New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain
New Year’s Eve in Wellington wasn’t so much a damp squid as a soaking wet one. The usual celebratory fireworks display on the waterfront was cancelled because of the atrocious weather we have been having over the past few days.
But here in NZ we are not surprised that the summer lasted only a few days in fact three in total – 23, 24 and 25 December. Then the rain set in. And it has rained here in the capital ever since.
This year has seen many things happening to our small nation on the far side of the world.
In February we had an earthquake in Christchurch of 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale. This earthquake killed 181 people and caused widespread damage to an area that was already devastated in the September 2010 earthquake. This quake has been followed by regular quakes in the months since.
In May a tornado hit the Auckland region – a very brief burst but causing spectacular damage.
In June two more earthquakes hit the Christchurch region. The result of these earthquakes is that many buildings have been deemed unsafe and many of the historic buildings that made up the city centre will have to be destroyed.
Residents of some parts of the city were just getting used to the idea that they may have to leave their homes, while some lucky (?) ones were told they could stay when a 5.8 magnitude quake hit them on December 23rd.
On December 14, the Nelson region (about 255 miles/159 kms from Christchurch) was hit with flash flooding causing a multi-million dollar trail of damage and having people evacuated from their homes. This was followed with more torrential rain causing more flooding on December 28.
Mother nature’s violent farewell to 2011 wasn’t restricted to the rain. Christchurch residents were battered by three large aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.8 quake 10km northeast of Lyttelton at 1.44pm on December 31.
Of course these happenings fade into insignificance compared to the damage and destruction Mother Nature has caused around the world. Floods, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes. So the prize for the most active member of the community in 2011 must go to Mother Nature.
And we must ask ourselves what are we doing to this earth of ours that has caused these things to happen in the past year. May 2012 bring a more peaceful and settled year for everybody living on this crowded planet of ours.
- Tonga to New Zealand earthquake zone (echlinm.wordpress.com)
- Quake measuring 4.8 strikes Christchurch (news.smh.com.au)