I am taking a holiday in New Zealand for a change. Yesterday I drove over 500km from Dunedin to Kaikoura. I passed through Christchurch before lunchtime and was a little further north when I decided to stop. The name Kaiapoi had often intrigued me as there is a regular advertisement for antique furniture on TV telling me to buy from Blakely's of Kaiapoi. I forgot that the town was also mentioned as suffering badly from the earthquake. I parked just down from the now empty Department store seen in this photo.
Blakeley's seemed undamaged but I was after food not furniture. The Tavern was closed for repairs as were many other shops. MacDonald's was open but I had a Big Mac a week ago and try to limit my intake of them. So I returned to the Highway and found a cafe further along.
Then I hear the news of Toowoomba in Queensland. I spent two nights there in 2008. A pleasant city of over 90,000 people. Below is a video compiling many amateur takes of the scene there yesterday. Some of the language needs editing but even I might make some of the expletives in that situation.
Worst of all, the news says 8 dead and 70 missing.
This is on top of the many other towns and cities facing floods including Rockhampton and Maryborough which I visited on the same trip in 2008.
I am now in Picton, NZ and will be leaving my car here tomorrow and sailing over Cook Strait to Wellington for two nights. The forecast is good.
8 hours ago