BWB Text – Short books on big subjects from great New Zealand writers ‘The ripples the earthquake sent across the region and down the years continue to affect our lives, our livelihoods and endeavours’. On 4 September 2010, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck 30 kilometres west of Christchurch. Half a year later, a 6.3 aftershock hit Christchurch, killing 185 people and causing widespread damage throughout the city. In November 2016, multiple faults ruptured near Kaikoura in a massive 7.8 earthquake. Paul Gorman reported on the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. In Portacom City he describes his own deeply personal story of working as a journalist during the quakes, while also speaking more broadly about the challenges that confront reporters at times of crisis.