Stuff today asks "does Kaikoura need a miracle".
In my ever humble opinion they have already been recipients of one, expecting a second might be a step too far, and such a salvation for their still burgeoning tourist bonanza just ain't gunna happen.
As an industry that has grown out of observing the remnant whale population out of South Bay comes to a shuddering halt due to a competing natural world phenomena in the form of a massive earthquake, the blessings of only one death from the destruction is not remarkable, it is astounding.
I claim the one death as that person died in the rubble of the collapsed "Elms Homestead" just south of the isolated settlement while the other sad passing in the chaos of midnight Sunday was an alleged heart attack that might well have occurred anyway, only to be included in media click bait creativeness.
One very close to me found himself being missed by inches from falling chimney masonry in his one hundred year old home, while occupants of the nearby " Montrose" homestead escaped over a verandah with dad jumping after quickly deciding to risk broken legs by jumping and then catching his kids and their mum while the grand old house with its stairs collapsed became a wreck.
There is still a chance I guess that persons as yet not unaccounted for being discovered buried in one of the many massive landslides that can be seen with trapped vehicles on isolated bits of highway along with the now lonely train sitting untouched just north of KK.
So with inexplicable luck, timing and fortuitous placement of people only one direct death is almost unbelievable as the thousands of images continue to be added to the reveal of appalling the destruction.
Recall the 180 dead in the early afternoon collapse of occupied buildings and streets enduring falling buildings in February 2011 and consider what if it had happened at midnight.
As to any possibility of a miracle for reinstatement of SHOne in anything less than years, kiss goodby to that. Fourteen months to clear one slip from the Manawhatu Gorge it could be conceivable that the link from Parnassus to the Seddon will take decades.
Unless of course the powers that be revert to the thinking of the thirties and dump the surplus naturally delivered problem into the Pacific Ocean that will recover quickly as it has done many times over.
Now that will indeed be a bloody miracle but probably the only one on the Horizon.