One thing it is impossible to ignore in Christchurch is the fact there was a big earthquake here. Even if you know nothing about it, just a simple walk around the CBD will hit you in the face with the enormity of it. Three years on, and so much of the city is still destroyed that it seems amazing that people could still feel optimistic.
Speaking to local people, there is a sense this year that whilst things will be sombre on this day, including a minutes silence across the city at 12:51pm to mark the moment the most devastating of the quakes hit, that it is time to look forward. That rebuilding, whilst slow, is underway and that progress will eventually be made.
I’ve always been fascinated by earthquakes and volcanoes so finding this time-lapse map of that day was a good way for me to get perspective of the scale. The first thirty seconds or so, nothing really happens, which actually gives a great sense of how there were no warnings. No sense that before the moment where the clock rolls round to 12:51 there is something big coming.
Something that would end up leaving the city looking like this (courtesy of google):
Even some of those buildings are gone now, with others being demolished around me as we speak.
So yes, as a visitor to the city, I can see how hope can be a little thin on the ground sometimes, but people sure are trying their best.