A guest post today:
The Christchurch Earthquake:
By now you've heard about the massive earthquake that rocked Christchurch soon after mid-day, on Tuesday 22 February. As I write this, the death toll is now 146 and with 200+ missing (many expected to be found - deceased - in several destroyed buildings). Most of central Christchurch is in ruin, with roads damaged; many homes uninhabitable; and water being delivered in by tanker or de-salinated by the NZ Army.
People are mobilising, including an "army" of student volunteers who are going door-to-door, helping to clean up; people forming neighbourhood support groups; and relief groups like the Rangiora Earthquake Express. (For a while, the helicopter pilot was using his own credit card to fill up his chopper, until people rallied behind him and set up a Facebook support network to buy more fuel.)
Firstly, thanks to all our cuzzies from countries like Australia, America, Britain, Japan, Singapore, UK, China, etc, who've come to help. We've had fire-fighters from the LA Fire Department and the Australian Army setting up a field hospital, as well as 300 Aussie police who will be helping our own boys/girls-in-blue to keep an eye on things. You've no idea how important it is to a small country like ours, that we're not forgotten. Great stuff, guys - we owe you a beer or three for that!
Secondly, please be aware of various scams floating around the internet. They usually come as unsolicited emails; requesting donations; and giving a link to a fake charity website. Don't click on it. Aside from losing money to a scammer, they're usually also loaded with dodgy viruses. (One such scam is an email from a parasite calling himself "James McCoy".) That is why this email doesn't contain any links. Sorry - but safer that way and you know this isn't a scam.
Lastly. But don't let that put you off from supporting us by way of a donation. If you do, the safest way is to enter a charity's name directly into Google or other Search Engine, and that will 'point' you to the correct charity. Even a $10 (or whatever currency you use) donation will help.
Some charities are;
* NZ Red Cross
* NZ Salvation Army
* Christchurch City Council mayoral relief fund
* Rangiora Earthquake Express - find them through Facebook. (This is one of my favourites.)
Again, I've not given any links. Using Google is the safest way to find these relief organisation. Be wary of any email that does contain links - they may be dodgy!
- Frank & Sharlene & Freda
-Wellington, New Zealand