Tuesday, 22 May 2012

BNZ story

The loud thud and screech of brakes awoke me from my deep sleep, as the planes wheels hit the runway, with vigorous force. The adrenalin rushed through me as the plane travelled down the runway coming  to an abrupt holt. We had finally made it to Christchurch after a very early morning start on a beautiful spring day. My strenuous training had finally paid off as I was here to compete in the under fifteen year old female road race which was being held at Darfield the next day. My support group consisting of my mother and  two sisters Jade and Jasmine and also my dearest nana had all accompanied  me to encourage me throughout the approaching event.

We picked up our rental car which mum had already organised prior to our arrival and after loading all our luggage into the gleaming four wheel drive we made our way through the hectic streets to our motel which we were staying at on the outskirts of the C.B.D. On our way to our motel we stopped  and purchased some food to eat during our stay. My eyes drank in the beautiful architecture that Christchurch had to offer. I was mesmerised by the historical buildings and the sparkling river AVON that cascaded through the suburbs of Christchurch. Upon arriving at our motel we unpacked our luggage and settled in for an early and peaceful  night as I needed all my strength for my impending race the next morning.

Boom!!! OMG WHAT WAS THAT! My heart was in my throat as I leapt out of bed like a frightened Gazelle, oblivious to what was happening. I met my mum in the lounge, her terrified eyes looking around for the rest of the family. The thundering and rumbling continued around us and my mum exclaimed “ I think a plane has crashed into our motel, we had better get out of here quickly ”. We all raced to the nearest exit, the front ranch sliders, and discovered a large amount of debri blocking our escape. The ear piercing screams from traumatised people echoed through the early morning air and clouds of dust filled my nostrils and irritated my eyes as we clambered up the bricks that had fallen in a large heap in front of our motel. We went to the centre court yard of the motel where other quests had already gathered. “Its an earthquake” cried one of the other guests. We stood there in total shock glued to the spot as the angry earth moaned and groaned beneath us. My bleeding  feet  started to hurt and I began to shiver as I was standing there in only my pyjamas. Everything had happened so suddenly ,I was still trying to get my head around what had just happened. I glanced at my watch an discovered it was just after 4.35 am. The main thing was  my family were all safe although my nana was complaining of feeling sick and chest pains. We stood there for what seemed like hours until the early morning dawn broke. As the sun emerged we saw the devastation the earthquake had left in its path. We could hear sirens wailing in the distance  as blackened smoke wafted into the air. A distressed lady from the neighbouring house appeared in our courtyard looking for her chimney that  had fallen from the top of her house. It had landed in front of our room and it was then that I realised that we were so lucky to be alive and only mildly injured.

“We have to get out of here” my mum shrieked. We climbed through the rubble back into our motel unit and gathered all our possessions and made our way to our unharmed vehicle. Everything seemed surreal as we drove through the broken and twisted streets and we saw many people outside observing the horrific damage to their properties.  Liquefaction  submerged many properties and also the streets ,making it extremely difficult for my mother drive us safely away from the shaken up city. We travelled  in silence as we headed south having no plans on where we were going. Travel was very slow as many other  petrified  citizens were fleeing the area. After a few hours  we arrived in Ashburton hungry and thirsty not knowing what to do. We found a bakery and had to cue for over an hour to be served as many other famished people were also waiting to be served. My nana did not want anything to eat as she was still feeling ill and complaining of chest pain. While eating our food in the car we were listening to the news bulletins on the radio about the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that had devastated Christchurch. Thankfully there were no reported deaths or not to many serious injuries. After we  started to get our heads around what had  happened we decided to head back to Christchurch to see if our motel was still   habitable, as we needed somewhere to stay the night as the airport was closed and we wouldn’t be able to fly out until the following morning.

As mum parked the vehicle outside our motel unit I could feel my body tense up with fright as I remembered the horrendous night before. We went to the motel office to  ask if the room was still safe to stay in, which it was however I didn’t want to stay in this city again as i could feel many aftershocks convulsing from the earth and I did not want a repeat from the night before. We slept in our clothes prepared for  whatever may be in store for us that upcoming night .I didn’t sleep a wink as might heart raced with anxiety and I was also worried about my nana.

We were all up at the crack of dawn, anxious to get out of this churned up city, back to stable land. Our bags loaded into our car, we battled our way through the crazy streets to the airport. Thankfully the airport had reopened and our flight was leaving on time as every aftershock we feared for our lives, frightened we would have to go through the repercussions of the morning before.  The sound of the engines starting up brought me a sense relief , I knew my family was finally out of danger. After arriving to Auckland my nana was still un well so we took her to the nearest doctors where we discovered she had suffered a heart attack from the fright she had experienced from the earthquake. She was rushed to hospital in a ambulance were she stayed in hospital for over a week were she recovered from her ordeal. I felt so sorry for the people of Christchurch knowing many people’s homes and businesses were destroyed and I hope to never have to go through an experience like that again.

This is based on a true story
Words = 1,160

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