Friday, February 25, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake

Quite a depressing and anxious week.A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck my hometown of Christchurch,New Zealand on Tuesday just before 1pm.Apparently this was an aftershock from the September 2010 earthquake which was bigger but without any loss of life.The one on Tuesday was shallower but also struck at lunchtime with fatal results.
Obviously being in Shanghai I was in no immediate danger.However my mother happened to live near the epicentre and I was unable to get in contact with her or other family members for over 24 hours as power and other essential services were destroyed.
Thankfully my sister emailed me.My mother came to no harm while my sister and two nephews who were in the middle of the central business district were also unscathed.My brother's house is uninhabitable and like many others will probably have to be demolished.Seeing the scale of damage and the rising death toll,(which at the time of blogging stands at 113 confirmed deaths) one can only get an idea of what it must have been like to be there on Tuesday.
I took these shots in this blog when I was last back home in January 2009.The stone building above was the old Provincial Chambers near the centre of town.Like many stone buildings it collapsed.

This statue of Captain Scott that stood near Oxford Terrace has like many other statutes been toppled from its pedestal.Viewing the TV video reports and other websites it seems the older churches and buildings such as the Arts Centre have suffered badly tho newer ones such as the Pyne Gould Guinness and CTV buildings also were flattened.

The iconic Christchurch Cathedral in the Square was badly destroyed in the quake and lost its spire.There are reportedly 16-20 people buried under the rubble and masonry of the collapsed spire.At the time of writing,rescue crews were beginning to sift through the rubble.However,after four days,there seems little hope of finding anyone alive under the stones and brick.Again this was photo was taken in 2009 -well before the Sept 2010 and last Tuesdays fatal quake.
I know when I return the city scape will have changed and looking at these older shots and seeing the destruction has been very sobering.


Kevin said...

It's been all over the news here.. There was an english school in the CTV building that had 24 japanese students in it, and only about half of them are accounted for..

The whole thing is pretty sad..

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim - Glad to hear your family are all well but sorry to hear about your brother's house. It's just awful what has happened in Christchurch and like you say it probably won't be the same again - I just pray that that's the end of it. I hope all is well with you, Pam xx

huey said...

Hi Kevin.The earthquake in Christchurch now pales into insignificance compared to Japan's plight.Thanks for your kind thoughts.
I hope you are ok in Nagoya.I heard there was a good amount of shaking despite the city's distance from the epicentre and Tokyo.Drop me your email address and I can link your site to this one

Hi Pam.Im fine here in Shanghai. Thanks for your kind thoughts.They are still getting significant aftershocks but as I typed to Kevin above not as devastating as Japan's tsunami and earthquake .