Hard News by Russell Brown


Christchurch: Square Two

Anyone who knows anyone in Christchurch will know that the damage from yesterday's swarm of earthquakes was more than physical: it is a wound to the spirit of the people of the city. As Emma said in a comment last night -- quoting her partner Karl -- "it feels like we’re back to Square Two. Kids are off school again, we’re back on stored water and rationing. It’s hard. It’s really fucking hard."

I can understand that. When I was down in the city recently, the fact that the streets had been relieved of their tons of vile silt was a palpable sign of recovery. Even though it seemed that progress was painfully slow in restoring the city and its structures, something had demonstrably been done. People had water and power back on, some of them had flushing toilets.

And now ... start again. Yesterday's aerial pictures of the eastern suburbs, deep in liquefaction again, were heartbreaking.

But a word of caution: If there's one thing people in Christchurch don't need to hear, it's anyone else's musings about how perhaps it would be best to just give up and clear out. Do you think they're not having those thoughts, and struggling with them, already?

So, a new thread for another new normal. Back to Square Two.

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