Thursday, 24 February 2011

A few more photos.

Okay, we are starting to come to terms with what's happened, although the stories that we are starting to hear are just horrific. They are yet to release any names of some 300 dead and missing people, and although thankfully our close friends and family are safe, we are all sure we will know some of those who have died. Anyway, if you want to know more about that kind of side of things, then you can go here. This blog is about our little house, so I will keep it focused.

The image above shows the back of the house, which was definitely the worst hit. The brick 'veneer' or facade over the top storey has literally flown off the side of the building. The concrete roof tiles have also been shaken off.

The blue tarpaulin above covers the french doors - they were open and got smashed by falling blocks.

My vege garden is definitely no can also see one strand of our washing line which remains - the rest of it snapped in the middle - illustrating the huge amount of tension placed on it when the house and the anchor of the line obviously moved in separate directions at high speed. Mental.

The view out the french doors.

A significant part of the cliff came down, including these chunks of clay - they are at least 1m in diameter. You can also see that one of the bricks from the fence has flown off - it landed about 10 feet from the fence.

The front of the house isn't as bad - similar damage, but to a lesser extent.

Those parts of the building which have lost the walls are not strictly waterproof, although they are covered in building paper. We have organised a builder to get up there this week and waterproof them.

Internally there is a LOT of dust, partly from the fallen blocks, but largely from the slip at the back of the house. When the first shake ended, I was spitting out dust from my mouth and had trouble seeing for a minute or two.

The internal window by the entrance way (I haven't got a photo) shattered, but otherwise the damage inside isn't too apparent.

There are a couple of cracks downstairs like the one above.

But perhaps of more concern is this crack in the rimu beams which are bolted into the concrete walls. It is hard to imagine how much force must have been present to do this.

Our builder came up to the house yesterday and after a quick look, seemed to think that structurally the house is okay, and he thought it is all reparable, and once waterproof could be liveable in it's current state. We will be getting an engineer's report and probably another builder's opinion before even considering going back, but I guess we are feeling pretty optimistic that we can save our house.

After donning hard hats and salvaging our precious things, we are staying with my parents where we have power and running water. We are incredibly lucky. As they say - it's only bricks and mortar.

More about our personal experiences here.

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