Tag Archives: Disaster

Stormy Weather

“When all is said and done, the weather and love
are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”

― Alice Hoffman,  American Novelist 1952 – 

 

Here in New Zealand, we are all bracing for what has been described as the storm of the century.  Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook is due to hit us just about now – 6.00 pm  Thursday 13 April 2017.  Rain is already causing problems and this is purported to be the worst storm since the Wahine Disaster in 1968.

According to New Zealand History  “The Union Steam Ship Company’s 8948-ton roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) passenger ferry Wahine, the largest ship of its kind in the world when completed two years earlier, left Lyttelton at 8.40 p.m. on the evening of 9 April. There were 734 passengers and crew on board.  Storm warnings had been issued, but rough seas were nothing new in Cook Strait. As it turned out, the Wahine was about to sail into one of the worst storms ever recorded in New Zealand. The ship reached Cook Strait as tropical cyclone Giselle swept south and collided with a southerly front. The combination of warm tropical air and cold air dragged up from Antarctica produced exceptionally violent turbulence. On 10 April, in a bad storm, the Lyttelton-Wellington ferry hit a reef.”  See the timeline to disaster here

Early the next day the Captain called for the ship to be abandoned and would be rescuers lined the shore in the atrocious weather as the Wahine succumbed to one of the worst storms recorded in New Zealand history and others raced to a further beach where many of those in the water were being washed to.

It seemed impossible that so many lives could be lost so close to shore. Fifty-one people lost their lives that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck.  A number of people who reached shore alive did not receive medical attention quickly enough to prevent death from exposure. Others were drowned or killed when thrown against rocks.

The Cook Strait that connects the North and South Islands of New Zealand is 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.

The Wahine Disaster is known about and discussed by many to this day.

So now, some 49 years later, we are faced with a similar storm.  At this time the sailings across Cook Strait are not canceled although I suggest that many people will change their travel plans.  The airport in Wellington has been closed on and off for most of the day as have several other airports.  Severe weather warnings are in place for many parts of the North Island and the top of the South Island.

 

Ohope2

Ohope Beach in front of the Architects A-frame.

 

Ohope 1

Several areas have already been evacuated including the Westend of Ohope where the Architect had a holiday home.  It was almost on the beach so I suggest there will be little of it left when the storm passes.

auckland harbour bridge.jpg

Schools have been closed today in anticipation of the storm.  There has been some discussion about closing Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.  Many businesses have closed early allowing their employees to get home before the worst of the weather hits.   But this means that roads are even more clogged than usual.

So is this going to be a Happy Easter for us?  I suggest it won’t be for many people.  So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking

So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking time to think of all those people who will have to return to devastation and flooding, some of whom haven’t yet recovered from last week’s storm, courtesy of ex-cyclone Debbie.

Now the work begins

Whenever I have any body doing work around the house I think of this song.

Twas on a Monday morning the gas man came to call.  The gas tap wouldn’t turn – I wasn’t getting gas at all.  He tore out all the skirting boards to try and find the main  and I had to call a carpenter to put them back again. 

Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do.”  Flanders and Swann

For the rest of this comic song and to get an idea of their quirky show,  click here.

This will be very short today as there is really not much to report.

Concrete truck

The concrete cometh

The contractors laid the aggregate on Monday afternoon.

Patio

Stage 2

They returned yesterday to put a finish on it and now I have an exposed aggregate patio.

Patio

Waiting for weeding and decorating

All it needs is for me to get out there and weed and plant and sow.  You do remember that old children’s song.  And although I now don’t have to mow I can’t get this song out of my head.

“One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow, one man and his dog named Spot, went to mow a meadow.

Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow, two men, one man and his dog named Spot, went to mow a meadow……”

Now you will have that earworm with you all day.  Sorry about that but enjoy and more about earworms here.

And while I ramble on about such inconsequential things as my patio, the people in Christchurch are living through another round of earthquakes and huge after shocks.  I really should be posting about them and how we feel for them in their upheaval and danger.  We are told there have been 49 earthquakes around the greater Canterbury region in the last 24 hours with the largest being 6.3 on the Richter scale.  See a video of the impact of the quakes here.

We are used to seeing shots of war-torn cities in Afghanistan, Turkey, Libya but never thought to see anything like this in our own land.  And this is not anything that man has caused; this is nature showing us mortals its raw strength.