Shake rattle and roll….as we head into the first week of summer our wee oasis in the Pacific is reeling from the impact of a major earthquake which rocked our lands just after midnight on 14th November 2016 and the hundreds of aftershocks still being felt to this day.
Kaikoura district just a short couple of hours drive from our base here in Blenheim New Zealand bore the brunt of Mother Nature flexing her muscles.
She wrecked devastation as she stretched, fracturing lands, destroying homes, land, roads, railway lines and anything else which stood in her way.
The landscape has been forever changed as have people’s lives.
Even our humble Paua did not escape her fury.
Thousands of Paua along with Crayfish and other sea life have been left exposed after the seabed lifted by up to six metres (over 19 feet) in some places.
Wrenched from their natural habitat they will wither and die.
The numbers of Paua living in this quake ravaged area could take years to recover. Especially as it was these areas where the young and growing Paua flourished in the mineral rich ocean off the coast of Kaikoura.
(Paua shown here exposed after the seabed rose from the ocean by several metres)
I had been lucky enough to travel along this pristine windswept highway on the Friday preceding the earthquake. I was visiting some local stockists of our beautiful New Zealand jewellery. They were all in good spirits, looking forward to the booming summer tourist season ahead.
Expecting thousands to flock to this idyllic wee seaside town, to swim and to surf, to view the whales and dolphins, to sample the local seafood, Crayfish and Paua, but now our main state highway is blocked by huge landslides, the main railway line destroyed and major damage done to the harbour and marina.
The town is isolated for a while to come yet.
The tourists cannot come visit.
(Huge landslides block our main highways)
(The main rail track through the South Island has been destroyed shaken off its path and thrown across the highway into the sea.)
But as is our “Kiwi” New Zealander way our country will rally together to repair the damage, neighbour will help neighbour and the long slow recovery process will begin.
In the meantime the rest of our beautiful country will flourish in its usual carefree summer way and visitors will still get to sample some of our awesome scenery and wonderful hospitality.