Robert Hampton

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22nd February 2011

The day the Earth roared
Posted by at 9.57pm | In the News | 2 responses

Sitting in safety half a world away from New Zealand, it’s difficult for me to comprehend the horror of the Christchurch earthquake. This heart-rending account from a journalist who was in her office when the quake hit brings it home:

We walked down the back stairs which were OK, as we left I looked to my right. All I could see of the busy newsroom was the roof of the three-storied building. No people in sight. I had just walked through there 10 minutes prior.

A split second decision to answer an email instead of having a cigarette break probably saved my life.

Outside the inner CBD looked like a war zone. Outside on the street strangers were holding each other and crying and gazing bewildered at the gutted ghetto surrounding us.

The Press’ incredible fashion editor, Kate Fraser, 70, and I linked arms. I tried to tell myself it was for her benefit but she was steadying me.

I saw colleagues crying, people covered in blood. We congregated in a spot left empty by the September 4 quake.

The editor, Andrew Holden, a strong and stoic man, kissed me on the cheek and as he did so I saw he had tears in his eyes.

Read the rest of it.