Our chimney fell into the garage 

and killed a bike if it had have fallen
the other way it would have killed Daisy
and Rod. Happy fathers day I guess. 

We were wide awake when the quake struck. 

The house started to shake gently at first
then more violently so standing or walking 

was out of the question. It seemed to last 
for ever.
The noise was like a freight train
but no coming and going just right next to you
all the time. We gathered the kids up
and made a run for the ground floor 

and the kitchen table. Rod was scared for most
of the day; very jittery, very angry.

I walked around on Saturday like a zombie. 

Seemed that everything was the same yet different. 

Small cracks in pavement, large ones near the river 

which had changed from clear to milk. 

We went upstairs and a corner of the house
is down a slope from the hall. The foundations 

slipped into the liquefied sand underneath. 

The house is safe, luckily.

Out of an email from a friend who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the earthquake that struck there in the early hours of Saturday 4 September 2010. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.