Recently, I sent out a request for others to share their memories of the Christchurch earthquakes that occurred five years ago. To my pleasant surprise, some have come forward with stories so moving that I felt it was important to share them with the world. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the stories sent to me about that day as well as sharing a few of my own. The February 2011 quake changed our lives forever, but has made the city of Christchurch a stronger community.
Julie Miller was in the heart of the city when the February quake struck. Here is just some of the things she had to say about the experience.
We have been through thousands of aftershocks. I recognised the rumble, and leaned my hand on a concrete pillar to wait it out, as always. But this was no normal worldly jitter. The earth literally lurched from side to side. My mind barely took in what was happening - why was the building opposite leaping around like a drunkard? It wasn't until the motorbikes began to migrate that I actually registered that I was in danger.
At first they fell like dominoes. One after another, they crashed into one another, with a crashing racket that barely registered over the gigantic rumble of the city's death throes. I watched a yellow bike that I'd often admired (a sleek, cat-like machine - so beautiful) as it rolled and slewed towards me. Then bikes were everywhere and I knew I had to move before their game of ten-pin bowling made a strike out of my body. So I lurched to the right, but soon realised I was unable to walk properly - this thing seemed to go on forever! I made my way to the other pillar, closer to the street, and a clear space that the bikes had vacated. I hadn't even noticed that my boss was out there too until she grabbed onto my arm and we held on for dear life until the shaking and rolling subsided.
To see Julie's full tale about that horrifying day, go to
If you have a story that you would like to share, I want to hear it. Visit here for more information on Project Share Your Stories.