I was delivering some training yesterday with Air New Zealand when one of their staff burst into the room and said, "Have you heard about Christchurch? It's been flattened!"
6.3 on the Richter scale, right under the lovely little port town of Lyttelton, just 10km from the city. And this time, just at lunchtime. Enormous damage to one of New Zealand's most beautiful cities, and this time, casualties. Lots of them. Urban Search and Rescue swarming over the city, combing for survivors. Confirmed deaths. Extended family confirmed safe, but they're the lucky ones. Lots not, and many people I know are waiting for news of loved ones. Major buildings pancaked, and many of the lovely heritage buildings that survived so far are now just rubble. Christ Church Cathedral hit hard this time.
Worse than September because shallower, but also under buildings that are already weakened and suffering significant strain. Just awful.
How to pray? I offer my hurting heart for those who are hurting. NZ's leaders say this is likely to be our worst disaster in our nation's history. How much more can NZ take? Christchurch in September, Pike River in November, now this? We are reeling, but we will carry on. We will never give up.