts of the world that have suffered devastating disasters.

It's discouraging that some of the worst disasters are human-made.

Grace Topping said...

With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Florida right now, it is easy to see how destructive earth and mother nature can be. I'm pleased to hear, however, how resilient the people of Christchurch have been and that they are recovering.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Your photo of the Cathedral tells it all: resilience and determination.

Shari Randall said...

What a timely blog, Warren, as we see the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew. The resilience shown by the people of Christchurch is inspiring.