|Cathedral Square, Christchurch NZ|
On September 4 last year the city suffered the most destructive earthquakequake to hit New Zealand in 80 years when a 7.0-magnitude tremor damaged 100,000 homes, leaving a clean-up bill estimated at NZ$4.0 billion dollars (US$3.0 billion).
The city remained under a state of emergency for weeks with police cordoning off the centre for fear of collapsing buildings, as thousands of aftershocks hit the region. The only good thing was that no deaths or serious injuries occurred.
Today, however, another major quake happened - only 6.3 but very shallow (5kms), and only a few kilometers from the central city. This time it is a major disaster, with people calling the city "irreparable".
I feel shocked, numb, grieving. I cannot begin to imagine what the people of my home town are going through.