Wow the earthquake in Christchurch is becoming steadily more scary. The Government met this morning in an emergency Cabinet meeting, and have declared a state of National Emergency. That makes it all kinds of real for the people not currently in Canterbury. Hearing something like that, along with the stories of terror and grief from Christchurch people really brings the disaster home to me.
It was a magnitude 6.3, with an epicentre much closer to the surface, and closer to Christchurch CBD than the September 2010 quake. This means that there was a lot less insulation for the people on the surface, and they experienced a much more devastating earthquake.
The death toll is sitting at 75, and there’s potential for that to rise. Over 200 people are missing.
I’ve been looking at the google map of aftershocks, and I really feel for the people stuck in Christchurch at the moment, because there are A LOT of aftershocks. I mean, it’s not bad enough that they’ve just experienced another awful disaster, now they have to put up with terrifying reminders that the earth isn’t anywhere near done settling under their feet.
Other stuff that happened today:
I had a massage. I was a little unsure about that whole ‘get naked and let a stranger tough you’ thing. But actually it wasn’t that bad. If anything, I’d say it was even relaxing.
My masseuse lady kept talking about how tense I was, and how many knots I have in my shoulders and back. I really thought that was something they only did in movies. Apparently not
It felt good for a couple of hours, but then I was back at work, and tense, and dealing with earthquake stuff, and really that’s enough to knock anyones inner-peace around.
Also? Today I met a possible crazy person.
He came bounding in, all wearing his hipster costume, and sweating heavily, which put me on guard, because heavy sweating is indicative of high stress/anxiety/fear/CRAZY. I don’t like being cornered in my lonely windowless office by heavily sweating men.
He started off alright, telling me about how he wanted to join the organisation, and about his website, and then he started talking about the earthquake. Then he paused, and took a moment to preface his opinion on the earthquake, and how it’s actually probably a dormant volcano by stating that he was religious.
Now. I might be alone in this. But whenever I’m having slightly strange conversations with people in a business environment, who feel the need to inform me that they’re religious… Well that puts me WAY on edge.
You pretty much know that whatever’s coming next is going to be a little out of left field, and that I’m probably not going to like it. And hoo boy was I right.
At this point I realise that it’s ten minutes past 5.00pm, and the floor is probably now deserted, and I’m trapped in a windowless office with a heavily sweating religious man. I felt pretty safe, because he was tall but skinny, and I didn’t get a violent scary vibe from him, just a weird crazy probably on something not prescribed by a medical specialist vibe.
Besides, his doomsday theory was all about volcanos and peace, and the oneness of all people. And non-smoking.
Anyway, I put on my non-judgemental face, and listened intently, while asking encouraging questions, and smiling a lot. I find that most scary people are much less scary if you smile at them like you’re on their side. Most of them just want to know that you’re listening to them, and understanding what they say, anyway.
Anyway I finally got him out of the office and managed to make sense of the original reason he’d come in to see me. We might even be able to help him. Maybe. Unless I was wrong about the level of crazy I’m dealing with. (I’m usually pretty good at reading people though, so I think he’s probably fine.)
Anyway. I’m going to go read something non-disaster related, and feel lucky, and gracious for the fact that I’m safe at home tonight, and not dealing with death, destruction, and unchecked fear that the earth is going to shift underneath me.