Christchurch Earthquake Online Resources

As everyone will know by now, a magnitude 6.3 earthqauke occurred at 12.51pm on February 22 2011, 10km southeast of Christchurch at a depth of just 5km. As someone from the city with many friends and family there, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone down in Christchurch. I am happy to say that my immediate family are safe and have heard from many friends that are ok also.

This quake is the largest in a vast number of earthquakes since the magnitude 7.1 at 4:35am on September 4 2010 that occurred west of the city near Darfield.

News has been flowing fast and raw in many cases, sadly with some mis-information and rumor mixed in. I’m not going to repeat news details here, but I will list some online resources that I’ve been using t get news.

First up twitter.
Many use it, yet many have never seen/understand it. Touted as a micro-blogging service, I like to think of it as a public SMS or TXT service were anyone can broadcast a short message to anyone in the world who cares to listen. These short messages are called “tweets” and you receive them by “following” people or organisations you care about. The beauty here is you can get messages in real-time, direct from the source and unfiltered, sometimes containing links to photos or videos. As such, Twitter is extremely powerful in a disaster situation since messages can be posted either online or via a mobile phone. Here’s some accounts and searches to check out:

Twitter Searches:
A search listing is the fastest way to see new and varied information – but remember to take care with sources. Tweets relating to the earthquake are being tagged with the primary hashtag #eqnz. Other tags also being used are #chch and #christchurch. A stream of tweets with these hashtags can be seen via a Twitter search but also via Google search where the page auto-updates:

Twitter Accounts:
Many individuals in Christchurch are tweeting, as are authorities and organisations. Here’s a few organisations that have been and continue to post relevant news:

Twitter aside, there are also many other websites providing information and advice to both those in need and those wanting to help. Here’s a selection…

Official emergency info:

Reports:

Response and help info:

Donations

Local news:

Photos:

Other sites:

  • www.facebook.com – a good place to keep in touch with friends/family, or post info about your friends if you know they are safe

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So, there’s a start for some local online info and more links may be added in time.

You can link to this page via bit.ly with the URL: http://bit.ly/eqnzlinks

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Donate to the NZ Red Cross
Donate to the NZ Red Cross at:
www.redcross.org.nz/donate

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ANZAC Day

Today is the day we remember those who served and died for our country, especially those of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

Below are the two pieces of poetry you will probably hear today (especially the Ode of Remembrance), both of which I find deeply moving. [Blurbs from Wikipedia]

Ode of Remembrance

The “Ode of Remembrance” is an ode taken from Laurence Binyon’s “For the Fallen”, which was first published in The Times in September 1914. The poet wrote For the Fallen while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps in north Cornwall, UK. The seven-verse poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which had by then already had high casualty rates on the developing Western Front. The poem was published when the Battle of the Marne was foremost in people’s minds. Over time, the third and fourth verses of the poem (although often just the fourth) were claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of nation.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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In Flanders Fields

“In Flanders Fields” is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Sadly the world is still not at peace and service men and woman continue to die on foreign soil and even in tragic accidents at home – including today with the fatal crash of an Air Force Iroquois near Wellington this morning.

We will remember them.

Aero Club Open Day

The Wellington Aero Club hosted their Aviation Open Day last weekend, and here’s a few pics…

A few more of my photos can be found in my Aero Club Open Day, 2010 album. And if you want more pics, check out Rodney’s Aviation Ramblings – a Wellington focused aviation blog that’s well worth checking out!

Daffodil Day

“Daffodil Day, the Cancer Society of New Zealand’s flagship annual event, is one of the most important fundraising and awareness campaigns in the country.”

If you haven’t donated already and want to, there are several options at the daffodilday.org.nz website.

07:07:07 07/07/07

7/7/7 – lucky for some?

If you’re the superstitious type, into numerology or appreciate the beauty of numbers in mathematics from time to time, then today is your lucky day (or maybe not!)

The religious among you will also note that today, being a Saturday, is the biblical Sabbath or seventh day of the week.

In NZ, you’ve already missed the above time, but 0707 UTC will pass this evening…

So, whether you make this a day of rest, play the slot machines for the elusive 777, or fly on a Boeing-777, enjoy it. This date only comes once.