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.
GAFCON communiqué mentions missionary bishop
2 hours ago