Christchurch – Inside the Red Zone

There are parts of our central city that are still off limits for the safety of the public.

There are buildings likely to fall or that will have to be taken down.

There is rubble and brokenness everywhere.

On Friday The Atlas (who just quietly, much to my surprise, has quite a grown-up job) spent some time in a hard hat, and high-vis visiting looking and learning.

These are some of the images he took.

A city abandoned midday – coffees on tables, bikes still locked up, shop doors open, special signs still out.

In them you’ll see map-world. His favourite shop and one of the reasons I call him The Atlas.

There is a long road ahead of this city.

I pray for wisdom for all of those making decisions.

I pray for the desperate building owners, the devastated family members, the workers without work.

I believe in new beginnings.

I believe in strong communities.

I hope for life and love to grown from brokenness and heartache.

I have seen and experienced the power of love, community, kindness and solidarity in Christchurch, from New Zealand and from the world.

This waters the seeds of Hope.

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7 responses

  1. Oh so sobering. Hard to believe it’s already been 5 or so weeks and everything still looks so destroyed 😦

    I agree with all you’ve said in this post – this could be the making of our country and the way people have rallied together so far is so heartening. Shows that beneath all the busyness of life today and materialism, people do still genuinely care about each other. Long may the lessons from Christchurch continue hey!

  2. We pray for that too. Sad images, great thoughts and reflections.

  3. Don’t know if you’ve seen it but we spent hours looking at the following website. It has high res photos of Christchurch taken shortly after the quake. It shows the extent of the damage very graphically.
    http://eqviewer.co.nz/index-imagery.html
    I share your hope. It has been amazing to see communities band together and friends support each other through these hard days. Christchurch will rise again.

  4. Oh boy, it’s so bad isn’t it? I didn’t know there was a shop just for maps! How neat.

  5. Thanks for your post. Photo 6 is of where I was at 12.51pm on 22 February – a moment that will forever be etched in my memory. But I am slowly rebuilding my hope too.

  6. Thank you so much for showing us what is happening in Christchurch as it helps people to relate to the problems you are facing. I know it must be painful to focus on the negative aspects but it helps to motivate others by showing them how they may be able to help.
    Thank you for sharing and I pray that things improve for all of you in the weeks ahead.
    Love and hugs Jan Mac

  7. Hi Miriam, yes, thank you for sharing the images and your thoughts and hopes for Christchurch. Like Jan Mac says, it is good to see what things are like there and it does help us to relate to what the people in Christchurch are going through. I know the photos were taken in March but I’m sure that Christchurch will slowly but surely recover. I met your sister Naomi last Wednesday night at the KEA New Zealand expat organisation Christmas dinner near Amsterdam, for the first time and she recommended I contact you. I will send you an email but I just wanted to say thank you for your blog and I really hope that Christchurch comes back to its former glory, when I saw it in 2009.
    Kia kaha.
    Martina Mc Auley.

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