The Christchurch / Lyttelton earthquake aftershocks news thread

By Grant Jacobs 13/06/2011 109

Latest news is added to the comment stream after this post, in on-going irregular fashion as the news occurs. Feel free to contribute.

I’m moving my news commentary to this post and the following comments.

There has been a magnitude 5.5 aftershock, followed by a magnitude 4.4 and just a few minutes ago a larger shock – details to come.

UPDATE: This is reported as a magnitude 6.0, centred between Lyttelton and Sumner, depth 9km.

UPDATE: This has been followed by a smaller aftershock. Recorded as a magnitude 4.9, 10km depth.


I’ll update this post as news comes in until the news settles down. For the earlier news see my comments in the February 22nd magnitude 6.3 thread.

Comments starting with and ampersand (‘@’) are taken from twitter, most likely from the #eqnz feed. I’m filtering what I hope are significant news to readers as a service. The updates may be a little slow as the feeds are a bit overloaded. Please treat all comments here as unconfirmed, unless indicated. My own remarks are [in square brackets].

@ThomasMeadia (Thomas Mead)

2degrees and Telecom customers are officially not able to send or receive texts at the moment. (via @vodafonenz)

@five15design (Paul Le Comte)

national radio reporting CHCH Cathedral has more massive damage – fucking huge shaking here in Dunedin

@BiscuitCIB (Amanda Fitzwater)

It’s just going and going and going the rumblings don’t stop. Stop the world I want off

@NewstalkZB (NewstalkZB)

Flights to Christchurch are on hold – people are asked to check with their airline’s website before heading to the airport

The CCC is asking residents of Sumner to self-evacuate to Heberden Avenue. Details here.

@christchurchcc: Unconfirmed reports of damages and injuries; Mayor calls for calm, asks to cut down calls and travel

@nzherald Fireservice say a bridge down possibly Gayhurst Road, Avonside.

@nzherald Orion said power has been cut to around 54,000 customers across Christchurch following the magnitude 6 earthquake. [Power stations routinely shut down after larger earthquakes.]

Mixed reports of rockfall from the eastern hill suburbs; unable to get a reliable feel for this at this point. Police said ‘no’ to this after the 5.5, but the 6.0 may have move material.

All the major educational institutions I am aware of have been shut for the rest of the day.

@NZStuff: UPDATE: Council staff confirm leaning Hotel Grand Chancellor had tipped further over

@NZStuff ( News) Police say collapsed building on the corner of Stanmore and Worcester streets had been searched and no one was found inside

Many reports of renewed liquefaction.

@CERAgovtnz (CERA) CCC advises Bridge St bridge is closed. Pages Rd bridge closed.

3:18 pm, June 13th:

@christensena (Alan Christensen) Pedaled home safely after the 6.0. Dicy getting through busy traffic lights without power. No power or water at home in Beckenham.

@rhiannonelston: Image: Liquifaction swallowing a car, Christchurch #eqnz via @timkelleher


A reliable source of update / advisories is the CERA twitter feed, e.g.

@CERAgovtnz CCC advises that bridges on AND over Moorhouse Ave are closed. #eqnz #chch

@CERAgovtnz CCC advises that more bridges may close. #chch #eqnz

@CERAgovtnz CCC advises Bridge St bridge is closed. Pages Rd bridge closed.

Here geonet drops to informality just after the magnitude 6.0 event:

@geonet Ouch. Another big #chch #eqnz. Locating it now. Up around mag 6 this time.

@Project7NZ Project⁷ NZ (retweeted by CERAgovtnz) Officials are asking people to avoid Oxford Terrace to keep it clear for ambulances

@nzherald Police are evacuating the central city red zone. There are reports of a possible gas leak. [Surely gas was turned off to the central zones after the earlier earthquakes?]

There are a number of bridges closed.

@NZStuff: Police: Old Waimakariri bridge., Moorhouse & Anzac Ave overbridge, Merivale Mall, Gloucester/Gayhurst bridge ALL CLOSED

@NZStuff About 10 ppl reported injured; no fatalities reported to date, says Nat’l Crisis Management Centre

Unconfirmed reports that the tower of the Timeball Station at Lyttelton (damaged in the Feb. 22nd earthquake) has collapsed.

Airport is apparently closed. (Runways are apparently being inspected for damage.)

@JoyReidTVNZ (Joy Reid) Residents in Lyttelton tell me damage is almost comparable to the Feb 22nd quake [I’ve family there, too; still haven’t heard from them – too busy with immediate things no doubt.]

@BrilliantlyEvil (Brilliantly Evil) In the the last 3 hours there have been 7 eq’s – a 4.3, 5.5, 4.4, 3.4, 6.0, 4.9 and a 3.7

@aeanominae (Aean Campbell) Church @dyedredlaura and I got married in has completely collapsed. #stupidearthquakes

CCC emergency bulletin #3 – from 3:20pm.

While #eqnz is very busy, I’m seeing few reports of trouble beyond building damage at this stage; more detailed reports may take time to come in.

@CHC_Airport Christchurch Airport (via @nzherald #Chch) Airport Terminal Open for passengers. runway checks continuing. expect delays. contact your airlines for flight info

@TelstraClearNZ TelstraClear ( by five15design) Tips to save yr battery: change your vmail to say you’re ok, txt rather than call, 2G over 3G, turn bluetooth wifi off brightness dwn


@rnzgallery (Jane Patterson) Great deal of flooding in Linwood, and Ferrymead – traffic lights out in Mt Pleasant, Heathcote, Linwood and Ferrymead

[Finally updated on my immediate family.]

@JoyReidTVNZ: Our cameraman is borrowing my bike to get to police HQ in time for press conf #eqnz #committedtobringyouthenews

USGS has given a MMI of VIII for the magnitude 6.0 event and set a Prompt Assessment level of ‘Red’ via a pager page. There are more details here.

@phoeberuby 24 Hour Surgery on Bealey Ave is practising out of the carpark


The NZ Herald has a periodically updated news stream. [Naturally they have better resources than I do…!]

@usembassynz: For the latest on Christchurch #eqnz, follow @CERAgovtNZ, @@ChristchurchCC, @NZcivildefence or @geonet

CCC update #4, from 4pm.

Early (unconfirmed) reports of no deaths or serious injuries.


CCC update #5 (2:20pm) brings news of landslides and rock fall.

7:45pm – Quick notes:

  • Residents are encouraged to boil water (via CERA)
  • Power is being restored; some will not have power overnight (via Orion)
  • All schools will be closed tomorrow

In a lighter vein, a minor damage report (edited):

@AdrienneRewi (Adrienne Rewi)

Have assessed interior damage – last champagne glass smashed, books down & major losses in the sultana & tea bag departments.

And potted plants no longer potted

@NZRedCross (New Zealand RedCross; retweeted by CERAgovtnz) Cowles Stadium Welfare Centre is now open #RedCross teams assisting

@ChristchurchCC (ChCh City Council; retweeted by CERAgovtnz) Emergency Update 6 – 7pm 13 June 2011 [Focus on flooding, esp. 2:25am high tide in lower Avon and Heathcote River areas]

@CHC_Airport (Christchurch Airport) Flights are now operating from #Christchurch Airport. Please check with your airline for the latest flight information.

GeoNet has an initial information page up, including ground acceleration maps and the general nature of the ground movement.

There’s also a google map of places that reported feeling the earthquake.

June 13th, 10:45pm

As you can tell, my updates are lagging! There are plenty of alternative–and better–sources around anyway, like that at, (including advisories), NZ Herald, CCC, and elsewhere.

As you’d expect GNS is warning of following aftershocks, like the magnitude 4.0 at Godley Heads at 8:28pm.

The summary (linked above) report police as reporting(-ed) at least 46 people were injured, but a little later reports 6 people taken to hospital with minor injuries, and that there has been additional building damage (with some further collapse) within the Red Zone, including the Cathedral in the Square. Burst water mains are being reported, as well as rockfall in the eastern hill suburbs and coastal areas. For all these reports of issues there seems to be no serious injuries, which is at least one thing to be grateful of.

The latest (9-9:30pm) emergency update on the CCC website listing road & bridge closures, water & sewerage advise and a welfare counselling line.

The Historic Places Trust has an update on the Timeball Station.

I may add images later if I find some worth sharing. I’m now adding further news in comments. Subscribe to the RSS feed if you want to keep up with them. You’re welcome to add comments.

Other articles on Code for life:

Doggie ERVs

Coiling bacterial DNA

Literate and test-driven programming (in bioinformatics)

Mother’s Day – “slightly more than half of everything I am…”

Finding platypus venom

109 Responses to “The Christchurch / Lyttelton earthquake aftershocks news thread”

  • Places NOT to be in an earthquake – the stairwell of a building.
    Not a pleasant experience. Also a very large fishtank in the hallway near my office shattered leaving my office carpet partially wet.

    Since I started writing this have felt two very small aftershocks. Sigh

  • I imagine there are a lot of places not to be in an earthquake. I know it was a smaller event (M=5.8?) but I was next to a large glass window as the Boxing Day earthquake hit. You were inclined to move away from the window :-)

    It looks like it’s been a busy day up there. Plenty of traffic chaos too. One tweet indicated the traffic lights go out along with the power. I imagine that’d make for a mess.

    Best of luck.

  • For those wanting to follow #eqnz on twitter – I’d skip it for now: there’s been a mass invasion of spam with perhaps 80% of the messages now being spam.

  • Yes, traffic lights between work and home were out. Was a challenge crossing major traffic flows – the right hand rule doesn’t work that well under such circumstances.

    Yes, moving away from large windows is definitely a good idea.
    Apparently the Grand Chancellor is leaning a little bit more

  • Yes, I can imagine the right-hand rule isn’t too good in an uncontrolled situation with lots of traffic…

    One tweet claimed the building opposite the Grand Chancellor building has taken a slight lean too. Unconfirmed, of course. Hard to get solid news so soon after the event.

    (Make that 90% spam for the #eqnz twitter stream…)

  • [I think I spoke to soon. After a brief break, the spam came right back. Twitter has a problem if you ask me: that much spam will drive users away…] It looks as if twitter has (finally!) nailed the spamming and it’s “safe” to use the plain twitter search to follow the #eqnz hashtag again.

  • Unless some major news occurs, I’m going to continue news updates in the comments as I did in my earlier earthquake thread. Subscribe to the RSS feed if you want these emailed to you.

    As you’d expect the aftershocks continue. I only report magnitude 4.0 or greater. Apart from anything else there are simply too many smaller aftershocks.

    For what it’s worth the main reason I took up reporting these was to give people off-shore a little bit feel for the continuing nature of the event. Reading media reports you get more of an impression of occasional larger events, whereas in reality smaller aftershocks keep people on edge and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

    Last night (June 14th), at 2:48am, saw a magnitude 4.7 event, focal depth of 15km, centre in Gollans Bay, immediately to the east of Lyttelton.

    The 6am CCC update has news of the areas without water, rockfall, and other items. There is a city-wide ‘boil water’ notice, a request for those with chemical toilets to use them and asking people for caution on the roads due to damage.

    Some might like the account and photographs on the NZ:Raw blog

  • June 14th, 12:30pm.

    GNS has just revised the figures for the major aftershocks yesterday, now:

    Magnitude 5.7 (vs. 5.5) and 10km depth (vs. 10km)

    Magnitude 6.3 (vs. 6.0) at 6km depth (vs. 9km)


    Here’s an earthquake website for kids:
    (Check it out – recommended.)

    This media report interviews geologists on the event:

    Boil water advice remains – including water from tankers.

    A few tweets that might interest or be of use to others:

    @TelecomNZ (Telecom New Zealand) Our Chch payphones are free for national and local calls [for one week from what I understand]

    @ChristchurchCC (ChCh City Council) All CCC Recreation and Sports Centres are closed. Assessments underway, will re-open when safety is confirmed

    @chiefie Kelvin Yong (retweeted by CERAgovtnz) If you’re in CHC and have bad liquefaction, please go to… let @rebuildchch know the location.

    @whatsopennz is tweeting what is open (or closed). You can add your details to their free website: (Indications are that supermarkets and petrol stations may re-open later in the day.)

    My insurance house premium has just arrived. I’ll have to check last year’s invoice, but it looks as if I’ve been hit with a 50% hike in the premium. (I live in Dunedin, several hundred kilometres south of Christchurch. House insurance premiums in the South Island are due to the earthquakes.)

    Just as a bit of loose thought: I wonder to what extent the magnitude 5.7 (prev. 5.5) preceding the magnitude 6.3 (prev. 6.0) may have helped reduce the injury toll? It sounds as if most of the larger buildings, etc., were evacuated immediately after the earlier aftershock, so people from these were outside at the time the magnitude 6.3 occurred. Or maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference? Thoughts?

    Oh, and a magnitude 4.2, depth 12km, on the Godley Heads at 12:22pm – GeoNet report just in.

  • Geologist Chris Rowan has written a blog post about yesterday’s earthquake with data and discussion. It comes with this statement: “whilst it may be happening far slower than everyone would like, the seismic activity is slowly dying down”.

    The University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army is calling for some volunteers for tonight and tomorrow, details here:

  • The UC Student Army have already found their 140 volunteers. Good job.

    I have to share this tweet:

    @threeboysbrew (Three Boys Brewery)
    Earthquakes are like children – once you have them you wonder what the hell you filled your days with before they arrived!

  • June14th: Magnitude 4.0 at 9:41pm, near Little Port Cooper on the opposite side of the harbour heads. (Depth 10km.)

    #eqnz is oddly quiet, not sure what to make of that.

  • Just had another decent shake, probably a 4.5+
    Whole house felt like it swung in a circle

  • June 15th:


    It’s a good reminder how even these “smaller” earthquakes shake things up – thanks for chipping in.

    Magnitude 5.0 at 6:27am, near Port Levy, on Banks Peninsula, to the sou’east of most of the earthquake activity. Depth 6km; 20km sou’east of the centre of the city.

    Magnitude 4.2 at 6:32am, centred between Port Levy and Pigeon Bay, an aftershock of the previous one. Depth 5km.

    I’ll catch up on news in a moment (some of the feeds aren’t working well), but for starters.

    @nzherald GNS says the chance of another large aftershock in Canterbury has increased:

    Brighton Pier closed until further notice.

  • A few loose bits from various sources:

    @OrionNZ Orion New Zealand
    By end of today only 500 customers outside #chch CBD should still be without power after 13 June aftershocks

    “New calculations by GNS Science yesterday show that from today until June 15 next year there is now a 30 per cent chance of a quake of between magnitude 6.0 and 6.9 striking the Canterbury aftershock zone.”

    That compares with a nearly one-in-four, or 23 per cent, probability expressed last month.

    The calculations show if that quake does not occur in the next month, the chance of it happening will drop back to about the 23 per cent level.

    GNS Science hazards modeller Matt Gerstenberger called it a “slightly increased” risk.

    “Before, we were talking about a one-in-four chance. It’s now three in 10. It’s an increase but it isn’t a large increase,” he said.”

    See for full story:

    While this really is only a small shift in the likelihood statistics, I’m sure it’ll have people and media talking. Notice it applies to the *Canterbury* earthquake area; it’ll mean a very small raised likelihood within Christchurch itself and only for the next few weeks. The rise in likelihood for Christchurch is from ~6% to ~7.8% if we assume linear relationships, etc, and extrapolate off the 6% figure.

    @therealgregjack greg jackson
    #eqnz 25 volunteers from Mount Hutt hit the ChCH streets on silt removal today.Thanks to you all.

  • Lincoln University has reopened.

    Australia’s ABC News apparently misstated the magnitude 5 overnight as magnitude 15. Hmm. Methinks someone swapped the data (the 15th) for the magnitude. I imagine they corrected that in a hurry! :-)

  • June 15th: At 1:03pm there was another aftershock from the same location as the magnitude 5.0 overnight (see a couple of comments above): magnitude 4.6, 6km depth.

    Lots of offers to assist with digging out silt on twitter. Some Christchurch people must be very good at digging by now.

  • June 16th:

    A brand-new (literally) tilt-slab building failed in the earthquake and is to be demolished:

    @ChristchurchLib (ChChCityLibraries)
    Due dates for all library items extended from 9 June to Mon 27 June SvH

    John Key explains the EQC earthquake process (video from NZ Herald TV):

    I’m probably behind the times, but the earthquake magnitude guessing game played out on twitter now it’s own hashtag: #eqestimate (Last night’s shallow 3.9 had many people guessing in the mid-4s.)

    Editorial call for data:

    (As for the editorial saying that insurance “will” rise substantially in response to the earthquake—future tense—mine already has.)

  • I’m sure a lot of out-of-towners are doing this:

    @GrowFromHereNZ: To see the sort of day my daughter is likely to be experiencing I used to check Metservice but now I check geonet

    (I imagine GeoNet’s visit statistics are impressive, too.)

    The NZ Army will continue guarding the Red Zone for the next 6 months.

    From: EQCNZ (EarthquakeCommission)
    @crafternoon •Our first priority is homes with people who are sick, elderly, or with young children [There’s a lot of noise about what’s being done (or not).]

    @nzheraldtv ( video)
    Quakes ‘absolutely disastrous’ for #Christchurch taxis,and the Chilean volcano isn’t making their job any easier. #eqnz [Builders can’t get started repairing, architects ditto, the list goes on. Without meaning to be gloomy, there’s a lot of disruption and people stuck in a holding pattern.]

  • Jun 17th6:37am, magnitude 4.4, 5km depth on Godley Head, 10km east of Lyttelton. [Twitter guesses much more on the money this time!]

    A journalist (Jo Gilbert) from The Press asked wanting people who were leaving to contact her for interviews. I replied suggesting (politely!) that they aim for finding out what was representative:

    @jo_gilbert Quick thought: how well would it reflect the total population? Just a thought. Are the vast majority staying, etc?

    I don’t know if my question helped – probably not, but you never know (I never got a reply),

    @sovereignpath Ted
    Close to 20% of Christchurch residents are planning to leave. Another 25% would leave if they could.

    On-line polls are invariably problematic (to be polite), although this one does have a decent sample size. One problem is if it is clear enough to everyone if ‘leaving’ meant permanent or temporary. (It seems reasonably clear to me, but lot of people are leave for short breaks and you wouldn’t want the survey to confuse the two!)

    From @CERACCC:

    -> Following Monday aftershocks building owners outside of the Red Zone advised to seek further structural reports.

    -> 146 buildings in the Red Zone require additional structural assessment following the aftershocks this week.

    -> 100 urgent demolitions will be required following Monday’s aftershocks. CERA endeavouring to contact building owners. (More here.)

    @nzherald #ChCh police are seeking the copper dome that fell off the old ANZ Bank Chambers on Lichfield/High Sts: [There have been a number of reports of targeted thieving of copper, among other things. If the short link does work, try this.]

    One comment made by locals and reflected in tweets is that schools and shops, etc., are being brought back into service *much* quicker than after the February 22nd earthquake, which is helpful. I’m guessing it’s a case of that it’s easier a second (third… etc) time around.

  • June 17th.

    4:21 pm. Magnitude 4.5, Depth: 9 km, 10 km east of Lyttelton.

    Aside from the latest round of the magnitude guessing game there was this:

    @d_herd: Nobody moved but everyone in the office grabbed their wine glasses #eqnz #soPR –> a new Kiwi drinking game??

    Before the latest aftershock:

    @mineducationnz: Wellbeing advice and tip sheets for early childhood education services #eqnz

    Awesome. I have a hot date tomorrow morning to go gumboot shopping, then silt digging. Eat your heart out Pippa Middleton.

  • 18th June:

    Magnitude 4.4 at 6:50am, depth 7km. (Yesterday’s one was at 6:40-ish; it must feel like a deaf-person’s alarm clock – some deaf people have “bed shaker” alarms as they can’t hear conventional alarms and perhaps shaking over flashing lights.)

    Centred near Boulder Bay, on Godley Heads east of Taylor’s Mistake; ~10km east of Lyttelton.

    I’m idly wondering if I felt that one in Dunedin as I woke around then and I’m never up that early on a Saturday morning :-) More likely just a coincidence, though!

    The Christchurch Arts Festival is still on, August 12th onwards:

    The University of Canterbury is offering CHCH101. Not that’s not a joke, it’s an university course:

    Boil water and toilet use notices are still on:

  • More random news. I have to admit to having mixed feelings about passing these on as for the most part they’re so negative and some positivity would help.

    @3NewsNZ: Brownlee says 12,000 ChCh homes written off

    Here’s a transcript of the interview with Paul Holmes where this figure comes from. In it Brownlee says there are a little less that 200,000 homes in Christchurch. The 12,000 homes is put in Brownlee’s mouth a little, though; it’s really Paul Holmes’ figure, not Gerry Brownlee’s. Brownlee is agreeing to the general scale or ball-park of the number, not citing it as others are reporting.

    PAUL The word is 12,000 homes are doomed. Is that figure impossible? Do you rule that figure out?

    GERRY No, I think that’s probably in the realm of that. These are homes that have, um, suffered so much damage it’s uneconomic to repair them. And look, the homes fit into different categories, of course. If you’ve got a million-dollar home with $100,000 or $200,000 worth of damage, it’ll be repaired. If you’ve got a $200,000 home with $150,000 worth of damage, probably it would be a marginal call. But there are many others that just won’t work.

    @AdrienneRewi (Adrienne Rewi)
    VERY scary house collapse on cnr Eversleigh and Springfield Rds #eqnz No pics possible [This from a photographer, too.]

    Later saw a photograph of it, reduced from two storeys to one:

    @AdrienneRewi (Adrienne Rewi)
    Poor little Peterborough St house #eqnz

    A blog post from one of the areas without liquefaction:

  • June 19th, 10pm.

    A quieter day other than a magnitude 4.2, 8km deep, centred on the edge of sou’east Rolleston, 20km sou’west of the centre of Christchurch (any, of course, some much smaller ones). This one seems to have felt mostly fairly close to it’s origin.

  • June 19th, 10:40pm (the ‘off to bed now’ edition):

    Dramatic footage, but this deserves a Darwin Award:

    What complete idiot walks around the top of unstable cliffs while aftershocks are still happening? Duh.

    On more sound footing—yes, pun intended—geologist Chris Rowan’s excellent older article All quiet on the Alpine Fault? is well worth reading:

  • June 20th.

    1:03am, magnitude 4.2, depth 9km, between Port Levy and Pigeon Bay again.

    Update from CERA CEO Roger Sutton:–17-june-2011#.Tf5vKuRsgM4;twitter

    In case I missed it earlier, Rebuild Christchurch has a report on the June 4th update on the fault lines by geologists:

    Pretty sure I posted the same from a different source earlier. Notice the expected activity on the Port Levy – Pigeon coast.

    Side-by-side in the #eqnz twitter stream:

    @girlwithpoodles (rachel) Asked Mr.4 if he wants to go back to #chch he said “no want to live somewhere else”. He doesn’t like #eqnz. Does anyone?

    @rumpelsnorcack (reply by Allie) @girlwithpoodles My Mr 8 was opposite. When asked if he wanted to leave it was a panicked ‘I can’t leave Christchurch, it’s my home’ #eqnz

  • June 20th.

    A media report has a few more words by Gerry Brownlee. I take this to be an innocent blunder (it happens), but it’s not helpful:

    “Brownlee said 80 per cent of homes were “completely unaffected”.”


    Conversations with relatives in Christchurch and what I had read elsewhere suggest to me that in fact the majority houses in Christchurch proper are affected in one way or other and that it’s the degree to which they are affected that differs. I presume what he meant is that 80% of houses do not requite major structural work or demolition.

    @AdrienneRewi (Adrienne Rewi) New window is in. It’s level but my house is crooked. 25cm diff from one end of wall to other. No surprises there

    @AdrienneRewi (Adrienne Rewi) Quite a lot of crooked houses in Christchurch just now I expect. I doubt I’m alone in feeling like a nursery rhyme character

  • Just in case people here have a last-minute idea they’d like to toss into the hat:

    @share_an_idea: Last day to get your ideas in for the Central City Plan. Upload ideas to #shareanidea

    Here’s an (overly?) idealistic idea:

    Check if the unsuitable ground for buildings* in the central parts of town naturally form ‘fingers’ leading into town from areas that can remain residential**; if so, consider turning these in to green strips for non-vehicle access into the city centre for cyclists, walkers, etc. with trees planted, paths, and whatnot.

    Trouble is this sort of thing really needs to be driven by data, something I haven’t got at hand… It’d love to see a data-driven approach applied to rebuilding the city – reminds me of Peter Gluckman’s article about encouraging use of evidence in policy decisions.

    * I’m assuming this to be true for the purpose of the idea.
    ** I’m thinking particularly north and north-east of the city centre.

  • The boil water notice has now been lifted (widely reported from many media sources); I presume the ban on watering gardens remains.

    Jacq thinks otherwise:

    @JacqChch (Jacq Gilbert) Boil water notice was just lifted. I think we should keep drinking wine just in case.

    USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg interviewed on disaster preparedness and related topics:

    Do read description under “More”. It’s got a political elements, of course (US Embassy and the rest of it)

  • June 21st. Loose bits’n’bobs:

    @securitygalnz (Alison Poulter) Christchurch – only city in the world where taking your cell phone with you to the toilet isn’t considered weird [It’s a feature of post-earthquake Christchurch that people take their cell phones everywhere.]

    Some Doctor Who fans have taken to their portaloo: (Credits @LiSu)

    Solid things in the ground can be pushed up. This pool was once level with the ground:

    Long interview transcript from EQC CEO Ian Simpson:

  • June 12st. 10:34pm, 12km depth, magnitude 5.3 at Okuti Valley, on Banks Peninsula.

    This is a very different location to most of the other aftershocks, between LIttle River and French Farm on the main part of Banks Peninsula, ~30km south of Christchurch.

  • #eqnz is alight in a busy way tonight, more tweets than I’ve seen in quite a while.

    I’m seeing conflicting reports of the location of the epicentre; USGS is reporting is as magnitude 5.1 but much closer to Christchurch at 7km SW of Christchurch compared to GNS’s ~30km south. This would place it in the general vicinity of the Hoon Hay Valley. I imagine geologists will sort this out in the next wee while, if previous experience is anything to go by.

    Christchurch airport has reportedly (i.e. *not* confirmed) closed; presumably they’re checking the runway for damage.

    Various tweets:

    @ONeill_With_2Ls (Simon Walker) currently treating #eqnz related hand shakes with large doses of niccotine, caffine, burbon and chocolate

    @orionnz: Power now back on in parts of Avonhead, Burnside & Ilam – no reports of major damage to network at this stage

    @AlistairWilk: (Andrew_Meek) That quake actually broke more things in our house than any of the other quakes combined! [Wonder where this tweeter lives.]

    @nicbloxnz (Nicole B) 100 red bricks in the wall, 100 red bricks, an aftershock knocks one down, it hits the ground, 99 red brick in wall :-(

    @CBHS_Intl (Christchurch Boys’ High School)
    No school tomorrow 22/6, as engineers need to do checks of buildings after tonight’s aftershock

    {Edit: Updated to fix link. OK, it seems “official” there is a bug in the comment editor; all close tags for links get converted to open tags and I have manually fix them. This definitely had the close tag… Grr.]

  • Last night’s 10:34pm aftershock has now be revised to a magnitude 5.4, 10km sou’west of central Christchurch at a focal depth of 8km. This puts it immediately south of Prebbleton, a few kilometres west of where USGS is placing the centre.

    There are media reports and political noise that some sort of information some of the damaged homes tomorrow. (Vague, eh? But that’s what’s out there!) e.g. this article & comments that follow:

  • [Posting this a day late, sorry – wrote it and missed that I hadn’t posted it!]

    GeoNet have reviewed yesterday night’s data and indicated that three more aftershocks of magnitude greater ≥ 4.0 occurred, one a 47 four minutes after the 5.4; and two ones nearer to 4.0 between 3 and 4 am.

    As is widely known there will be an announcement on some of the worst-affected regions today at 1:30pm. (I picked up on this early, but decided to not add to the noise; there’s enough on it already.)

    @rnzgallery Jane Patterson
    The Chch mayor says he believes only a quarter of the buildings within the red zone will remain standing when demolitions are finished

  • A few updates from the latter portion of the press conference on the initial packages for those within a few suburbs that have been called the ‘red zone’. (I missed the earlier portion.) I have to admit I find the term red zone confusing, as the central central has been labelled the Red Zone for some time. Here’s a map of the areas that the govt. is offering a bail out to to the rateable value of their property:

    Full information will be on – I’d wait for a day, though their server has crashed since overloading earlier today (well before the announcement, at that).

    A statement from the minister, Gerry Brownlee, is available on-line:

    As is a statement from the Prime Minister:

    Lots of chatter on #eqnz, as you can imagine. I have mixed feelings about Key’s introducing the CEO of ANZ with their package (pitching a commercial offer, helpful as it will/might be), but on the positive side it will be helpful and hopefully trigger some competition from the other banks.

    Key described the main problem being the sheer amount of time it’d take to clear the land and restore the land (he cited ~5 years), and thence the offer made.

    You’ll notice all the land is near the rivers. To me, it raises the question again of where former streams, etc., were.

    Mayor Bob Parker has indicated that there is a large number of sections available or nearly available (he cites ~17,000).

    I’ll try catch some of the feedback later. (You’re welcome to offer some here!)

  • Should add, the map I presented earlier is via media sources and should not be taken as the “formal” map. CERA CEO Roger Sutton indicated there may be some initial errors in it, e.g. Avonside Girls’ High is apparently not in the red zone.

    I have relatives who have just returned from two years away who will be “delighted” to know that their home is smack dab in the middle of the red zone.

  • Other affected areas have yet to be considered.

    The zones are red, orange, green and white. (Informally: a-gonna, either way, OK and dunno. More seriously: serious land issues; needs further inspection; should be OK to repair; yet to be mapped.) See for details.

    Frustratingly the website doesn’t appear to have a google map. (What’s with that? I they know them by street and address, as they do, it could be on an interactive map.)

    A little feedback/commentary:

    @jmctv Jane Clayton
    #eqnz.. am being deeply shallow but yay the return of Jeremy the hot interpreter for the deaf. [Rats, I still haven’t blogged about the rise of SL on TV here.]

    @jordantcarter Jordan Carter
    #eqnz net cost of purchase of all homes in RedZone between $485m and $635m.

    @TVNZNews TVNZ News
    Red zone inhabitants have two options: govt buys the property, or govt buys the land only, based on 3 September 2010 values

    @leighghunt Leigh Hunt
    Yikes – John Key says 1st and 2nd #eqnz cost NZD15-20 Billion – 8% of GDP. Kobe, Katrina and Sendai were 2, 1 and 3-5% respectively.

    @fauxparse Matt Powell
    The house where I spent the first 22 years of my life is red-zoned. Feeling unexpectedly ill.

    @monfycb Brydee
    looks like we have to rebuild on a section that gets covered 50cm deep in liquefaction with each decent aftershock. [I’m thinking a call to CERA is needed, etc.]

  • (June 21st.) I *strongly* suggest people use the map in the previous comment to the earlier google map, as the latter includes as part of the ‘red zone’ properties that latter doesn’t. [It may be that the latter map includes adjacent areas that still need surveying.]

    @cjlambert courtney lambert
    Bob Parker not wearing his Parker [Indeed!]

    @AdrienneRewi Adrienne Rewi
    Just rang friends about their house. They answered phone with :”Hello, this is the Red Zone.” So good we can laugh about these things

  • Quick addition, the map of zoned land (at scoop or via CERA , large PDF file!) is quite high resolution; zoom in and you can see the streets, etc. You’ll see that quite a few of the orange zoned-properties follow the line of streams (dashed blue lines). I presume the straight dashed blue lines are open drains, and the like.

    The Ministry of Social Development has a ‘Next Steps’ page up:

    [Edited: still being hit by the WordPress or Safari or whatever-damn-thing-it-is bug that tosses away the slash characters in closing tags bug. *Sigh.*]

  • 8% of GDP. 8%
    This is going to have a major economic impact on the whole country.
    And what’s with that report on the news, a few days ago, about bringing o/seas contractors to work on the rebuild? I remember Key et al going on about how the rebuild was going to be wonderful for the NZ construction industry…

  • And what’s with that report on the news, a few days ago, about bringing o/seas contractors to work on the rebuild?

    The one about bringing in Irish workers from their collapsed building industry? As long as it’s not a the expense of the local industry, but if would displace or compete with is local workers: ouch.

    Insurance premiums are rising (mine took a leap upward, due next week). There was an article about Wellington putting up red stickers for the worst offenders of those who have been asked to strengthen their buildings, but haven’t. Point is, there is going to be more than the immediate costs, too.

  • June 24th.

    Regards my earlier remark on ANZ’s offer at the very end of the press conference announcing the relief packages for the areas of worst land damage (see the comment about 10 comments earlier starting ‘A few updates from the latter portion of the press conference’), BNZ is (now?) offering a competing deal. Perhaps the other banks will follow soon? I imagine these are loss-leaders to gather customers; once customers have a loan/mortgage, they’re likely to be their customers for a long time – these offers will be appealing to the short term to get people on board. (Sorry, not saying these are bad, but the cynic in me suspects they’ll have a business motivation too.)

  • June 24th, 5:40pm. Just in case anyone thought we were done with aftershocks, there was a magnitude 4.2 near Southshore, 10km to the east of the city centre at 4:49pm (7km focal depth).

    As usual, I’ll feature a few tweets sent in response:

    @radioovermoscow (ROM / Dan Satherley) Just learned that standing up in the newsroom and saying a number between one and 10 is not a good idea. People think it’s an #eqnz rating.

    @girlwithpoodles (rachel, replying to) @NathanaelB It’s a fine balance: want just enough wine to relax, but not so much that you can’t focus if a big #eqnz rolls along.

    @MikeStapleyNZ (Mike Stapley) Also our Pup Milo, who got scared after one of the #eqnz and thought he was safer on top of our sofa LOL @CanonNZ [Check it out: cute/sad.]

    Rebuild Christchurch has an update on what’s happening on the Port Hills (all currently white zone):

    Westpac is the latest bank to pitch in with an offer for those in the residential land damage red zone. (As opposed to the CBD Red Zone – confusing, eh?)

  • June 25th. Overnight—9:30pm local time—there was a magnitude 4.0 between Menzies Bay and Decanter Bay, further out on the peninsula, roughly 20km north of Akaroa, a few kilometres east of Pigeon Bay (focal depth 2km – very shallow).

  • June 26th. (Posted late, again; still flat out…)

    There’s a lot of angst and grumpiness from what some insurance companies have been asking of some clients.

    In particular, there are remarks about insurance companies not paying customers with replacement value policies replacement value if the building is to be destroyed because the land is in the red zone, but the building—in the eyes of the insurance company—“can be repaired”; the company then offers to pay repair costs…! I guess ideally you’d want there to be a means to force the insurance companies to have to stump up the cost of relocating the repaired building to land of the policy-holder’s choice within the South Island (say). This way the companies would be forced to give a meaningful offer to the clients. Offering to repair a building that is to be demolished is self-evidently meaningless unless the building could be moved to suitable land as part of the repair cost. (I’m not suggesting that this would be easy or even realistic to ask of the insurance companies; I’ve little doubt they’d argue that ‘strictly speaking’ they wouldn’t have to offer it.)

    Similarly there are concerns that for some the rateable value is both below the market value (in the absence of an earthquake) and the cost of obtaining a replacement home elsewhere of similar nature.

    There is some muttering about having to leave chattels for the demolition crews.

    Either way you look at it, it seems these earthquakes will encourage the existing laws and whatnot for insurance, demolition, land development, etc., to be looked over more closely…

    I regret not having alerted readers to the BBC program How the Earth Made Us on Prime this last Friday, as it had some excellent explanation of why cities have historically been build on major faults (source of minerals). Against it, the coverage was exclusively of the northern hemisphere.

    On a lighter note:

    @JellyCat23 Just had a good long chat to my sister in Christchurch. Weird being on phone for 4.2 aftershock 3km from her. She said a naughty word.

    Some people are touting a wetlands park for the future of the red zone, at least in the Bromley area:

    The Minister, Gerry Brownlee has spoken out against it:

    I wonder if money and resources should be spent on re-establishing this land in the short term, as people may rightfully consider that few will want to buy land that has been branded ‘red zone’ regards of if it is in fact safe (perceptions do linger) and they may perceive that the money and resources devoted to re-instating this land would be better spent elsewhere in the short term, at least. If nothing else, Brownlee should be showing *why* his suggested action is the appropriate one, rather than saying “it will be”. In particular, giving the costs and effort involved might be helpful.

    Other banks have joined the “one year cheaper mortgage” fray. A media summary can be found here:

    If anyone needs reminding that Christchurch is much better off than Haiti, here are photos of Haiti a year on:

    As always the photo galleries at the Big Picture are stunning; in the middle half are some before-and-after shots. To be fair, Haiti was a very poor place before the earthquake, too. I feel a touch annoyed that they still use the term ‘deaf mute’ (see caption of picture 29); I thought this was consigned to history – perhaps it’s an “Americanism”?

  • June 27th, 1:45am. (Yes, I am up working!)

    Just before heading off to bed I checked the GeoNet on-line drums and see a decent-sized “wobble” as those on #eqnz tend to call them:

    Magnitude 4.4, 5 km deep at 1:20 am (NZST), 10 km east of central Christchurch, out near Southshore, the spit that guards the estuary from Pegasus Bay.

  • 11th July, 2011.

    It’s been quiet on the earthquake front at Christchurch – two weeks now since the last magnitude four event. Today 12:13 noon there was a magnitude 4.3 shock, depth 9km, under the city near Somerfield Park, in the south city area. Orion (power company) reported a number of outages, now restored.

    One stray tweet for the sake of entertainment value:

    @serenare (Julian Carver)
    Doing work between meetings at University of Canterbury. Sitting in a big tent with large TVs, couches, & a big gas heater. Life after #eqnz

  • 11:30am July 15th 2011.

    Magnitude 4.4, 11 focal depth, near Scarborough Hill at 11:11am. (Those guessing it‘s magnitude on twitter did well on this one.)

  • 10:15am, July 17th 2011.

    A magnitude 4.0 occurred at 2am (exactly), centred between Rolleston and Darfield, ~20km west of the centre of Christchurch. (Depth 11km.)

    This article from Christhchurch’s The Press follows where geologists are studying the faults:

    This video has drawn some criticism over the riders entering a closed area. (i.e. the risks involved and potential to encourage others to do the same; if you look you’ll, however, that others have clearly been that way from the cycle tracks on the ground…) It shows biking over the road I shared a photo of two comments back. There is talk that this road *may* never re-open. If that happened it would isolated Lyttelton from the Sumner and Godley Heads areas. Easy access to these areas without have to go through the congested Ferry Road/causeway route is one feature of living in Lyttelton.

  • 18 July 2011

    Magnitude 4.2 centred between Lyttelton and Sumner at 2:58 am, focal depth estimated to be 9km. (This is within 5km of both Lyttelton and Sumner, in the area of the road with rock fall that I’ve mentioned in recent comments.)

  • July 22, 2011:

    Magnitude 5.1 at 5:39a.m., 12km est. focal depth, near Dundsandel, about 40km east of the centre of Christchurch.

    I must have felt that one in Dunedin, as I woke up about that then. (Didn’t know what woke me, but it’ll probably be the earthquake.)

  • July 24th, 2011.

    There’s been a snow storm moving up over the country over the past couple of days. The snow has fallen to sea level in the South Island, with a heavy fall for Christchurch. (While NZ routinely gets snow in the mountains in winter, there usually only a handful of days of snow in the major east coast cities & towns.) This has brought some (slightly belated) concerns, e.g.

    @CERAgovtnz (CERA)
    SNOW: If your house has suffered significant #eqnz related damage, check for leaks and movement. If movement excessive, consider evacuation.

  • August 4th, 2011.

    Magnitude 4.2 near Pigeon Bay and Port Levy, on the Banks Peninsula. (Named after Joseph Banks, for those who like their science history.) Focal depth estimated to be 9km, centred just off the coast; the site is approx. 20km east of central Christchurch, in a rural area.

  • Today Kaiapoi homes have had their zoning (red, orange, white) released, e.g.

    “Of the 1330 residential properties zoned orange for further investigation on 23 June, 860 in Kaiapoi and 80 in Pines Beach have now been zoned red, 220 in the northern part of Kaiapoi have been zoned green and a further 70 in the western part of Kaiapoi will remain in the orange zone for the time being for further investigative work.”

    (Red zone is for demolition.)

    I’ve been very remiss in not filing news. No new quakes ≥4.0. Good! Substantial demolition work under way in the CBD. Initial reports from suggestion for the rebuild have been released for comment. (I had hoped to write a post outlining my thoughts, but haven’t found time.) Large snow storm in NZ had it’s impact too.

    [Edit for typing error.]

  • Also in the news is the intention to demolish the Crown Plaza hotel, one of the bigger hotels in the city. They say they will not rebuild it, but plan to retain a presence in the city. With the loss of the nearby convention centre and town hall (only ~200m away) for the next few years, this hotel will have lost some of it reason for being. Along with the loss of the AMI stadium, the largest rugby ground in Christchurch, the city will have lost a lot of large events for a few years to come. (This is not to say that visitors should not come, it is still an appropriate ‘gateway city’ to visiting the South Island and the airport area in the north-west will be one of the less affected parts of the city.)

  • After a long “quiet” spell, early this morning (5:14am) saw a magnitude 4.2 at Godley Heads (the northern head of the harbour to the south of Christchurch) roughly 10km to the south-east of the city centre (about 10km east of Lyttelton), estimated focal depth 8km.

  • Two items in the media worth reading:

    This story and tribute to Ian Foldesi who died from rock fall while walking in the Port Hills (between the city and Lyttelton) when the February 22nd earthquake struck. Beautifully written.

    For the numbers – this article presents the revised likelihoods of earthquakes in the future in the region, given no major event occurs (a major event will effectively “reset the clock” on the statistical pattern they are basing these estimates on):

  • 20-August-2011 (Same date for the last two comments – sorry that I keep forgetting that our commenting system doesn’t report the date.)

    7:31pm, magnitude 4.0, focal depth est. at 10km, in the Somerfield area of the city (i.e. right within town, south of the city centre).

  • Modest sized, maybe, but it’s got people tweeting, so some tweets “for the record”:

    @JeffBallweg (Jeff Ballweg)
    when we heard the noise, my wife and I looked at each other, then immediately lifted our wine glasses off the table. #instinct #eqnz

    @hygate Justin Hygate
    Katie does not like aftershocks interrupting her stories [bedtime stories for the daughter, no doubt]

    @sherdooce triona doocey
    Should’ve taken the firetruck out of Declan’s room – the bell tinkles when there’s a #eqnz – woke him @ 5am but luckily he slept thru this 1

    @SamjameZ Sam James
    was someone holding down f11 ? #eqnz [some computer geek. F11 = +volume?]

    @James_NZCH James Williamson
    Didn’t feel that one in Kaikoura

    @CraigRyan Craig Ryan
    Felt a good sized shake in Akaroa.

    @mrsgooding Christine Gooding
    At Ms14’s orchestra concert. Then bam, a strong aftershock. Lots of scared people here! #eqnz

    @gabsi Gabby Corkery
    Hilarious – six people around the dinner table – faces remained nonchalant -but the eyes said it all!!! #eqnz

    @MikeStapleyNZ Yeah, my dog-o-meter says under 4, he didn’t even wake up. #eqnz

  • August 22nd, 2011.

    8:28 am saw a magnitude 4.2 event centred near Horomoko Island in the Port Levy Harbour on Banks Peninsula, approximately 20 kilometres to the south-east of the city. (Est. focal depth 10km.)

  • August 22nd, 2011.

    Out at Greendale, roughly 50km west of central Christchurch, magnitude 4.3 at 8:36pm (focal depth est. 10km).

    Today is the 6-month “anniversary” of the February 22nd earthquake. (Don’t forget the June 13th in between. These particular dates are stuck in my memory – I don’t have to look them up.)

    Some descriptions of the ‘quakes are interesting; this on twitter:

    @NathanaelB (Nathanael Boehm)
    If that quake was a vegetable it’d be a parsnip. Yes … I *am* losing the plot. #eqnz

  • 4th September 2011

    Today is the anniversary of the 2010 magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the first of the recent “big ones” to hit Christchurch. It’s a year since I got an early morning text message from Christchurch, which I have to admit didn’t make complete sense until later. (It also happens to be Father’s Day in New Zealand.)

    I’ve been away the last few days and haven’t kept the feed up to date.

    For those (overseas) keeping track:

    Wednesday, August 31 at 1:15 pm saw a magnitude: 4.0
    (est. depth: 5 km) near the Evans Pass Road between Lyttelton and Sumner.

    Later the same day (1:30 pm) was a larger magnitude: 4.7 (est. depth: 11 km) centred in the Prebbleton region, roughly between Prebbleton, Rolleston and Lincoln University, ~20km SW of the centre Christchurch.

    Friday (Sep 2nd) saw a magnitude 4.9 Fri, at 3:29 am off the harbour heads 10km east of Lyttleton (est. depth ~6km).

  • 4th September 2011

    7:41pm Magnitude 4.4 near Rolleston, ~20km west of the centre of Christchurch, (est. depth ~7km).

    For the anniversary, an earthquake & aftershock head count via twitter:

    One year on. Christchurch has had 7505 Earthquakes and aftershocks including :- 1 x 7.1, 3 x 6.*, 28 x 5.* and 324 x 4.*. #eqnz

  • Sunday September 11th

    11:19 am, magnitude 4.5 ~10km east of Lyttelton, est. depth 11km.

    Twitter has been lively again, quite a few people correctly picked this as 4.5, or slightly stronger, and on the Port Hills.

    @juliatweeterbug (Julia Anderson)
    can run pretty fast with one child under each arm, so it turns out. [Sounds like something the rugby teams (visiting here for the Rugby World Cup) might do for training.]

    @SophieThomason (Sophie Thomason)
    Experienced my first aftershock in the shower! [There’s a bit of a thing about experiencing them in the shower (possibly because the mayor reported he had] or whilst on the toilet.]

    @thelittlepakeha (Chris Miller)
    helicopters have started up [I’m not on the ball here; do they do aerial surveys even for the smaller ones? – might be unrelated twitter gossip – it happens, unfortunately.]

  • This tweet is interesting:

    Out walking dogs at Gov bay for that last one. Saw black shadows streaking across the mudflats. Imagined millions of startled crabs.

    It reminds me of looking up and seeing the force from the Boxing Day (2010) aftershock rip out the western ends of all the strip light (fluorescent tube lights) in the store I was in, in a neat ripple effect from west to east.

    Has any readers seen similar effects?

  • After a quiet spell Sept 19th (today) at 1:51pm has seen a magnitude 4.0 centred near Camp Bay and Little Port Cooper, roughly 10km from Lyttelton. (Est. depth ~12km.)

    As usual #eqnz has chatter:

    @kaleworsley (Kale Worsley)
    Aftershock in a 150 year old brick building…didn’t even shit my pants!

    @invervegas (KDP)
    Hmm home-alone aftershocks are the worst kind.

    @davejac (Dave Jackson)
    And a burst of chatter goes through the central library…

    @melwrightnz (Melissa Wright)
    First one we’ve had in a lecture for a while, now we are all awake [Hey! Students are supposed to be awake in lectures…]

  • Today’s midday earthquake (see comment above) was followed at 5:41pm by a magnitude 4.3 (focal depth ~12km) in the Prebbleton/Haswell area about 10km to the south-west of the centre of the city.

  • 24 Sept. 2011

    7:01am saw a “wake up call” magnitude 4.0 centred in the Bowendale valley. Focal depth est. to be 8km, about 10km south of the centre of Christchurch, 5km north of Lyttelton. [Edited to correct location. Writing without a morning coffee… *Goes off to get a coffee*]

  • #eqnz is lively, as you’d expect. Most of the guesses for location are way out; few people are remembering that several have occurred over that way.

    @ThomasMeadia (Thomas Mead)
    It’s funny to think how normal aftershocks feel now. A couple years ago, that last one would have terrified me.

    @Peejch (Paula Jordan)
    Miss 15 finally agrees to stay home along for first time since June Eq and what happens? Bloody 4.8!

    @BigAlBoyo (Alun Davies)
    #eqnz damit! I was just about to stir my martini and now you’ve gone and shaken it!! [Must think he’s Bond?]

  • October 9th – just as the All Blacks – Argentina game is barely underway there is a magnitude 5.5 aftershock in the Godley Head area, to the east of Lyttelton. (~12km depth.)

  • USGS has it at magnitude 4.7, but shallower and notes “poorly constrained”. Needs more analysis, perhaps – ? Twitter crowd agree with 5.5 (not scientific, of course).

    @NicoleMathewson (Nicole Mathewson)
    Stuff off shelves at Countdown Church Corner with that one [~20+km away]

    @SarahStewart (SarahStewart)
    RT: @rogerdennis: Large aftershock in Christchurch: Stuff on the floor and lights swinging. Dog had kittens. Cat hugged dog.

    @alihug (ali hughes)
    @stumpinml so glad we bought the strap with our big new TV. It certainly swayed a lot

    @CanterburyEM (Canterbury CDEMGroup)
    No damage reported from Christchurch City Council or Police following M5.5 quake at 8:34 pm. [Good to hear; yet to verify sources first-hand.]

    @doddassoc (Dodd & Associates)
    Anyone know how the prime minister coped with that quake in hagley park? [John Key is in the fanzone at Christchurch for this game?]

  • It seems a number of people will be able to walk through to see the inner city:

    In a recent visit, I wandered down Columbo Street*. Aside from one building on the corner of Lichfield/Columbo, on the western side not one building was present for the next two blocks. On the eastern side of the street, around 2/3rds of the buildings fronting Columbo St. had been knocked down.

    * For those not familiar with the city, the main north-south street in the central city, the main strip of shops, etc.

  • Those wanting to trade notes, or just idle some time away, could watch this video playing an infographic of all the earthquakes in Japan last year:

    Note particularly from about 2 minutes in.

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