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Editor, The Times

Having seen firsthand the devastation that earthquakes brought to our sister cities of Kobe and Christchurch, I appreciated the reminder that Seattle urgently needs to strengthen its physical infrastructure [“In shattered city, a preview of Seattle’s quake danger,’’ Front Page, Dec. 4].
Yet, I was disappointed that there was no mention of what Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel told me was the central lesson — the importance of knowing one’s neighbors.
Outlying neighborhoods like Lyttelton were some of the hardest hit and lacked the emergency crews that were deployed to downtown Christchurch, but Lyttelton also proved to be the most resilient.
Residents had previously formed a time bank and enjoyed a culture of sharing. When the earthquakes struck, they knew who was missing, who needed help and who had the required skills and equipment. As one neighbor put it: “We took the aspirin a half-hour before the headache.”

Jim Diers, Vashon Island