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2 years after the christchurch earth quake


Greening the rubble is now the job of many volunteers making the bare patches into community gathering areas and mini parks the owners have been paid off and the local council is buying up some for future development projects

After the Christchurch quake , a record shaking of 2.2 times the force of gravity, a world record for intensity in a built up area (kobe 1.7 approx) 2 years later the central business area is still locked down with only demolition workers there. gradually reducing as the 1600 multistoried building are being reduced to a shingle patch of bare ground.

Watching a massive crane,200 tons of it, called twinkle toes, grabbing a great slice of concrete floor and actually biting right through it like a kid eating a biscuit then munching on the solid concrete and spitting out the reinforcing to a smaller dinosaur that neatly folds it steel up and dumps it on a truck.

The concrete rubble is then fed to a crusher and it is reduced to shingle size to be used later for roading etc

Once familiar heritage buildings are all gone just a bare patch

the open spaces

we could almost plant grass and have a sheep farm here

Of the unlucky people in the suburbs there are 10,000 houses that have been condemned some for irreparable damage and some on unstable ground some entire suburbs are so damaged infrastructure that even if the sewers power and water were fully restored there would still be problems of the houses being flooded as the ground around had sunk some meter and this can be seen where the bridges with their massive foundations had risen nearly a mete above the road so now all the bridges in a certain area ar humpbacked

I imagine the bombing of London during the war would be very similar.

From a child’s description at her school class room

A massive roar of movement, unimaginable to anyone who has not experienced it. I couldn’t see anything because the world was shaking so fast

One of (her) friends runs up to (her) in tears explaining that both of her parents were in high buildings out in the city and I look out and all I can is dust blanketing all of the buildings. Kids start to scream, “The buildings have all fallen over!” And we were terrified. The teachers eventually round us up and begin a role call. I forgot to mention we were on a hill hence the view of the city.—-

The local swim complex had some 50 children in the huge pool and about half of them were deposited on the sides by a massive tidal wave from the shaking Can you imagine as a child seeing a huge wave appearing from nowhere in a placid swim pool. And plonking you on the sides some of theses children were 4 hours in their swim togs waiting for parents to get through a grid lock of cars and destroyed roads to collect them.

The central business district is bare now with 6000 small businesses gone to other places, stopped trading, or in temporary lodgings only a very few are likely to return to the area.

and this is a bakery 2 years after the quake a pic through the window the cakes still in the shelves and not able to be assessed due to cordon and dangerous building food cabinet 2 years un touched

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Hello Piersdad, I didn't realise that it was two whole years since the earthquake, it goes off the media and we forget......but not the people involved, minutes to destroy and years to repair

Your city will look very different when its rebuilt but it seems that the planners are doing a good job, not rushing into quick fixes
I hope that you have a lovely peaceful summer x

28 Nov, 2012


they hope to have a sort of green belt and less heavy commercial in the centre so that the central part will be more entertainment and shopping on the outer areas with circular bus routes around the city

28 Nov, 2012


Hello from a fellow kiwi in the central North Island. Wow ....two years since the earthquake & a little more since the Pike River Mine explosion. Time certainly doesn't stand still, does it. My favourite sister-in-law has a sister still living in ChCh & she visits with her often. She says it makes her really sad to see how it is there now ....such a lovely city destroyed within seconds. I'm originally from Napier, & my parents went through the big 1931 quake which reduced the city to rubble, & what the quake didn't destroy, the fires did. ChCh will be rebuilt & I really do think everyone still living there is so brave.

28 Nov, 2012


thanks for the update, we so often forget the aftermath a few months of it not being in the news.

The city will arise like a phoenix from the ashes. Different yes but it stil has its heart.

28 Nov, 2012


Yes, thank you for the update, we have heard nothing about how chch is now. What an extraordinary experience in the swimming pool.

28 Nov, 2012


Thanks for the update, it is certainly food for thought not only what it must be like to be in an earthquake but also all the problems that come after.

28 Nov, 2012


we get used to the aftershocks but now they are only felt once a few weeks.
when the shocks were frequent a 5.5 hit while i was about to stir my coffee so just froze at the bench and the quake did the stirring for me ho hum now as we dont leave things balanced ie the tv is clamped to its base and vases that are too tall are not used.
one day i decided to video the news about a quake in progress and a no 4.5 hit during the video and so had a double quake experience on the camera.

28 Nov, 2012


OH how I miss NZ.
I do in fact love it. I don't like the idea of earthquakes or Tsunami's though. My brother has an office in a big quake area and another lives in another precarious place.
So saying, if it carries on raining in UK, the island would become precarious too.

28 Nov, 2012


evening Piers...what a huge job rebuilding after the quake...must be mixed feelings seeing the new slowly replace the old...its so easy to forget that it takes years to recover from such an event. :-)

30 Nov, 2012


Another blog of yours I've just discovered, PD!

That shop with the cake cabinets still in order after so many quakes & tremors make you think that the building can't be that unsafe if all the contents have remained as they were over two years! It's a wonder it hasn't been broken into over such a long period of time!

Glad to hear that the shakes are getting less frequent with time, never having experienced the ground tremble beneath my feet makes it hard to see how you people have become accustomed & think nothing of 4 or 5 hit!

9 Dec, 2012


its inside the 2km square cordon and only registered ppl are allowed in and i think the shop is on bottom floor of a brick building with precarious structure and just waiting to be demolished so the cakes are a bit old and the owner is working on insurance so just delays and more delays some of the other eateries were the same with rats and mice having a ball.
the cordon has some 1600 buildings to be removed.
one building was built 100 years ago over the basement of an older building and the found a treasure trove of stuff in the basements filling as it would appear they just dumped every day rubbish there and even a ladys fob watch. in all about 1500 artifacts were recovered from 100 years ago

9 Dec, 2012


What's so surprising is that the cakes are not only there 2 years later but that the mice & rats haven't discovered & eaten them. Also it's a surprise not to see them all mouldy!

What sort of "treasure" did they find in that old basement? Apart from a lady's fob watch?

How did you manage to cross the cordon?

11 Dec, 2012


the building is unsafe so even the mice wont go there however our climate is dry 30 inches a year plus minus
so the cakes will be rock hard and dry.
the cabinets will be sealed and the place locked.
the treasures were discovered and the museum was informed and proper care was taken to recover the items
old jars of ointment crockery and everyday items that were used in that era and discarded.
possibly the basement was unused for years before the site was cleared and was just used as a dumping place for rubbish, as there was no rubbish pickup then.
my own section i discovered several items buried in small rubbish holes and even still using a tin of Rawleys ointment i found buried for at least 50 years and still good.

11 Dec, 2012


Thanks for the info, PD!

16 Dec, 2012


we just had the 10,000 th after shock only a 3.3 but just felt so getting rarer now and 0nly a day approx
most not felt

17 Jan, 2013


10,000th after shock! WOW! That is just incredible! I've never even experienced one!

17 Jan, 2013

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