September of last year when we were there was only about 2 weeks after they had the first significant earthquake, there were some roads that were still blocked but the people seemed to be getting on with life.
This new quake happened at the worst possible time - it was the middle of the day, office workers were out getting lunch, or at their desks and the city was busy. It is tragic and our collective Australian hearts go out to them.
As small nations at "the ends of the Earth" there is a long and abiding friendship between Australia and New Zealand, I heard someone today call them our ANZAC siblings, and that is really true. We share a common spirit, so in times like these I believe that we feel a common grief.