Earthquake survivors speak of their ordeal

The ruins of Christchurch Cathedral
The ruins of Christchurch Cathedral

A COUPLE on the holiday of a lifetime were caught up in the devastating earthquake in New Zealand.

Lynne and David Tansley were halfway through a six-week trip to Christchurch when the city was rocked by the quake which buried hundreds under rubble yesterday (22 February).

They were shopping in a supermarket in a town near Christchurch when the ground began to shake and Lynne (61) was narrowly missed by a collapsing shelving unit.

She said: “It was absolutely terrifying. Really frightening. We have obviously never experienced anything like it before and never want to again.

“I was just reaching to get a bottle of shampoo from a shelf, when the whole rack started shaking.

“At first I thought someone was mucking around behind it, then suddenly there was the loud rumbling sound and the floor started to move.

“My husband realised what was happening and grabbed me just before everything on the shelf started falling off.

“We were hit by a number of flying objects but were fortunately not badly hurt.

“Once the dust settled, we went outside and were amazed to see very little damage in the part of the town we were in.

“As we travelled back to my brother’s home, we were shocked at just how much devastation there was around us and it suddenly dawned on us how lucky we had been.”

Lynne’s niece Sharon Stockwin and her young family live in Christchurch and while they were unhurt their home was badly damaged.

Lynne said: “They went back to their home and slept with the children under the dining room table, in case there are any more tremors.

“They will try to leave the city today.

“At the moment we just want to come back home and see our children and grandchildren but I am sure once we get over the initial shock we will feel differently.”