Holly was in hospital when the earthquake struck, and caused more damage than anyone thought possible
I spoke with Nick, my Mum got hold of Holly, they couldn't reach one another.
Finally Nick made it to the hospital, it took them 5 hours to drive the 9kms from the hospital to home, a distance usually travelled in 20 minutes.
All the while they were worried, the destruction was incomprehensible, Holly had very little pain relief, they didn't know if their home would be standing when they reached it, or if their cats would have become terrified and run away, their gas light moved to empty and no petrol stations were open.
In Auckland my family gathered in our lounge and just watched the events unfold, horrific scenes and so much trauma and death. I knew more than Holly and Nick, I knew that their suburb was close to the epicentre, that most of it was subject to the foul liquefaction and sewage spills.
Thankfully they made it home safely and their home was spared, even spared the liquefaction, everything in the house was on the floor - including their wardrobes, and they have no power, water or sewage, but they have family down there helping them, and the offer of flights to stay with us for as long as they need to, we are so lucky they have been spared.
We are still having lots of communication problems, and that will continue, the infrastructure has been annihilated in many areas, but we are so blessed to know that they are safe, others are not so lucky.
New Zealand is a small, sparsely populated 1st world nation in the South Pacific, comprised of 3 islands - North, South and Stewart Island. I live in Auckland (see map) the largest city at over 1 million people, Christchurch is NZ's 3rd largest city and is in the South Island.
If you need information or wish to help please go here