‘This will have affected everyone’

Currently living in Galashiels, Chris Yardley, 28, comes from Auckland but his father Darryl is originally from Christchurch.

His mother Eleanor moved from Selkirk in the 1970s to New Zealand.

“My mum texted me at 3am on Tuesday morning. I don’t normal wake up with the sound of a text but for some reason I did this time.

“The message said ‘Christchurch earthquake, hundreds are dead, terrible carnage’.

“I switched on the TV and it was all over the news channels. It is absolutely unreal.

“My grandfather has family from there but I have not heard any bad news from them. New Zealand is quite a close-knit country so this will have affected everyone.

“There are hundreds of little earthquakes every year as New Zealand is on a fault line and Christchurch had one at 1am recently, but it was not as serious as everyone was in their beds.

“But this earthquake was at 1pm in the middle of the city at peak time.

“Christchurch is an old city with lots of cathedrals. It is like someone from the Borders hearing that Edinburgh has been hit by an earthquake while they are on the other side of the world.”