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18 months is a long time to wait for a stable home to call your own, but for Canterbury residents this has been the reality.
In September 2010 Canterbury, New Zealand was hit by the first of a series of devastating earthquakes. This earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, damaged many buildings, including homes throughout the region.
Canterbury residents have been hit by over 3000 aftershocks and new earthquakes since then measuring over 3.0, some of which have caused even more damages and forced residents out of their homes.
The most devastating quake in February of 2011 had a magnitude of 6.3, and killed 185 people, including exchange students from Japan, and forced the demolition of the majority of the Central Business District (CBD).
With claims being shared by the EQC, the New Zealand government, and personal insurance companies, many residents are still waiting for a resolution from claims made in September 2010.
Christchurch city resident Amanda knows she isn’t in one of the worst situations – her family is still intact, her and her partner still have their jobs and they were able to find a rental property close to their daughters’ schools while they wait to hear from EQC and their insurance company; but she is still feeling frustrated.
“I just wish I knew what was going to happen and when. I do know there are people out there in a worse situation that me and my family and they need information too” says Amanda.
Amanda has had some information from EQC but is growing tired of constant excuses and flip-flopping. She states that she has not had the same answer once when talking to an EQC representative.
She feels that “if EQC can’t act straight away at least they could give us consistent and reliable information”.
The current situation is that her house is red-zoned so needs to be torn down but the land is able to be built upon. However Amanda, her family and her house are stuck in limbo while EQC decides what they will or won’t do.
Amanda is asking those who are in the same position or know someone who is to write to or post on the Facebook page of their local MP, Prime Minister John Key, EQC or Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee.
It is disappointing for residents that a country such as New Zealand can have such a slow response to not just a one-off disaster, but a string of them. Many people who have had their claims assessed have moved either elsewhere in New Zealand or to Australia, where it is much easier to find accommodation and jobs.
Canterbury residents need help to get their voices heard!
Image Courtesy of geoftheref