Christchurch: The people on this South Island of New Zealand were still recovering from the massive 2011 earthquake, when on Sunday night, another earthquake -- with a 7.5 magnitude -- shook their lives.
Foreigners and tourists spent a sleepless night thinking about the consequences, but the natives seem to have accepted such calamities as a part of their day-to-day lives.
"Oh, you didn`t sleep last night don`t worry, it`s a part of our life now," said Andrew Murray, a Kiwi resident, to an Indian tourist at a hotel`s breakfast table here on Monday morning.
For an Indian, the seven-plus point on the Richter scale was a reminder of the mass destruction caused by an earthquake in Gujarat in 2001.
However, people in Christchurch surprised this visiting IANS correspondent with their high spirits.
The quake killed at least two persons and has resulted in billions of dollars of damage.
Just five years ago, an earthquake had jolted the picturesque city and took 185 lives, leaving it devastated. But soon it started standing on its feet, with many youngsters returning to homes in an attempt to help in rebuilding the city.
"Christchurch was losing young people post the earthquake, but slowly and steadily, they are moving back to the town," Sam Crofskey, owner of C1 Espresso, one of Christchurch`s oldest restaurants, told IANS here.
"Now tourists are lining up to come here. It is very important for us to see people coming here. You can also see all forms of graffiti pictures and creative art on some walls of Christchurch. That shows our liveliness," added Crofskey, who built a new cafe after his old one was destroyed in the 2011 disaster.
"People that time said, `You are so brave`. And I told them that I just didn`t know what else to do. They said, `Why do you want to live here when there are so many earthquakes, volcanoes and other things I say, `It happens everywhere`," he said.
After the earthquake that happened on Sunday, Christchurch is fully operational, according to a statement released by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.
"It is business as usual for Christchurch city`s tourism operators following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake centered near Hanmer, 130 km north of Christchurch, early this morning," the statement said.
The airport, hotels, car and campervan hire companies, conference and meeting venues and visitor attractions in Christchurch are all operating as normal, said Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Vic Allen.
"Christchurch is now one of the safest cities in the world, following our infrastructure rebuild and strengthening upgrades. We are encouraging people to keep to their plans to come to Christchurch," said Allen.