Feb 222011

Through subscribing to Blipfoto, I have come to know several photography enthusiasts in New Zealand. From their photographs and journal entries, I have learned a lot about their country — its history and geography.

The news of the earthquake and a death toll that may reach 150 has left me saddened. New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key described what he saw as “utter devastation”.

“We may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day,” he told reporters.

The damaged spire of Christchurch's cathedral. Picture courtesy of PA.

I am of an age where Britain’s links to its former colonies still means a lot. In our darkest hour during the days of the Second World War, New Zealand’s sons rallied to our cause and their efforts were instrumental in removing the blight of Nazi Germany from the face of the earth. I hope the present British government, with its Prime Minister who seemingly has little grasp of the history of the Second World War, is honouring the debt we all owe by sending aid and whatever assistance is needed.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch at 12:51pm local time (2351GMT Monday) follows the 7.1 magnitude earthquake last September, when miraculously no one was killed.

Thankfully, my Blipfoto acquaintances and their relatives are safe.

My heart goes out to the 65 victims and their families.