Mum's terrifying wait

A BUNDABERG mum yesterday described her agonising wait for news of her daughter and her family, who live in the earthquake-devastated city of Christchurch.

Sandy Lees, who returned from Christchurch herself only a week ago after a visit to see her newborn granddaughter, said she was first alerted to the unfolding disaster by a friend.

"She called up and asked how my daughter was," she said.

"When I didn't know what she was talking about she told me to turn on the TV."

Mrs Lees watched in horror as the tragedy unfolded on her TV screen while she made desperate efforts to contact daughter Sonia Anson.

It was made worse because she knew son-in-law Kent worked in the CBD.

Mrs Lees eventually received an SMS from her daughter telling her the family was all well.

But she admitted to being in tears yesterday morning after managing to speak to her daughter for the first time since the quake.

"Until then we were just texting each other all day on Tuesday," she said.

"I spent most of the day in tears yesterday."

Mrs Lees said Kent was in his office in the CBD when he felt the quake.

"He tried to get under the desk but it slid across the room," she said. "He told me he stood up just in time to see the building across the road crumble."

Mrs Lees said Mr Anson told his staff to get out and made the trip to his home, which is close to the CBD, on foot.

"He said he saw some awful sights on the way home," she said.

Meanwhile at home Mrs Anson, a former student at Walkervale State School and Bundaberg High, was trying to cope with looking after three children under four, including a four-week-old baby.

"She said she tried to get under a big table they've got but there was glass all over and she cut her foot," Mrs Lees said.

After the quake was over neighbours helped her and the children out of the house.

"They spent the rest of the day in the children's cubby house," Mrs Lees said.

Mrs Lees said her grand-daughters were traumatised by the terrifying quake.

"They just wanted to maintain physical contact with their parents all the time."

Mrs Lees said she had experienced a four-magnitude tremor during her visit to Christchurch.

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