The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Thoughts for our friends in NZ

ehanner's picture

Thoughts for our friends in NZ

The news about the huge quake in NZ is not good. We have lots of members in that region and I'm hoping they are all safe and dry.


ananda's picture

Seconded, Eric.

My Sister-in-Law and family live in Christchurch.   We have spoken to them, and it seems they are fine.   However, they had no water, or, electricity, and it is still wintertime out there at the moment.   They went back to bed to keep warm.

Our thoughts and hopes are with anybody affected by this earthquake.


SylviaH's picture

Andy, my prayers go out for your family and all affected by this terrible disaster.


Mebake's picture

My thoughts and prayers go to the people there.. i hope they survive the disaster..

Thank you Eric for bringing this news to our attention.


RobynNZ's picture


On behalf of the people of the people of the Canterbury region thank you all for your kind words.

Whilst it was a massive 7.1 earthquake (similar to that in Haiti, at a similar depth) with wide spread damage to buildings especially older brick built places, the most amazing thing is there was no loss of life. As Christchurch is built on an alluvial plain, the earth under the city is 'soft'. The current big concern is how extensive the damage underground  to water supplies and waste water/sewage  is and how long that will take to sort out. 

NZ is earthquake prone, we have good building codes, active Civil Defence programmes and New Zealanders are very resilient. Christchurch itself is a city with a strong sense of community and the response and responsibility shown by the people down there has been outstanding. The authorities reacted quickly and in a reassuring manner.

Another 'blessing' was that the earthquake happened at 4:35am, so most people were at home. Also Saturday morning, so the whole weekend to take stock, plan for the short term and commence the clean-up. It will take months.

My brother and his wife live in Christchurch, I was staying at a friend's place in Auckland city and waking in the dark turned on my radio to check the time, it was 5:40am and the radio was providing civil defence guidance. Texted my brother, they were OK but in the dark and with no power he wasn't sure of the local situation. It turned out the only structural damage to their home was to the chimney.


dmsnyder's picture

I'm glad you and your family are all safe and sound, Robyn.

I'm impressed by your sense that things are well in hand. Not much like New Orleans after Katrina, I'm thinking.


RobynNZ's picture

Thanks David,

Yes, I too am impressed. I went to Kobe at the time of the dreadful earthquake there in 1995 which was of similar size and depth too (I worked in television in Japan, mostly involving documentary work offshore but on this occasion with a foreign news crew). I was really traumatized yet I hadn't experienced the actual quake and didn't have to deal with the long aftermath. The initial response from the authorities was appalling and despite the known earthquake risk and lots of preparedness in the form of evacuation drills etc it was clear this was superficial and that when the big one came, the building code and the official emergency response was sorely lacking. The experience contributed to my eventual decision to leave Japan in 2000. 



Jaydot's picture

"Blessings" notwithstanding, it must have been horrific.
My thoughts are with you.
"Sterkte" (strength), as we say in dutch.

ehanner's picture


Thank you for posting the news link. I'm amazed at the damage to the vehicles parked on the street and to the walls on the second story. Quite remarkable.

It is interesting to see how people and governments react to a crisis. No two situations are exactly the same but you can always see the strain on the leaders of the recovery and rescue team. It is remarkable no one was killed in Christchurch.


GSnyde's picture

My wife and I were in NZ last year, and greatly enjoyed the natural beauty, the wonderful people and the great food and wine.  We also have a number of Kiwi friends and co-workers, all of whom are fine.  

Glad to hear there was no loss of life.  It's comforting to know how practical and resilient (and accustomed to life in a seismically-active land) the Kiwis are, but I know from experience how heart-stopping a nearby major quake is. 

Best wishes.


proth5's picture

about the earthquake during my long in-transit and  am glad to hear of a relatively good outcome.  I can only imagine what it must be like.

One might gripe about them, but thank goodness for building codes.

Take care and let us know if there is any way we can be of help.


RobynNZ's picture

The central business district is still cordoned off, falling debris is a safety risk and until the damaged buildings can be demolished/secured, access to the area is limited. While most modern buildings are passing structural engineer checks, once people have been allowed inside, they have been faced with the turmoil inside. Public buildings and schools are closed, awaiting safety checks & clean-up. Water/waste water continue to be a challenge in some areas.

The radio reported just now that the flour mill in Christchurch will need repair as machinery moved,  not sure exactly what that means but one imagines that machinery in a mill would be pretty substantial, and indicates to me the fury  better than the photos of collapsed old brick buildings. There is another flour mill in Auckland and Australia is across the ditch (Tasman Sea) so actual pleas for flour care packages won't be needed.

There are a lot of dairy farms in the vicinity of the epicentre and I was interested to learn that farmers have been trained to activate emergency generators set up in the region. Some farms have been milking their neighbours cows as well as their own. Many silos and tanks twisted and collapsed.

@Pat finding it hard to keep up with which direction you are flying, trust it was towards your oven this time. 

proth5's picture

Flying home "for good" - to return shortly to my so called "normal" life.  This last trip really took it out of me - in many ways.  I claim I don't get jet lagged, but maybe I'm just letting myself fall apart a bit because I know that my next flight won't be across the Pacific.

I'm picturing the Heartland mill and just what kind of force it would take to move that machinery (and the kind of chaos it would cause because with a roller mill you need to get a lot of things lined up pretty near pefectly) and that's quite scary.

But let us all know anyhthing that we can do (since we don't have to send flour)...


liza2's picture

Thanks for thinking of us Eric, and everyone. Although I myself live in the north of NZ my daughter and her family live in Christchurch and miraculously are all ok. I can't imagine what it would be like to be huddling under the doorframe at 4.30 am in the pitch dark with a 6 week old baby and three other children under 6 and a 7.1 earthquake shaking your house. Fortunately their house survived it but they had no water and no electricity for quite a while.  My lovely son in law - he made apple pancakes for them all on the gas stove once things settled down. Thank goodness for strict building codes!!  

RobynNZ's picture

Sadly there has been a further major earthquake in Canterbury today. While a lower magnitude  (M6.5) than the Sept one , it was a much shallower earthquake (5km) and there has been a great deal of damage done.  Unlike the Sept shock, this happened in the middle of the day. Many people are trapped in collapsed buildings. The authorities confirm there are fatalities but so far they have not released any numbers. Once again please send your thoughts to Canterbury.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You bet I sending off prayers! The videos and reports look very bad and there is going to be a lot of work to do to restore everything. It is encouraging to see how quickly the trapped are getting help. My thoughts are with you and your family, friends and neighbors and country.

proth5's picture

Thoughts and prayers....Oh!

RobynNZ's picture


Mini, Pat, Daisy thank you for your kind messages of support.


Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

To All  New Zealanders,

 Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of need. I wish there was more I could do personally. Where with you in spirit.

Care to all............Pete.

Dragonbones's picture

Here's hoping all your loved ones and friends in Christchurch are safe. Our thoughts are with you!

swtgran's picture

So sorry to hear the news about your country!  You're in our prayers as you work to come back from this horrible event.  Terry R

joyfulbaker's picture

We are thinking of you; hardly seems possible to have another such earthquake after just a year and a half.  We had been through a 7.0 quake in Southern California years ago--also no water for a week, friends who had to rebuild homes from the ground up.  It's awful.  We hope you are OK and recovery is swift.


teketeke's picture

I am sorry to hear that another tragedy happened to your city. I pray and think of you and all of people in Christchurch. Please tell me if you need something to help your people. I am sorry to say this that is late.