Word in from Christchurch

February 24, 2011 Agencies
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Tonny de Vries has filed a report from Christchurch on the activities of the Canterbury Hebrew Congregation following this week’s earthquake…

Tonny de Vries

Canterbury Hebrew Congregation Shul

After battling the after-effects of a major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale and literally thousands of aftershocks for half a year, on February 22 the city of Christchurch experienced a devastating earthquake measuring 6.3. The damage is truly enormous and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and those who are still missing.


The Board of Canterbury Hebrew Congregation has been busy contacting the members of our 80 family community. At the moment everyone has been accounted for and although very shaken everyone is physically fine. A number of families have completely lost their houses and possessions and most others have significant damage. Those who lost their houses have found temporary accommodation with friends, family and other members of the community. Many of our older members are being flown out to join their families in other parts of the country or Australia.

The synagogue has been damaged, but is secure enough not to be an immediate danger to people or other properties. The exact extent of the damage will not be known for some time to come as the focus at the moment is on the rescue and recovery of people and stabilising or demolishing unsafe buildings.

Some power and water supplies have now been reconnected and some shops have reopened. There is a degree of calmness considering the situation. People are respectful, no panic buying, no greed. Everybody is pulling together in a big way as they did last time. Impressive behaviour in sad times.

We have received offers for donations from around the world. At the moment we all have access to food, water, clothing and shelter. However in a few weeks, when the time has come to start rebuilding, some families will be in real financial need and donations at that time will make a difference. We will be putting a donation page on our website www.chc.org.nz, but it will take a day or two as some of our telecommunication network is down. Please be aware that there have already been a number of scam emails going around, pretending to be from reputable organisations such as the Red Cross. We will not be sending out any direct requests to anyone. Any email supposedly coming from Canterbury Hebrew Congregation should be treated as suspicious. If you are in doubt please contact us at info@chc.org.nz


3 Responses to “Word in from Christchurch”
  1. Murray Hartman says:

    Thank you mrs De Vries for this site i would like to learn more of your progress as i will be in CH-CH shortly to meet some folk i may be of some help let me know please (moshe)

  2. led strip says:

    Thank you for keeping the blog updated, I run a number of weblogs myself and I battle keeping all of them up to date some times, really difficult to remain motivated, you have done a brilliant job though!

  3. Flash Games says:

    Thank you..really informative!!

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