Christchurch Earthquake: Holy ****!

By Aimee Whitcroft 23/02/2011 6

NOTE: I’m updating this constantly as new stuff comes in, with resources, accommodation stuff, etc

I didn’t feel yesterday’s quake*.

Sitting in Wellington, I would still have expected to (our building shakes pretty easily), but I was instantly aware that something was afoot when Twitter lit up with variations on the theme ‘holy ***, HUGE quake #eqnz’.

I’ve been glued to Twitter ever since, as messages fly around the country offering (and asking for) help with finding people, organising resources, beds, money, blood, standin work, etc.

There have also been a number of visualisations of the quake turning up, of which one of the best thus far has to be this one, from Paul Nicholls at the University of Canterbury.

Screenshot of the Christchurch Quake Map

Consensus at the moment seems to be that this is actually an aftershock (well, series of aftershocks, since there have now been over 11, or not-insignificant magnitude themselves) from the Darfield Earthquake in September of last year.  It appears to be along a different fault line, though…

Although of lesser magnitude than the Darfield quake, its proximity to Christchurch, the extreme shallowness at which it occurred, and of course the weakening suffered by many buildings last year, means the quake’s effects have been more devastating**, with widespread devastation as well as loss of life (currently, some 300 people are still missing).

If you have beds to offer those in need of them, the best site so far is this one.  If you need help, you can post here.  Another bed site is Quake Escape, here.

The twitter stream (well, there are many, but the predominant one) is #eqnz


The British Geological Service has a page featuring footage/interviews, maps and info

Google Crisis Response, with links to its brilliant People Finder (via #breakingspace)

CrisisCampNZ – a wiki documenting engagement to support the quake (via #GripNostril) – Pulling together info for people in Christchurch – report problems, find a bed, find people, etc (via @starrjulie)

An interactive map of petrol stations and other services available/not available in Christchurch from Environment Canterbury Regional Council

ECan services also has info for finding beds than does quakebeds.  Good site.

Moar update (Wed 23rd)

Trademe‘s now gotten a dedicated section up on its website, with sections on accommodation, transport, volunteer labour and lost and found pets.

Also, I just heard that has now had 100,000 visits!

Quakeaid‘s another new site which has gone up, which aims to connect people who need help, with those who can offer it.


Other links:

Engineering expert Peter Stafford comments on the quake

More commentary by experts on the quake here

Advice about disaster stress

Civil defense


TV3:  live coverage online

TVNZ: live coverage online

RadioNZ: live coverage online

Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 779 997

News and emergency information sources for #Christchurch #eqnz (via Grant Jacobs)


* I was woken up by September’s

** Cool article in Scientific American explaining why the quake was so damaging

6 Responses to “Christchurch Earthquake: Holy ****!”

  • Thanks for putting this up.

    My blog post is getting a bit scrappy (!) but while gathering material I found an excellent list of further sources at The Evolving Newsroom:

    The #chch twitter stream is a little easier to follow; #eqnz moves way too fast for me. #chch was originally mostly formal information but now has a lot of clutter, which is a shame in some ways.

  • Hi Aimee

    Great post. To all the other scibloggers, my work server appears to be down so can’t contact you all via my usual email. I’m currently in Auckland and will be staying put for a few days until things settle down in Christchurch
    Grant and others, thanks for all the info. It is invaluable having these information sources.

  • Good to hear you’re OK, Michael. You could use the group back channel (google group) to reach us, as well?

    Comms must be patchy in ChCh. Trying to suggest to brother & partner w/ baby due yesterday they can come to Dunedin if better for them, but no replies to texts to any of my family—3 different locations in town—yet I see others are tweeting away!

  • Michael – are you OK for accommodation? We could offer a bed or two in the short term – we have the very elderly Ps-I-L coming to stay on (I think) March 7, but up to then should be OK.

Site Meter