– Cashel Street, Christchurch Central, Canterbury, New Zealand

I was on Cashel street a block away from the CTV building when the earth started shaking, I just thought it was another aftershock, till I looked around and saw buildings crumble.

I looked to my right and the front of a building collapsed, I looked to my left and the back of another building collapsed it almost looked as if it was made of jelly.

I panicked and thought if I don’t move now I’m going to get hurt so I started running, well tried to, it was like the earth was trying to knock me over. I didn’t look for traffic so it was good thing all the cars had stopped. Once the quake stopped everything went silent, then suddenly all I could hear was sirens and people screaming and crying and some with head injuries and bleeding faces. It was hard to breathe because the air was full of dust from falling buildings.

The quake was loud, if I looked down the road 100m I would have seen the CTV building come down, but I didn’t, I just ran. I saw it as I walked down the road going past it was un-recognisable, I knew it was CTV cos I saw mangled up satellite dishes in the rubble. I headed to Latimer Sq where I knew I would find my class mates from Natcoll. There I saw more crying people, more hurt and bleeding people, and suddenly there was another shake and people panicking even more.

Smoke began pouring out of what was the CTV building, all I could think was there must be heaps of people in there… and what else may have collapsed, heaps of people have lost their life and nobody knows exactly how many and who… I was in a state of shock and my lungs hurt from inhaling so much dust and smoke. I will never forget this tragic event. My heart goes out to all those people who have lost their loved ones.

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