In reply to Christine's request, just a quick note to let everyone know we're fine after today's earthquake in Christchurch.
We live in Auckland at the top of the North Island, while Christchurch is halfway down the South Island. Dave tells me it's around 700km away in a straight line (and around 1100 if you drive; New Zealand has a lot of twisty, turny landscape and therefore roads).
Marcus and I were staying with my parents who live in Palmerston North, which is south of Auckland, but still a long way north of Christchurch. We flew back this afternoon and were about an hour late as our plane was one of the ones that had been grounded in Christchurch and had to wait for the airport to reopen to be able to leave.
We're now home again in Auckland and looking forward to a night in our own beds.
All our friends and family in the area are well and accounted for. Luckily there appears to have been no loss of life. Houses in New Zealand are built to earthquake standards (it was mostly old buildings and chimneys that fell it seems) and that combined with a fairly small population and the fact most people were asleep at the time rather that out and about seem to be the reasons we have been so lucky.
My parents are both from around Christchurch and recognised a lot of places that have been shown on the news. Things could have been much worse, but there's still going to be a lot of rebuilding to do.
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