Sunday, February 27, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake - Part II

I just wanted to take the opportunity to talk a little more about the Earthquake. Mrs. Cream said that she wanted to write a post but hasn't yet put fingers to keyboard so I thought I'd write a few more of my thoughts and some which are a direct result of talking to her (in fact, she can take all credit if she so wishes). In fact, if she had a Google account I could just give her space on this blog to write her own posts. I might make the offer.

Anyway, she was talking about 2 blogs that she reads from people down in Christchurch and how the Internet has created this great link between people. I've said it before when talking about cyber-bullying that the Internet tends to, even though it has some shortcomings such as body language and quite often context and tone, enhance all sorts of communication. Negative and positive. People from disparate sides of the world can talk to each other without waiting months for a reply.

So that link to Christchurch might just be learning that you can relate to the thoughts and opinions of someone.

But the main point of this post. How awesome are most people being?
  • We have teams from all over the world coming to New Zealand to help. Teams from: Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, United Kingdom, The United States and China etc. (I'm not sure who else is there but it's phenomenal).
  • The Student Volunteer Army are making a real impact (although I was disgusted when TVNZ One today advertised their URL as www.sta.org.nz rather than www.sva.org.nz at one point).
  • The geeks of New Zealand are playing quite an interesting role with eq.org.nz - they're also manning the txt's from the SVA. And even though I was quite cynical about this effort, it's more a reflection of my frustration rather than there being anything wrong with the efforts.
The defence force, while offering support, do not have the power to arrest. So no great big horrible attempt to turn Christchurch into a military state.

And then there's the small bits of humour that can be taken from this. If Napier is the Art Deco capital of New Zealand due to it's earthquake in 1931 and Art Deco being the architectural preference at the time, what is Christchurch going to look like?

I refer you to the iMax in Auckland as a modern piece of architecture:


Sort of a hodge podge of random lines. It always surprises me just how frightfully ugly a building can be made to look. We should all be crying if this is the sort of atmosphere Christchurch is likely to have.

I was thinking about the looters and scammers and burglars. The news seems to be using all three of these terms and telling us daily of a couple of people being caught. I would put it to you that given TV 3's 3 shots of the same store that the problem isn't likely to be nearly as bad as the news is making out. A few scum would be the minority.

And how could the news be helping here? Once convicted, release photos of these people. Let them know that this is what they intend to do. Letting people know that the country will know their faces as being the scum who tried to take advantage of people during their most vulnerable time would hopefully have them thinking twice about doing it. This sort of thing is likely to have long lasting ramifications for those people.

Also, in terms of the missing list - there's a very good chance that a lot of the people on that list don't even know they're on it. International students or people who may have been away for the weekend. People that aren't all that likely to be found due to being within the court system (home detention, parole etc).

Showing a list of names would probably help in whittling that list down significantly. Sure, it might upset a few people who recognise the names but then the concern must be for the people in Christchurch and the rescue efforts/recovery effort.

One other thing - the death toll is really quite low if you think about it. Less than 200 people so far out of the approximately 500,000 people who live there. When you take into account the fragility of the human body this is quite a remarkable number. It's bad. It could be have been much much worse.

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