I’ve been out and about again this afternoon, and I can’t help but think that things are getting worse. For one, people are more and more tired of the whole thing, the interrupted sleep, the disruption to home life, the closures of schools. Secondly, the aftershocks, which are still coming fairly steadily. Thirdly, things were probably worse than first thought. This was the view from my window, 4 hours after the quake:

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view from my window approx 10am, 4th September

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This is the view now, 4 days later:

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view from my window, September 8th

I know that it takes time to put fences up, that sort of thing. But I think that the more investigation there is, the more fences go up. I don’t think I’ve seen a building be downgraded, only upgraded. Hence the estimated cost has today doubled from 2 to 4 billion dollars. While people are working 12 or 15 hour shifts, and have been doing so for 4 days straight, to try and make this place safe, it’s going to take weeks or months, just to get the city safe enough for those shops that aren’t damaged to open. For example, our street, Cashel St, will need a number of buildings cleared – Redpaths, the CDC, Malbas – before the police will be comfortable enough just to let us in. I can’t see us getting back to our house in the next fortnight, whilst on Sunday, I would have said we would be back in by the end of the week. And our street is a pretty straightforward one, really.

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