Musical plan to help earthquake victims in Christchurch

Lutenist Robin Thodey at her home in Durham.

Lutenist Robin Thodey at her home in Durham.

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A MUSICIAN is hoping to stage a series of concerts to help rebuild her earthquake-torn home city.

Robin Thodey has watched in horror as the natural disaster has wreaked havoc in the place she grew up, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The musician’s sisters, Sue Dillan and Louise Deans, are both still in the devastated city trying to come to terms with what has happened.

Robin, a respected lute player based in Durham City, said: “What’s happening in Christchurch is tragic. It’s terrible to only be able to sit here in a completely different country and watch Christchurch fall apart. We can’t do anything, can’t offer to help my family and friends still living there.

“We’ve thought about travelling out there but don’t think we’d be any benefit if we were there.”

Last week’s quake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale, has killed more than 150 people so far, but it’s thought that death toll could rise to more than 240.

Many of the city’s buildings have collapsed and what was once a thriving city has been brought to a standstill as the rescue operation continues.

Robin added: “What’s happened is devastating, there is no other word for it. Being so far away I want to be able to do something to help.

“Thousands of families have lost their homes and been displaced and I want to raise awareness about what people are facing in the aftermath.”

A multinational team of more than 600 rescuers from New Zealand, the UK, the U.S, China, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and Australia has spent the last 12 days scouring the city for survivors.

No one has been pulled out alive since the day after the quake and officials say it is increasingly unlikely anyone else will be.