Sometime I like to process photographs purely for the relaxing aspects it provides me after my mind has been occupied on other things during a stressful day. I love to try different things with the photos, all the while listening to some music and just chilling out. Today my mind was focused on my family back in Christchurch, New Zealand, the day after a large earthquake tore apart the city. The official death toll currently stands at 75, with hundreds still missing. All communication lines are down in the area of the city where my family lives so I am not able to talk to most of them. About 24 hours ago I received a tearful post-earthquake call from my sister telling me that my family members are all alive and well. I also heard that a wall has collapsed on our house. Many other houses in our neighbourhood have been destroyed, so I am hopeful that our house is at least repairable. I have heard other stories of whole streets having houses knocked over. At this stage all I can do is wait for more information. It would be a shame to lose our family house, but you cannot replace your family, so I am beyond happy that everyone was fortunate enough to survive. Christchurch is a small city of almost 400,000 people. American Banking giant JP Morgan Chase has estimated a staggering repair bill of NZ 16 billion dollars. If you would like to make a small donation to the New Zealand earthquake fund please click here. It would really mean a lot, especially to the people of Christchurch!

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  • Heath O’Fee

    I’m very glad to hear that your family is all okay down there, Tobias. My thoughts are with them for a quick recovery from the damage done.

  • Jim Denham

    What blessed news to hear your family is OK. Terrible tragedy it is Tobias and our thoughts and prayers are with them. It’s nice to know that you have an outlet like photography to take away from such harsh realities, even though in your case, you were never totally taken away.

  • Chris Kenison

    Thank God your family is okay, Tobias! I hope everything is repairable over there too! If there is anything you need, let me know!

  • Dave

    Certainly terrible times for the people in and around Christchurch. I very much hope the community will be able to pull through and rebuild their lives soon. Glad to hear your family got through reasonably unscathed. A very fitting post by you today. Nice pic too.

  • Jesse Pafundi

    Like you said the important part is your family is okay. Wishing you the best Tobias.

    PS – Love the shot, love the focus and comp

  • Toad Hollow Photography

    Really happy to hear your family is OK Tobias, my heart goes out to you and everyone else touched by this disaster. Really great blog today, I am happy to send this out on our Twitter feed in the hopes that others come to assist. Best wishes, my friend, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.