New Zealanders have woken to a tragedy unfolding in the great city of Christchurch.
The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region at ten to one yesterday has wreaked death and destruction on a dreadful scale.
There is no reason that can make sense of this event.
No words that can spare our pain.
We are witnessing the havoc caused by a violent and ruthless act of nature.
Many people have lost their lives. Families have lost their cherished loved ones. Mates have lost their mates.
These deaths are the greatest loss.