In Christchurch after the 7.1 earthquake last Saturday morning, life goes on. The centre of the city is still cordoned off until all the buildings have been checked. I suppose if they are not safe, they will be individually isolated and either repaired or demolished.
Most people just lost a few vases and have cracks around the house that will have to be looked at.
Unfortunately strong winds and heavy rains are forecast for the South Island today which is going to be a hassle if roofs are damaged. Tarps in rain are one thing, but tarps in wind and rain don't work as well.
My daughter (19) was in Christchurch last weekend. She was woken by the big one and tried to get under her bed as I had taught her, but it was too low and there was no room. So she made her way in the dark to the doorway and stood there. Her step-mum was screaming for the two little boys, so it must have been quite a noisy affair, along with the rattling and creaking. The two boys were very frightened. My daughter said she didn't get much sleep the rest of that night, nor the next, due to the on-going after-shocks, some of which were quite significant. She said they stayed under the dining-room table a lot. After a while everyone got used to the little shocks. When she flew out back to Auckland on Sunday morning, they were still continuing. I expect she was glad to get back to the hostel and un-moving ground.
9.9.10 Additional comment: In my ignorance I suggested that people in Christchurch would 'get used to' the 'little' aftershocks. But the aftershocks have been very significant (up to 6.1), and are still ongoing. My thoughts are with all those in Christchurch who are becoming terribly worn down and emotionally stressed by the uncertainty of the shakes, let alone the financial and emotional costs to come as the city recovers.
I heard a letter being read out on National Radio this afternoon that asked people to imagine what it was like to be standing up on your steeply-pitched tile roof, trying to replace dislodged tiles while an aftershock of 5.1 tries to shake you off. And additionally, never knowing when another one would come along.