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My Dad comes from Christchurch. From Sumner. Redcliffs.
Here’s a photo of us in Christchurch in 1980. I’m not sure which church it is.

My brother’s wife was in Christchurch when the earthquake happened. She was at the airport with Chloe and Maddie – and, fortunately, her dad was there too. Megs has said she seriously thought they were going to die. It sounded like a Boeing 747 was flying into the airport building. The lights all came crashing down from the ceiling and the building rolled. Then everyone just ran.

Once they were outside people began to shout that the airport tower was about to collpase and everyone began to run, again. Megs was just running for safety with the girls and her dad there too. Thank god he was there to help as she just wouldn’t have coped at all. They had all their stuff on the trolley – their luggage had just been checked in. After that they were all sent to a hotel. Not to rooms in a hotel, but the entire airport full of people were sent to a hotel where they cleared the conference rooms and everyone got blankets and camped out on the floor. Nobody knew what was going on until the hotel got the backup generators going and they got the TVs on. It was only then that people could see what was happening in the rest of Christchurch and Megs said she just sat in front of the TV and cried and cried and cried. She tried to hold it together for the kids and she did the best she could. It wasn’t something she wanted them to live through. Not the kind of things children should witness.

Later that night we had a facebook post that she had been rescued and taken to a family member’s home. They had running water and power. The girls were all tucked up in bed but with aftershocks and such a close brush with death Megs didn’t get much sleep that night at all.