?

Log in

No account? Create an account

rūaumoko - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 23rd, 2011

09:54 am - rūaumoko

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

So, most of the world probably knows by now about the second big earthquake in Christchurch. Certainly if the number of contacts I've had from those on the other side of the world enquiring if we're ok is anything to go by, anyway.

We are ok. Wellington is 300 or so kilometres from Christchurch. We felt the quake here and I got home to find one end of the washing line leaning over but that's the extent of it for Wellington. No work got done in my office yesterday afternoon. We joke about how New Zealand is so small that everyone knows everyone else - it's not quite true but there's nobody here that doesn't know somebody there, and yesterday was all about trying to find out if those people were ok. The only person I don't know about yet is phaetonschariot so if anyone's heard from her I'd love to know.

Wellington was very quiet this morning. It took me a while to realise what was missing - it was the voices of people chatting the way they normally do on the way to work. Today, everyone was in their own zone, avoiding eye contact, stern-faced and silent. It was eerie.


What do you do when something like this happens and you're too far away to be of any direct help? Well, according to the people I work with, you glue yourself to the TV or obsessively refresh the internet for any little bit of news that will help you make sense of what's happening. Or you hunt down useful information and make sure everyone has it. The internet has changed the face of disaster response, that's for sure. For example at about 6 last night Wellington Airport tweeted that they needed accommodation for stranded passengers. 45 minutes later they tweeted again "All sorted, thank you Wellington."

But mostly, you just wave your hands around helplessly, not really knowing what to say or think, and wishing that you were lifting bricks instead of flailing to make yourself useful. Or you try to stay out of the way of people that actually are useful. And send throughts, good vibes, prayers, whatever, to the people who actually need it.

Anyway, here's a list of places where people who aren't in Christchurch can go to get information or offer help or donate or DO something:

Canterbury Earthquake Appeal

Donate to the Red Cross (NB this site was down when I looked - probably overloaded - but should be back up reasonably quickly).

Person finder that has been set up to help find loved ones.

Where to go to volunteer. This seems to be only if you're on the spot.

Apparently the Red Cross have enough blood right now but will make sure everyone knows if they need some.

Civil Defence information. This site has a LOT of information about what's going on. Apparently visitors in Christchurch are being relocated to Wellington to free up accommodation for residents of Christchurch. Tweet from @LisaKPreston a couple of hours ago:

"If you have accommodation available in Wellington for the next two days, please let the Wellington i-SITE know - we expect high demand" Wellington i-site here.

Update: Here's an email address to offer accommodation for displaced folks from Christchurch: contact@WellingtonNZ.com They say they have things under control but are gathering information.

Donate toilet paper, deodorant and soap.


All of which caused me to stop watching Libya. Apparently their esteemed leader, who I suspect is a bit mad, has vowed to go down fighting and thinks he'll be a martyr that way. He made a speech about this sometime after we all got distracted. The pictures coming out of Libya yesterday were horrific but it appears that at least some members of the army and airforce there are refusing to turn guns on their fellow citizens and have defected. I hope there will be no more bloodshed. Can we have some good news now?

Also, is there anyone in the world who knows how to spell the Libyan leader's name?

[EDIT] More places to offer beds.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:rivet
Date:February 22nd, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I've been glued to the internet, but helpless to do anything. They don't even need my blood donations yet! Because I'm quite empathetic, I find the raw emotion of the situation heart-wrenching--people trying to get to their kids, their parents, their friends. I know too well that it could just have easily been Wellington.

While I was sitting at home pensively drinking wine, however, Will was responding to the geek equivalent of a Bat-signal and building sites to help people coordinate information. I was bursting with admiration :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There is definitely a place for geeks in all this. At the moment it seems the Red Cross need help to keep their donation site up.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:February 22nd, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
yes the geeks are awsome! yay will!!

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:rivet
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Cheers for that. I avoid the video, but for the moment the twitter feeds continue to be riveting because they turn up encouraging news.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:February 23rd, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
or in my case it would be
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:phaetonschariot
Date:February 24th, 2011 08:02 am (UTC)
(Link)


After the first quake in September. Later changed to "now panic and freak out" with the crown upside down.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:February 24th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hey you! I'm glad you're ok!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:vernacularity
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
yeh the news is determined to focus everybody on awfulness. and my god tv3 newsreaders are a bunch of inarticulate baboons compared with tv1
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I am finding it interesting the way many intelligent people are using various so-called 'social networks' as their primary source of information these days - even if it's only people providing links to other stuff.

Also if you wanted emotional catharsis you'd take up skate hockey or something.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:vernacularity
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It was only from watching the news last night that I got a real sense of the disaster, actually had an emotional reaction, and from reading things on Stuff today, but it was definitiely the eyewitness accounts and descriptions of what had happened, and the background pics showing what was going on, which had an effect rather than any of the commentary from journalists. It becomes personalised when I can imagine that the lady who was killed by rubble while the baby she was holding survived, may very well be someone I know and who so far has not been accounted for. etc.

The "social media" stuff like twitter and facebook is great for finding about people and co-ordinating response, but for me did/does not portray events adequately.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:t_c_da
Date:February 22nd, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The "social media" stuff ... is great for finding about people

Yeah - most of the interaction with my son in CHC since the earthquake has been via facebook, which is enough to know that he is OK and lending a hand to those around him who are worse off. It also made co-ordinating information around my far flung whanau much easier.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 23rd, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
I found the TV was good like that too. Which is what I needed when I was thousands of miles away from NZ but still concerned about all the people and places I knew while I spent all my university days there.

On the other hand, the erroneous information they'd start repeating was frustrating. They told people to donate blood while the blood bank was frantically saying "no no, we're fine, we can't handle all the calls people are making currently"
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 23rd, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
(Link)
Any other geeks interested in joining the efforts: #eqnz on irc.freenode.net
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:February 22nd, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
also i am not sure that gadaffi knows how to spell his own name! err yeah..
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:whatifitworks
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Horrific as it is, it's been quite marvellous to see the recue and recovery effort unfold. Comparing to other major quakes last year like Sumatra, Yushu and Haiti, it really highlights the difference that good infrastructure makes. thouggh of course, even this can not save everyone.

This is a very moving infographic, btw: http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz/
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:torbenite
Date:February 23rd, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Anyone know why the epicentres all seem to be in the same place? Hope its not a new volcano pushing up...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:February 23rd, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Just heard from a good friend who's a seismologist who specialises in earthquake risk analysis. He says the quake is the right size to be an aftershock of the original quake last September, and within the right time zone (less than a year is nothing in geological terms).

New Zealand is a seismically active country and not being on a fault line is no guarantee of safety for CHCH. There is no volcano, it's just a thing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thatgirljj
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm pretty much glued everywhere for everything. Christchurch. Libya. Bahrain. Pirates. There's a lot going on and it's all bad. Libya scares the bejeezus out of me, since many reports indicate that Quaddafi is turning out mercenaries from Chad & Darfur against his own people. The defector's planes that landed in Malta armed to the hilt to bomb their countrymen? It's just sick and wrong.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:February 23rd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
yeah.. i am gluded like you to everywere.. was just at a solidarity protest in midland park for lybia, it was pretty small but with much heart!! and a minitut silence for Christchurch..

*nods*...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:phaetonschariot
Date:February 24th, 2011 08:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
I had been following it until losing power et al but after the good news out of Egypt it's horrifying how far he's going to keep hold of power. I keep trying to focus on the pieces about those who are refusing to fight the protestors, and the ranking officers who are defecting against him.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:vernacularity
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"What do you do when something like this happens and you're too far away to be of any direct help?"

and then there are those who are so desperate to be center of attention, almost screaming with glee every time they uncover a "fresh" fact or pic ... that everyone else has already seen

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:t_c_da
Date:February 22nd, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
New Zealand is so small that everyone knows everyone else

The quote that I was offered shortly after my arrival here was "It's a small town from The Cape to The Bluff".

Events like CHC EQ simply underline that sentiment...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pythia
Date:February 23rd, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
(Link)
I haven't heard from Kei, either. =/
So far everyone else in my immediate family and close friends seem to be ok and accounted for, but I don't think there will be one person in the city who doesn't know someone who died by the end of it all.
(Reply) (Thread)