February 22nd 2011 - Earthquake
Here at College House when the EQ hit, it was in between lunch sittings so the staff and a small number of students were sitting in the Dining Hall. The noise was horrendous and the violence was frightening. After coming out from underneath the Dining Hall tables, we made our way into the quad and joined the other students. There was of course the second big shake and we all watched the chapel in fear of what might happen.
The students were the first priority and our tutors gave out blankets, herded everyone into the safety of the Common Room and we fed them lunch, afternoon tea and a BBQ dinner despite no power or water. Our students were superb, really calm and really supportive and helpful.
Meanwhile, all staff who had young families, and who needed to get home, had done so straight away. Some of our colleagues were stuck in traffic for 3-4 hours travelling across town, a distance that would normally take about 20 mins. Others ended up walking all the way home, and along the way seeing sights that will be etched in their minds forever.
In the days afterwards, the College was able to offer the engineering firm Tonkin & Taylor, temporary office space in the Study Centre so they could continue their work for EQC, most urgently a city wide map of the Liquefaction, due for Parliament , it felt good to be able to be able to help.
And our student alumni out in the flats were helping by the bucket load. Literally!! Shovelling, digging and just blimen helping, out there in the suburbs.
We are so proud when we learn of our alumni who helped organise and lead the student volunteer movement, and who are the graduate students working to rescue and re-build the city.
We hope our alumni are all safe and to those of you with friends, family and colleagues here in Christchurch, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Please visit our gallery for photos and our student blog to read about the changes since the February earthquake and student life at CH.
Please click here for earlier updates .