The survivors of the Christchurch earthquake are lucky to be alive, but are in a state of shock, and have memories that may be hard to forget.
Matters may soon get worse if the many people trapped in buildings are not reached in time.
“We tried to get out through our lunchroom to our fire escape but it had all collapsed, so we were just on a concrete edge of the building and then the firetruck ladder helped us down,” said one survivor.
“From where my son was on the fourth floor I really thought he was gone. But I chose not to leave here until I knew for myself he was alright,” said a relieved mother.
There was little sign of panic as orderly queues formed at relief centres. The economic cost of the disaster is likely to run into hundreds of millions of euros.