There has been a major earthquake in Christchurch. I understand it was a 7.3 and the epicentre was some 35 miles from Christchurch, near Darfield.
I've never experienced anything like it. It started at about 4.30am. The noise was a like a roar of a jet engine and I honestly thought the house was going to collapse. The earthquake lasted about a minute I think but it felt like a lifetime.
I tried to get out of bed but was thrown back. Meanwhile stuff was falling off shelves - books, CDs, DVDs. I honestly this was it.
That noise was absolutely terrifying.
Of course without any power, I had to stumble around in the pitch black looking for candles, torches, etc.
I managed to grab some clothes and went out into the street to check to see if everyone was OK. Fortunately my street avoided any substantial damage.
In the last couple of hours the power in my area was restored and there is no visible damage in my street but I gather areas are still without power and there appears to be a major water probLEM developing.
There have been a series of aftershocks. We just had a severe and unnerving one about 20 minutes ago which shook the house.
I think everyone is on edge and it seems that the scale of damage is only starting to emerge. Out near Darfield I can't imagine how buildings could have not collapsed.
Me, I've still got a knot in the pit of my stomach and I will be sleeping in my clothes tonight. of course we will likely 'just' get a series of aftershocks from now on but, hell, I'm not taking anything for granted.
It's a sunny day at least...
More later when I'm more coherent..