We are safe – an email from Christchurch

“We are all okay and safe, and our home too is in good shape,” writes Shirish Paranjape from Christchurch. “We have now spent two nights at home after the earthquake on Tuesday 12:50 am.”

“At home, we have power, water, phone and internet. Petrol stations are running. Some supermarkets are now open hence daily supplies are being provided.”

Paranjape is one of the many Indians living in Christchurch. He lives with his family in western Christchurch, near the airport.

“This part of town has been largely unaffected. Unfortunately, same cannot be said about city center and areas east of city centre.

“They have been hit very hard. The city centre has been cordoned off for search and rescue operations. In the eastern suburbs, there is large scale damage to roads and buildings.

“There is immense liquefaction as well, which has affected houses and roads. A friend’s family whose house is in the affected zone is now living with us.

“The government machinery is operating 24×7 in full swing the dedication of those involved is to be seen to be believed.

“This is not just a tragedy for our city but for the entire nation which has been demostrated by declaration of National Emergency which has been used for the first time ever in New Zealand.”

In the meantime, Christchurch Police are urging people who are leaving the city to advise friends, family or neighbours that they have left and that there is no concern for their safety.

The phone lines to call to report people missing – and to say that they are found – are:

New Zealand based calls: 0800 733 276

International calls: 0064 785 02199

All offices, banks, educational institutes are closed till Friday.

We have been overwhelmed by messages from well-wishers all around the world by phone calls, text messages, e-mails. Thank you all for your concerns and support at this hour.

Shirish, Manik & Shreya



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