Christchurch earthquake updates

Wednesday, 13 April 2011: An update from Madras Cafe Books (MCB)
MCB Books, have become homeless in a physical sense, owing to the yellow stickering of the Science Alive building following February 22nd.

It will be some time (as yet undetermined) before the building is operational again.
We are still operating online,  with only periodic access to the stock in Science Alive.
We are still happy to supply books - either posting to you, or your collecting from our home.

We are involved with the launch of a new book (a debut!) by Canterbury author Tanya Moir - La Rochelle's Road - which, to quote Fiona Farrell, is "A novel in which human dramas are played out against the looming splendour of Banks Peninsula."

The launch is at 6pm, Wednesday, 13th April, at the Hagley Community College Cafe (cnr St Asaph St &  Hagley Ave). Please email MCB if you'd like to attend.

Thursday, 17 March 2011
The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) has published the following updates in their newsletter.

Catherine Montgomery of Manaaki Whenua Press, based in Lincoln, had one of the more distressing second quake experiences. Her son was finishing school at Linwood High at midday, because the afternoon was teachers-only. Catherine knew he was heading into town on either his skateboard or by bus and it was 30 agonising minutes before she had a reply to her text: he was OK. All the more poignant in retrospect because one of her son’s classmates did go by bus and was killed when masonry fell on that bus in the city.

Catherine’s assistant at the publishing house couldn’t take any more and has left to live in the North Island.

Quentin Wilson reported on February 28: “Our wonderful old 1881 home (and my office) is a write off. I was very lucky to get out unhurt. Secured bookcases came down all around me in my study and over the desk. Chimneys down in all the rooms, upstairs and down, bricks over everything, plaster off all the walls (as in old lathe and plaster which is very heavy and deadly). Extremely shaken, we have spent the days since in a total daze, trying to make sense of it all, gather possessions together, get valuables into the lockup and somehow manage the aftershocks which are ... just as nerve-wracking.”

Jenny Haworth of Wily Publications works from her home in Shirley. A home that was fortunately little damaged on February 22 – “We’ve lost a bit of china, but that’s nothing.” Power took a week to be reconnected to her home.

Paula Wagemaker reckons she is one of the lucky ones, living and working in the suburb of Russley which has come through both quakes relatively unscathed. Most of her clients are overseas or in other parts of New Zealand so it has been business pretty much as usual. “All I’ve got is survivor guilt,” she says, “But I’ve tried to make up for it by letting friends have showers and do their laundry at my place.”

Geraldine Sloane of Essential Resources lives near Christchurch’s CBD but says her home is structurally OK. “The garden is a bit of a mess, but that can wait.” Contract designers for Essential Resources living in the city are all personally OK and she is sending out care packages when PANZ News phones. Geraldine is doing lots of cooking for friends in the area. While she says she has ‘quake brain’ her concern – like all the others in publishing in Christchurch – is more for industry colleagues than herself.

Kim Dovey at Book Design blogged on March 2: We are back. It's so great to be back in the office and back into an almost normal routine. We are so grateful to all our wonderful clients and the lovely messages… Contact with the outside world and knowing that things are still operating normally somewhere is so important at the moment. It's really helping us all get our lives back together as well.  Read the rest of the moving blog (with pics).

Rachel Scott at Canterbury University Press has an update: she and Kaye Godfrey have just been allowed back into their building at the University to pick up files, computers and so forth. However, the building is required by university management for at least the next 12 weeks – the registry building is red-stickered - so like it or not, it is work from home. “CUP Head Office in Sydenham!” jokes Rachel. Frith is coming back to finish the last four months of her internship, working partially from her St Albans flat and partially at Rachel’s house. “All three CUP ‘offices’ are connected by Skype,” says Rachel.

Mon, 9.32am A message from Barry Hancox, owner of Smith’s Bookshop, Christchurch: “Smith’s Bookshop, 117 Manchester St was badly damaged by the quake which struck Christchurch on Feb 22nd.

"Fortunately staff managed to get out via the adjoining shop window to safety. The shop is within the CBD police cordon and what with the cordon and regular aftershocks occurring, we have not been able to even think about retrieving stock as yet.
"We are aware that customers who had bid at our auction on Feb 19th are waiting on the items they have won to be dispatched to them, as are those who placed internet orders. We will do our best when the opportunity arises but that could take some time. We are trying to keep calm and carry on but it may be some time before our website and shop are operational.
"Telecom has managed to divert the shop phone number to Barry’s home number, and he can be contacted on 03-328-7345."
Week beginning Monday 28 February

Friday 9.00am:  Rob Smith, CEO of the Paper Plus Group reports back from a visit to Paper Plus stores in Christchurch.

"We have just completed two separate meetings with Christchurch members and visited several stores in the area today. The devastation is beyond anything we could imagine and your efforts at fundraising are needed more than ever.  We have received daily emails from Members reporting fabulous results and I just received a call from Chris at  Wanaka – he is banking $5000 today! Gisborne had $700 from one person who had fundraised and wanted us to bank it so we would match the money $1 for $1!"

"We visited Ferrymead who re opened today and it is incredible to see the liquefaction has already been removed from the carpark – over 10 tons! The smell of liquefaction is something we don’t appreciate on the TV and the dust being whipped around by the sunny and windy weather just continues to make the clean up efforts even more incredible. The main road was already under repair and people are really pulling together to get the city back on it’s feet. The sense of community and team work was great to see and our congratulations go to all of our members and teams for working so hard at such a difficult time to get themselves back up and running. The customers are coming in asking about the members and teams welfare and it is warming to see such community spirit. Barry & Kerry are trying to organise through us to sell bread and milk as the local Countdown is closed and they service a large area, again helping their community."

"Book donations appear to be going extremely well across the country and again I cannot stress enough the option to ask their customers if they would like to purchase a book and donate it to Christchurch. Scott has sent out the photos of how to set this up along with the additional tickets to promote this whole initiative. But we need to be asking EVERY customer if they have a voucher."
"So at this stage we have South City closed and possibly access may be available in the coming week as the cordon may be reduced."
"The Palms is still closed and as we passed the Mall significant structural damage was evident. It is unlikely we will be able to gain access for at least another week."
"Merivale is closed although the store has been completely recovered, the supermarket is up and running (and busy!) They are awaiting more water pressure for the sprinklers to be serviceable which we hope will be Monday."
"New Brighton is closed awaiting power supply which has been significantly affected, again we hope to see this area with power again by mid next week."
"All other stores are open some with limited hours."
Thurs 12.52pm:  Librarians Susan Smith and Judith Wenborn, who featured in a story in The Read following the last big Christchurch earthquake say, "Just thought I'd send a message to say that Susan and I are both OK.

"I didn't suffer damage at home this time, but have eight displaced family including four under 5's at our place. Not sure how long they will be with us.

"Susan hasn't been so lucky. She has two chimneys down, no water or toilet. She is right at the edge of the inner city cordon. There were eight quakes last night between midnight and about 7am.

"But we are at work, and the libraries did not suffer damage this time, so its pretty much business as usual. We are thankful that our families are safe."

Thurs 9.44am: Barry Hancox from Smith's Bookshop reports that he and his staff member and the customers who were in the shop when the quake hit were all able to escape from the shop to safety. 

He has not yet been able to put up any messages on his website because his laptop is still in the bookshop.

The building is still standing, but he has not been able to return to make an assessment because of the cordon that is in effect round the CBD.

 Wed 10.54: an update has been sent from PaperPlus. Some stores are now open, others have changes to their stock requirements. Read the latest update.

Wed 10.04am An out of office reply was received from St Martin Bookshop: "Our store has been badly affected by the ChCh earthquake and is not currently open - we have no idea if or when we will be back in business."

Wed 9.01am: Thirteen Whitcoulls stores were effected by the earthquake. Five have reopened already and it's planned that in the coming months six further stores will reopen. Bishopdale Mall Whitcoulls store opens today.

Week beginning Monday 21 February

Friday 1.40 pm  Mary Sangster, (Children's Book Shop Christchurch) may be on crutches as a result of heavy bruising is still keeping an eye on the business.

She advises all staff are safe and well and that she has set up a new email address for communication.

Friday 3.00pm  Message from Beth Davies This very solid response from Bookseller is just stunning. The readiness of TLC is such a positive! We have to hold hands.

Have to say it is good now to stay home. Can get on with cleanup and about to vacuum glass slivers. Relieved the housecleaning HQ to report into is closed up because many of us would get no ticks.

My computer faceplanted in the quake on tues,  I have virtually no screen and trying to catchup as power just restored.Maybe it won't last.

Please excuse brevity, it is very rough here, a bit more sleep last night as level and frequency reduced, also electricity last night. A lightbulb is beautiful. not much left to break. My house rocked and bucked, but only more cracking. Those of us with amentities now have full houses, some of my friends have nothing but their lives..

One degree of separation in ChCh is giving a heavy heart to all of us here.

Friday 9.00 am Message from the Arts Centre Bookshop facebook page: Unfortunately, due to the massively destructive earthquare of 22 Feb 2011, the bookshop is closed indefinitely.

Thurs 10.22am: Penguin wishes to advise its South Island customers that due to the temporary closure of its freight forwarder after the earthquake in Christchurch, delivery of March new publications may be delayed.

Penguin apologises for the inconvenience this may cause our customers.

Thurs 10.10am: Stock delivery information for PaperPlus stores in Christchurch.

Thurs 9.16am: David and Wendy Ault from MC Books (formerly Madras Cafe Books) are safe but their home is a mess. The shop, in the Science Alive building, is closed until further notice.

Thurs 9.05am: All staff at The Reading Bug are safe. Closed until further notice; it's a total wreck and they'll need to get the building checked and the carpark is covered in liquifaction.

Wed 4.36pm: PaperPlus put out two photos of their Merivale store on Twitter...

Wed 4.12pm: PaperPlus has issued an advisory about the status of their ten Christchurch stores. Read the advisory.

Wed. 12.40 pm Paper Plus CEO, Rob Smith advises that all PaperPlus staff in Christchurch are safe. So too are Scorpio Books' Dave Cameron and Jo Hewitson and their staff.

However, Dave's car was trapped in the underground car park and they had to borrow a car to get home. Dave told us: "I may be being selfish, but all I want to do is get back and reopen our shop for our customers" 

Wed 9.25am We have heard from publishers HarperCollins and Hachette who have suspended deliveries to Christchurch. If bookshops need any help or have concerns, they can contact Booksellers NZ or the publishers directly.

Wed 7.30am Children's Book Shop Christchurch manager and Booksellers Director, Mary Sangster has been in touch and there are no reports of injury relating to her, shop owner Shelia Sinclair or staff. Peter Kalan Managing Director of Red Group Retail in New Zealand has also advised Booksellers NZ that his teams at Borders and Whitcoulls stores in the city are safe, although a security guard at one store was injured.

Booksellers NZ have been advised by Tilly Lloyd of Unity Bookshop, Wellington of  a plan to accept donations for Christchurch relief. Booksellers NZ will announce further news on relief later in the day.

Tues: 3.07pm International Booksellers offers of help: The following message has been received from Len Vlahos, COO of the American Booksellers Association who visited NZ last August: 

"How horrible... I know the people of Christchurch were still recovering from the September quake. If there is any way ABA can lend assistance, don't hesitate to ask. Our thoughts are with you and your members."

Similar messages have been received from the Booksellers Assns of Canada, The United Kingdom  and  Australia.

Tues: 2.10pm Report from Philip King, University Bookshop Canterbury: "Shop is in chaos, staff got out okay. University evacuated and will be closed for some time.  Just driving over to Lyttleton which apprently is the epi-centre.  Can't contact family yet." 

Tues:1.15pm The news of today’s 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch is very concerning with reports of  very heavy damage and injury.  

Booksellers NZ is closely monitoring the situation as it affects our Members including their staff and families who will clearly need all the support they can get.  We will keep relevant up to date news posted on the website.

Image by @MrTimms on Twitter