#1751 WORLD employee’s miraculous earthquake survival

WORLD’s former Christchurch store.

Like so many other businesses in the city, WORLD’s Christchurch store (housed on the ground floor of the ANZ Bank Chambers on the corner of Lichfield and High Streets), was entirely demolished in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. Looking at photos of the devastated site where WORLD once sat, the possibility of any survivors seems implausible. But implausibility be damned – according to an email sent yeseterday from WORLD director Denise L’Estrange Corbet, the retail assistant working inside the store when the earthquake hit was miraculously unharmed.

Denise L’Estrange Corbet:

“The whole event unfolding there is utterly tragic, but I want to thank Jono, the guy from the store next door to us in High St, Christchurch. When the quake struck, our staff member Holly remembers only watching the large windows buckle, then she opened her eyes and had fallen through the floor to the basement of the building. Her screams brought Jono running from next door, and he, somehow miraculously, managed to get her out without injury apart from concussion. As you can see from the picture she was very, very lucky and without Jono I don’t know if the outcome would have been the same.”

We’re reading so many of these stories of survival and heroism coming out of Christchurch – it really is heartening to see the strength and bravery of people in the wake of this unbelievable event.


Don’t forget that donations are still needed, click here for a list of official charity initiatives.

Before and after. (Click to enlarge)


share on TumblrShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter


  1. diann waugh says

    as a follow retailer I just want to say thank god your staff are o.k. and any help you need just let me know, not that I think I can do much but wish you all well

  2. Guest says

    The boy who used to work in Christchurch World was the most beautiful person ever. Never met Holly, but glad to hear stories like this x

  3. Hollyjanewhite says

    Hi – Thanks for all of your support. I have been doing really well. What happened in that building when the walls came down is undescribable. There is no way I should have survived the sounds and emotions still haunt my dreams. So to those who were lost in this quake my heart goes out to them. This experience has changed my life forever.
    From Holly – WORLD

  4. wrgplacr8time says

    Glad you are safe Holly it was an amazing day and me and the asian guy who pulled you out of the hole remember it clearly (although I had never met him before). I dangled a scarf down to you and then lowered him in. You reached up and we pulled you out of the darkness. You were covered in black dust and looking down the stairwell hole all I could see was your white teeth and eyes. It was great to see you reunited with your friends once off the rubble and to know you would be ok…take care 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *