Former Chatteris man survives Christchurch earthquake and lets family know he is safe
A FORMER Chatteris man working near the epicentre of New Zealand’s disastrous earthquake used the Cambs Times website to tell family and friends ‘We are all fine’.
Knowing that his nearest and dearest, including his mother, Pam, would be distraught until they learned of his safety, Rob Keen decided the best way to let them know was through his local newspaper.
As Monday’s horrific news unfolded, Rob, who lived in Chatteris for 40 years and moved with his family to near Christchurch five year’s ago, said on the website: “I would just like to let friends and family know that my wife, Lisa, and children Jasmin and Calum are all fine after the most recent and devastating earthquake.
“The scale of destruction is massive. Due to the depth and closer proximity to the city this 6.3 magnitude shock has caused far more destruction than the 7.1 quake in September and this one has also claimed many lives and many are homeless.”
Mr Keen, told how he was at work when the quake struck. He said: “I struggled to find a route out of the city to our home about 30 minutes drive out of Christchurch. It took about an hour and a half as some bridges were unsafe to cross, traffic lights were out and roads flooding with burst pipes and sewerage.
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“We are being asked not to go into the city because of recovery efforts and I’m waiting to find out if our factory is condemned or not, to find out if I have a job to go back to.”
Keeping his sense of humour, Mr Keen added: “Also happy birthday to my mother Pam who is 70 on Saturday. Sorry, the card might be a little late but there’s been an earthquake (I don’t remember using that excuse when I lived in the Fens).
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Mr Keen urged people to contribute to the relief effort by going to www.salvationarmy.org.nz
The country’s worst natural disaster in 80 years has led to a sate of national emergency being declared in the city of Christchurch and surrounding area.