This has been a catastrophic two weeks for Canterbury residents. We here in Otautau lost one of our own as well. A woman from Otautau who was living in Christchurch at the time died in the quake. Her funeral was this week.
One of our residents felt compelled to erect a light display to convey our sympathies to our distant northern neighbours. This can be seen on Main Street, just north of the bridge. It says 'We care Christchurch, 12:51 22.2.2011' but the 'we care' isn't visible yet.
Today, the St Andrews Scout Group is putting on a big garage sale to raise money for the relief efforts in Christchurch. So if you haven't donated yet, go out and support the garage sale today.
And overnight, we heard of the tsunami that spread 10km inland from the eastern coast of Japan as a result of an 8.9 offshore quake. Our hearts go out to the people of Japan as well.
I guess if we learn nothing from all of this it's the importance of being prepared - having emergencies supplies ready in one bag that you can grab and take away in the event of a disaster.