Heartbreaking quake stories inspire book
When Stephen Rush took 38 hours to get home to Kaiko¯ura from Picton after the November earthquake he realised he had a story to tell, and that there were many others as well.
That’s what prompted the ship’s officer and part-time writer to put together and publish Kaiko¯ura 7.8 Personal Accounts of Those Who Were There.
The ship’s captain was just pulling into Picton on the Interislander Cook Strait ferry when the earthquake struck just after midnight. The ship spent many hours anchored offshore before it docked. Rush then had to find a way home to Kaiko¯ura.
After driving the long coastal route to Nelson because the road out of Picton was closed, he spent the night stranded there before eventually getting a seat in a small four-seater aircraft.
‘‘The trip home was turbulent and a frightening experience on it’s own,’’ he said. escape paths away from an imminent tsunami, living in cars for days after, and the Great Wall of Waiau, where a faultline ripped across the landscape.’’
He said the book focused on a wide range of experiences and how people were affected by it.
‘‘It also highlights it wasn’t just Kaiko¯ura, but how the tragedy affected Waiau near the epi- centre.’’
Rush said one story from Mt Lyford broke his heart, of a couple whose lives were saved by their bed, when the bed snapped in half down the centre.
‘‘As it broke and they rolled into the middle and the windows broke and showered the bedroom with shards of glass.
‘‘They were quite lucky, but their beautiful home was totally destroyed - it was heartbreaking.’’
Although Rush finished the book in three months he said the $25,000 he had to put up to get it published was too steep so he chose to do it himself though lulu.com.
Although the downside was he had to buy every copy to onsell.
Rush won’t make any profit from the book.
Everything goes back to the Kaiko¯ura community supporting the Kaiko¯ura Vehicle Trust, Inspire Kaiko¯ura, and Kaiko¯ura Youth Council.
The book retails for $35. To order a copy contact Stephen Rush, (029) 653 3278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author of Kaiko¯ura 7.8 Personal Accounts of Those Who Were There, Stephen Rush.