Just when you thought it was all over

In theory, I should be at the university writing my research proposal.  Up until an hour or so ago, that’s where I was.  Except then the ground started shaking (again), in a big and scary enough way that taking shelter under my desk seemed like a good idea (ok, and there may have been a tiny bit of whimpering – I was alone in the building, after all!).  I did consider getting back to work after the shaking stopped, but then I checked geonet and discovered that it had been a 5.7, which is big enough that they’d probably evacuate the campus until the buildings have been checked, plus the idea of spending the afternoon alone in a six-storey building was feeling a lot less attractive than it had been, and my adrenaline levels were so high that concentrating on work probably wasn’t all that viable anyway.  So I packed up my books and left the building (it may be a sign that we’re all way too practised with earthquakes in this city that I first emailed myself the documents I was working on, just in case I don’t have access to my office for a while…)

I discovered on the stairwell that I wasn’t quite as alone in the building as I’d thought – I met one of the postgrads from downstairs similarly self-evacuating.  We shared a few reassuring words and went on our way.  As I was passing the library, I could hear the announcements that the library was closing, so I was correct in my assessment that the campus would be evacuated (and in fact, I just checked the university’s website, and yep, a big notice on the front page that campus is closed).  There was no obvious damage to the campus though, so hopefully it’ll only be closed for the afternoon while they do the building checks, and all will be back to normal tomorrow – I’ve got too much work I need to do!

I thought about taking a bus home, just to have some company on the way, but decided to walk – a bit of exercise to drain off some of the adrenaline.  It’s mostly worked, in that I’m feeling a lot calmer, but I don’t know that I’ll be getting much more study done this afternoon, despite bringing a few books home with me.  This is when living alone doesn’t seem like such a fun idea… (especially if we get any aftershocks – according to geonet we’ve had quite a few 3 point somethings already this afternoon, but they were all while I was walking home, so I didn’t feel any of them).  And of course, with Christchurch’s recent history, there’s always the thought in the back of your mind of what if there’s another really big one?  The rational part of my brain remembers that the geologists did say anything up to a 6 would be a normal part of the aftershock sequence even this far out from the original quakes, but the less rational parts are having none of it.  Think I might put a DVD on and devote the afternoon to sewing and watching something mindless to take my mind off things.

5 thoughts on “Just when you thought it was all over

  1. That’s a fairly large quake and I’m not surprised that your nerves are rattled, especially given recent history.

    I used to have a family member that lived in San Francisco, and on more than one occasion while I was visiting, there would be a small one. It NEVER seems right for the ground to move. EVER. 🙂 Even if you understand intellectually what forces are at work, etc. Your monkey brain will have none of it. It declares it unacceptable! 🙂

  2. I’m astonished by how much the 5.7 last Sunday affected me. Personality wise I’m positive, cheerful, have matured and ‘reinvented’ myself from who I was 5 years ago. I acknowledge the deep sadness of a cottage still not rebuilt but refuse to allow it to make me bitter and I THOUGHT I was doing great. But oh my goodness the fears and emotions tucked into neat cubbyholes in my soul were shaken right out into the open. I’m looking at them strewn everywhere now and don’t know how to put them back. Feeling vulnerable but afraid to share with anyone else in Christchurch because I know they too are wearing brave smiles and I don’t want to add to their burdens.

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