Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Zealand Earthquake
We were worried when we heard that Christchurch, New Zealand had been hit by another earthquake, because we have friends living there. So we send off a brief, anxious message and received this reply.

Hello Bill & Judy

We just cannot explain how we felt when we got the power back on and looked at the e mails we had received have sent. We were really overcome. He phone lines for us here were kept for emergency phones calls out only. It really is a great comfort, knowing that you are there.

Well we are all fine bodily but mentally exhausted, just when we thought things were beginning to settle down. We would have the odd little tremor and thought nothing could ever be as bad as the September quake. Wow what a big mistake that was.

Dawn and I were shopping and jars of glass beads etc were just hurtling through the air. The walls of the shop went one way and the floor went another and up and down. When everything had stopped we managed to drive home. Just about to turn in the drive and wham bang another aftershock. Our car was rocking and rolling as we turned in, only to see Alan’s car really swaying from side to side almost going over.

Our house is fine and only a few things thrown about.

The road in which Dawn lives is terrible with holes in the road and liquefaction everywhere. Liquefaction is water forcing the silt and sand upthrough the ground. It is horrible. One car was stuck in it,at the bottom of their drive they have a gaping hole. Another old friend (90 years old) had this horrible stuff nearly up to his windowsills.

Dawn’s house is a mess, bigger cracks everywhere (bit still liveable at this stage). Ken and Alan are going to take the chimney down before it falls down and damages the roof. The drawers in their units were actually thrown across the room and the units moved at least a foot from the wall. Everything in the kitchen and the laundry landed on the floor. Fortunately not too many breakages.

This folks we can live with, we have our lives and our homes. We are together and know where we all are at each time. Unlike a lot of people at the moment.

Our friend’s son in law was in town having coffee with him mum. They were sitting near the door of the café when it hit. They went to get out but his mum tripped and the people behind just pushed her down and walked over her. He managed to pull her out. They got back to where they had parked the cars only to find his car completely flattened and hers very damaged. Today there was a white tick [checkmark] on his car showing that no one was trapped in it.

The last quake was 7.1 but this one was less but not as deep, not as far away and more tonnage and of course more damage. There were at least 10 after shocks last night some as 5.7 and not very deep. I am to quote technical terms – totally knackered. But on saying that we are still alive.

We have just been watching the news that you all would have seen yesterday. It is bad. The PGG building that has been on the news is a relatively new – about five years at the most. The CTV building where the people are buried is where Dawn used to work. She was on the 5th floor.

At this stage in time we still do not have water, well our area hasn’t. So we have been to a friend who still has the water on but it needs boiling. To “flush” the loo Alan takes a bucket with rope attached and lowers it into the creek just over our fence. Brings the water back and flushes the loo. We are not really supposed to do that because many of the sewerage places are knocked out.

Well at this stage, I know that this e mail is a bit topsy turvy, but we would like to say Thank you so much, your thoughts, words and your prayers have been gratefully received.

Lots of love

There are other people in New Zealand, Libya, and other places that need our prayers.


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