Event marks anniversary Awatere quake

Remembering the quake

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 15:33 16/08/2014
Logan Lowther bungee
DEREK FLYNN / Fairfax NZ
FAMILY FUN: Logan Lowther, 11, of Ward enjoys the reverse bungee at an event to mark one year since the devastating August earthquake.

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The Awatere community turned out at Event 365 today to mark one year to the day since the severe August earthquake that rocked the region.

A year ago children and adults alike feared for their safety and their homes as a magnitude 6.6 quake and a series of aftershocks ripped through the area. The quake came just after the 6.5 quake which struck the area on July 21.

However, today many of those same residents enjoyed a warm winters day of family fun, as children played games just a stones throw from the field they were on when the August quake struck.

Awatere Community Centre co-ordinator Marie Flowerday said the event was organised for awareness and celebration. Various agencies who were involved after both the July and August quakes, such as Red Cross, the

Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade, police and Civil Defence had a presence on the day.

Seddon resident and volunteer fire fighter Phil Noakes said he still had vivid memories of the quakes.

"After the July one my wife and I had talked about what we would do if there was another. We put a plan in place for her to go to her sister's place because I would be involved with helping out, and it worked well," Noakes said.

The day of the August quake was his day off, but there would be no rest for the emergency services, and he didn't get to see his wife until late that night.

Having a day to celebrate the community's survival of the ordeal was a good idea, he said. "There are still a lot of people who are affected.

"We have still had some small shakes since then and it really gets your adrenaline going," Noakes said.

Fellow resident Rev Dawn Daunauda agreed that many residents were still working through the ordeal. "There is resilience but not without trauma. When there even a small tremor people freeze," she said.

The community is still rebuilding, with over $24.5 in claims having been paid out so far by the Earthquake Commission. According to the latest information from the EQC some 9670 claims have been dealt with by the commission, but 2577 are still outstanding.

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- The Marlborough Express

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