WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While the devastation in New Zealand seems so far from home for most of us, one UNC Wilmington student is in the center of it. WWAY’s Asha Davé spoke with her via skype this afternoon, and while they were talking, a tremor shook her room.
“Oh, I don’t know if you could see that, but it was shaking a little bit right there,” Liz Jungen said as her room in Christchurch, NZ, moved again. Three days after a devastating earthquake hit the city is still feeling its effects.
“All the buildings swaying and windows buckling; it’s wild,” Jungen said. “I can’t even describe it.”
Jungen was only two days into classes at the University of Canterbury when the 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the city of Christchurch Tuesday. At first, she said she thought a really big truck had driven by, but when she was told to evacuate the building and began hearing stories from the city center, Jungen said it immediately felt like a disaster.
Many citizens are without homes, but Jungen said the community is coming together to help those in need.
“Strangers have been going down on a pretty large scale and just offering, ‘Hey, I can sleep four people, I can sleep six people,’ and taking strangers home with them, and on a fairly large scale, and that is just really amazing,” Jungen said. “And then even yesterday, we had a guy come by and invite all the students to dinner at his house with him and his wife if we needed food or anything, and people are just really willing to give you anything.”
Jungen, an environmental studies major at UNCW, chose to study abroad in Christchurch because New Zealand is so advanced when it comes to being eco-friendly. She said the weight of the tragedy hasn’t really hit her yet, but she still loves the place and the people.
“My citiy is a little beat up,” she said. “It’s sad, but it’s still beautiful, and the people are wonderful, and they will be.”
Jungen expressed her frustration about being so close to the city, yet not being able to help, but said students from the university will be in Christchurch offering aid as soon as they can.
Jungen’s classes are scheduled to start again on March 14, and she plans to stay in Christchurch for the whole semester.