Nakadungaw sa Lindol ng Christchurch

Christchurch City (New Zealand) from the Port ...

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 [ NOte : A short post to just express our thoughts and solidarity with the fallen. ]

A MOST AWKWARD aspect of a natural disaster as it affects a community is being on the proverbial outside looking in. You possess a peculiar bond with the victims and heroes, you have a personal knowledge of the emotions, loss and disorientation associated with the general tragedy, and in a way you know the stages that the drama will go through: the widespread despair the befalls the widest spectrum of humanity, the miracle of hearing voices under the rubble, the general outpouring of assets, energies and resources towards pulling up the fallen, and the return to normalcy, making the bereaved community more united and stronger than ever.

Most of us know that it was a nightmare of sorts revisited last Tuesday, when the Sept. 2010 earthquake returned with a vengeance. If the previous tragedy spared lives, this one snuffed out at least 78 lives as of last count, with the number expected to rise. Where the damage last time was manageable, this time the total reconstruction cost has been estimated to be at least NZ$12 billion. Hundreds of the injured will bear physical and emotional scars that will last beyond the natural process of healing.

Without holding in judgment any similar disaster that has befallen other countries in the earthquake belt, the singular impression left on this Pinoy has been the value and preciousness assigned to each human life caught in the spectre of the killer earthquake. Townmates battered, bruised and bloodied carrying makeshift stretchers, bystanders going out of their way to rescue those stranded on beams girders and pulverized staircases, the whole community of New Zealanders voluntarily observing a no-fly zone in order to not disrupt sensitive rescue efforts, particularly in detecting voices feebly crying out under the rubble.

There are more than 100 persons who have yet to be accounted for directly or indirectly as a result of the Christchurch event, some may just be out of town, but authorities are implying that it is better to err on the side of caution.

We end this short post on a note of sobering concern, the fear that some of our compatriots may be among those missing, in one of the buildings struck down by the quake. Our prayers and concern are with these kabayan at this difficult time.

God bless New Zealand, and God bless the Philippines !