Nature seems to be rebelling against us these days!
At least 65 people have been killed in this most recent earthquake which just hit Christchurch in New Zealand.
At a 6.3-magnitude this is a serious quake leaving dramatic damage in its wake. This South Island city has never experienced anything like this.
Buildings have fallen and there are still dozens trapped under collapsed buildings.
From inside the Pyne Gould Guinness building screams have been heard from inside the wreckage.
Prime Minister John Key said: “We may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day.”
Much of the public transport systems, and especially the airport where tourists would normally be arriviing daily is closed. A state of emergency has been declared.
A warning is out by the New Zealand Tourist Board asking people to avoid all non-essential travel to Christchurch, underscoring that the rest of the country is not affected by the earthquake.
When you have travelled to a destination and have fond memories of it, news of a devastation like this is particularly impactful.
My trip was during my tenure as national president of ACTA Canada.
We had established a warm interactive relationship with the travel agency association and I was asked to speak at their national conference.
The beauty of the city, the warmth of the people, and the chance to tour the most beautiful countryside left an indelible impression.
I felt so at hope. The people were like Canadians, proud and welcoming and wanting to show you everything and take you everywhere.
Their hospitalitly was far and beyond what was required or expected.
I made some close friends who fly to Canada for our next conference, bringing with them loads of fine New Zealand wine to prove their point that the New Zealand wines were as high quality as those anywhere.
I hope they are all right…and I hope they are all able to recover soon with no more lives lost.
Buildings can be replaced, but the smile and graciousness of a ordinary citizen host cannot.
Nature seems to know few friends when it choses to get angry. Perhaps it can take into consideration the quality of the people there and stand back this time.