6.3 earthquake in Christchurch

By Grant Jacobs 22/02/2011

This is page contains collected snippets and links for this event from the time they were found. Please bear in mind the advisories are for the time written. I’ve left them as a record of how things unfolded. Later corrections or updates are, for the most part, enclosed in square brackets, minor typos excepted. (This note added 24th Feb., am.)

Just a quick note to alert New Zealand readers: a large earthquake, reported to be magnitude 6.3 has occurred centred 10km south-west of central Christchurch at a depth of 5km. Early reports are of some buildings down and concerns over possible deaths. The brief newspaper report out thus far says that Christchurch hospital is being evacuated. [Reports later corrected this to one ward evacuated.]

Moving this to top temporarily:

@vodafoneNZ needs clear network through ALL NZ please. #eqnz #chch

That is, they’re asking people throughout the country to stay off the phone network unless it’s urgent. No mobile calls. Twitter is OK apparently. ~5pm: More recent requests are for people to limit themselves to texts. 22nd Feb., 9:30am: reports are the request to stay off mobile phones unless urgent still stands.

I will update this post as I get more news. Newer information is added to the bottom (sorry).

Best wishes to all in Christchurch.

(Disclosure: Christchurch is my hometown; my family lives there. My brother & partner have a baby due today, too.)

While of lesser magnitude than the September 4th event, today’s event is much closer to the centre of the city (~10km vs. ~45km) and shallower (~5km vs. ~10km).

1:52pm: Calls are going out to limit phone calls & use text if possible. Wish they’d come clean out and say if texts are OK. (I want to contact my family!)

Top of Cathedral gone: http://yfrog.com/h6hpksmj (Will put this up later.)

Update: more of the cathedral has fallen since in an aftershock.

If you want to follow ’live’, try #EQNZ hashtag on twitter, as I am doing. Less noisy, but more formal is the #chch hashtag. I’m excerpting the more informative bits from a variety of sources, including these.

Stuff.co.nz have a page that’s being updated here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4688398

Live radio stream: radionz.co.nz/audio/live/nat…

[Via twitter, from others:]

@dasfreak ’Fireservice confirms deaths and “dozens” trapped in Central City#eqnz

@Orcon We have made all calls in and out of the South Island free for the next 48 hours. Hope everyone and their families are safe #eqnz – but please hold off the phone calls unless really needed.

Not sure if it’s related, but I felt shelves move within Dunedin Public Library at about the time of this earthquake.

Landslide near Sumner:

(I’ll continue this as a stream as I get things in.)

Also worth following: @NZcivildefense and the #chch hastag.

Tweeted by: @nzherald

Fire Service has just confirmed to RadioNZ that there have been deaths in Christchurch. #eqnz #chch

Civil defence report 1 up. (A standard advisory by the looks of it.)

NZ Herald reports a facade collapsing on a bus, killing some passengers. Many incidental details in that report. TV3 reports Provincial Chambers Building collapsed.

No news from family (yet). Presumably they’re staying off-line. Main event centred near my brother’s village (Lyttelton).

TVNZ report all staff OK, but building next to the TVNZ building collapsed. [CTV building, I believe.]

Apparently the NZ airspace (all of it?) is closed until inspections have been completed.

Chief fire officer is reportedly encouraging people to leave town if they can. [No further views on this; consider this unconfirmed.]

McQueens valley seismic drum, the closest ’main’ drum on the geonet website, show lots of after shocks, as you might expect. [I added an image of this later; see further down page.]

Tweeted by: @NZStuff :

GNS says acceleration was a full 1G, against 0.8G for September, which equates to a 25% higher speed of movement at ground level. #EQNZ [Boxing Day quake also had greater ’speed’ than the Sep. 4th event from memory; I was in a central city store during that event.]

New Zealanders can get on-going coverage on TVNZ, TV3, etc.

These feeds should be less noisy and more formal than the general twitter stream, which is moving too fast to follow, but probably won’t report individual incidents:

Tweeted by: @chrisnoble_nz Chris Noble

Some relevant twitter accounts: @NZcivildefence, @CanterburyEM, @Police_NZ (auto feed only), @ECan, @geonet #eqnz

Geologist suggests it may not be an aftershock:

“I think it’s highly likely it’s a completely different fault system from what we were dealing with in the previous quake,” Dr Mark Quigley, a lecturer in the department of geological sciences at the University of Canterbury, told One News.

Very early on a wiki was set up for reporting missing persons (H/T @Kubke [fellow sciblogger]) [My only thought is do the official services, e.g. civil defence, run one too? Not being negative, just wondering if they ought to or do.] Google has one, too. It’s good to see these ’home-brewed’ efforts, but personally I’d like to have seen a single official one. Update 23th Feb: the contents of the wiki are being moved to the google service. (H/T @Kubke)

Woman on top of collapsed building (now rescued):

The building above is apparently the PGG building, which has pancaked which each floor falling on the one below it. One report has people trapped in the building. (22nd Feb. 5:42pm: latest reports say there are at least 30 people inside.)

TV news is reporting that there will be a civil defence news conference at 4:15pm.

Detail information can be had at the USGS (US Geological Survey) website.

An incident map is available, e.g.


By good luck the NZ Army members were in Christchurch on an exercise and able to provide immediate assistance. [The full story is more complex – and too long-winded to add as a brief note.]

After shocks of magnitude ~5 continue.

IMPORTANT: Southlanders please take note that the emergency numbers are not working, please us these numbers in the meantime: 03 211 3044, or for fire: 03 214 3779

More via twitter:

Stephen Fry expresses his dismay and encourages followers to assist:

Tweeted by: @stephenfry Stephen Fry

Oh dear, poor Christchurch. Another horrific earthquake. redcross.org.nz/donate #chch #eqnz bit.ly/hNpWMZ

Tweeted by: @Francis_Jenkins Francis Jenkins

Reports that there are just bodies lying around outside shops just lying there just covered in bricks #eqnz #NZearthquake [unconfirmed]

Tweeted by: @BooksellersNZ: (Emma) UBS ChCh “Shop is in chaos, staff okay. University evacuated and will be closed for some time.” #eqnz

There are mixed called for blood donations, but a number of reports (incl. TVNZ) say NZ Blood is asking people not to contact them at this point in time. NZ Blood has this on their Facebook page:

CHCH Earthquake update: Currently we have good supplies of blood in Christchurch and have supplies we can bring in from other centres. At this stage we are fine for blood stocks, but if the situation changes we will let people know through Facebook and our website. Our Chch Donor Centre will be closed for the rest of the week.

There are calls for those with 4WD vehicles to assist moving injured people. (via TV3 news; unconfirmed with official services.)

Lyttelton tunnel is closed, as you would expect. (Since re-opened for the night for emergency vehicle access.) Most (all?) petrol stations are closed from what I understand.

NZ has accepted offer of emergency assistance from Australia. (This wasn’t considered needed for September 4th event.)

Telecom NZ has made all phoneboxes in the area free temporarily for local calls.

I have to admit it’s hard sitting here taking it all in when most of the people I know well are up there.

Good material here from a geologist. I should pause here and apologise for the scatter-gun approach, rather a formal article. I hope what I am presenting, besides helping NZers get a condensed form of the key points as they come in, gives readers outside New Zealand the feeling of trying to follow the event and picking up the pieces as they come in.

Civil defence reports continue (now up to report 5).

Radio NZ reports that hospitals in other centres, including Dunedin, are discharging patients that can go home. Dunedin hospital are asking people if they could visit their family GP in the first instance if possible. Timaru hospital is being made available to take some cases.

Early reports are of 65 confirmed dead in the latest update of this on-going report. (This article has garnered over 400 comments.)

The Science Media Centre (who host these blogs) now has a resources page up and expert commentary from scientists.

The Mayor of Christchurch has asked that people not gather at Hagley Park, but to look to either the centres set up at Burnside High School or elsewhere. Addington Raceway centre is now CLOSED. Other centres are at Papanui High School, Lyttelton Recreation Centre, Brooklands Community Centre and Akaroa Senior School. (Updated: 23nd Feb, 9:45 am.)

The Guardian has an extensive continuously-updated article with a live blog taking over from 9pm tonight. (I’ve no way of competing with the likes of that. Besides, they get paid to do it!)

Early video footage. Please note some scenes may disturb.

Approximately 30 million tonnes of ice ‘calved’ off the Tasman glacier during the earthquake. The Tasman glacier is ~200km from Christchurch. One report says that’s enough ice to form a cube of ~320 metres on each side.

Signing off for the night. An excellent page listing sources of information can be found at The Evolving Newsroom. (H/T: @Kubke.) I would add more photos, but am short on time. The ABC website has one of the better photo collections I’ve seen thus far. The sciblogs staff have added a short video to the main page.

23nd February, am.

The McQueens valley drum illustrates very well the calm before the storm, as it were, and the aftershocks that followed:

(Source: GeoNet.co.nz)
(Source: GeoNet.co.nz)

There are some reports that some petrol (aka gas, for those in the USA) stations are open, but only for emergency services.

The KAREN network have opened their video conferencing service for earthquake-affected people.

Water is being brought in and distributed from a number of primary schools for people to fill their own containers: Lyttleton, Redcliffs, South New Brighton, Shirley, Wainoni and Phillipstown. (From 11am, apparently.)

All of CBD is closed off to public and under curfew. People are being asked not to go into the central city.

About 70 emergency specialists have arrived from Australia. Another approximately 70 are being sent from the USA. [23rd Feb.: I’ve seen reports that 600 overseas rescue staff are working in the city; unconfirmed.]

Canadian couple have safely made it out of the cathedral.

The video of aerial shots below opens with the timeball station in Lyttelton, then Lyttelton streets (first video coverage of Lyttleton I have seen thus far). The shot with lots of earth is the landslide near Sumner. The collapsed PGG building is shown at about 1:16.

Visitors to Christchurch are being offered to fly to Wellington courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Air Force to free up accommodation and aid non-residents to leave. Air New Zealand is offering $NZ 50 flights (Tasman & Pacific Island) and international $NZ 400, both one-way. [No mention of domestic.] A few individual offers of flights and accommodation can be found on twitter. The car parks at the airport are free for today. There are accounts of international travellers trying to leave having trouble with having lost documentation during the earthquake.

For those trying to connect to missing persons, the Red Cross line is open for both NZers and those from overseas (David Huebner is the US ambassador to New Zealand):

@DavidHuebner: Red Cross missing person line now active. In NZ: 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276). From outside: +64 7 850 2199 #EQNZ #CHCH

10am: Further expert commentary is available, via the Science Media Centre.

Just a thought/tip for those wishing to donate: please be careful of scams. It’s unlikely, but it does happen unfortunately.

11:15am: Additional water stations at Lyttelton West School, Governor’s Bay primary school and Diamond Harbour petrol station.

Long-time local journalist Vicki Anderson has written an excellent on-the-ground account, The day that the earth roared (with photos). [Strongly recommended. 23rd Feb. 12:41: Peter Griffin says she is a music critic; I must have been thinking of someone else – ?]

This informal interview from a person in Lyttelton. Logistical information can be found in the civil defence updates. Another collection of photographs is available at the Brisbane Times website.

The Chancellor Hotel buckling, one of the tallest buildings in Christchurch; reports suggest it is in danger of collapsing (left=before; right=now).

Some further information is being added to comments below this post.

24th Feb, am: Quick edit for the worst of the typos, etc. Some will no doubt remain; I have trouble reading the tiny type in the WordPress editor – it’s an on-going problem that I have yet to find time to find a solution I am happy with. (For MarsEdit fans: yes, I’ve tried it, but it’s never worked properly for me!)

With the exception of photos or videos, any further updates are likely to be in the comments.

24th Feb., 10:20am: Aftershocks:


Dust cloud immediately after the quake, taken from Port Hills, looking north to city centre (the dust is probably from all the collapsing buildings):


Click on image to see larger version.

Earlier earthquake-related posts on Code for life:

Earthquake, South Island, New Zealand (The Sep. 4th event.)

Earthquake warning systems (and twitterers)

Magnitude vs. intensity; Chile vs. Haiti

Major earthquake in Samoa, 8.3

0 Responses to “6.3 earthquake in Christchurch”

  • For updates, please read the post. I’m updating it as I get news in. I won’t be adding comments as I have in the past. (Later, I might, not now.)

  • So very glad to hear you’re OK & fingers crossed for your family. What a sad photo of the Cathedral.

  • This is terrible. I know people were moving back into damaged homes due to the slow clean up following the last quake, I just hope that hasn’t increased the number of fatalities.

  • Thanks for the comments. I’ll bring more of this in the evening. Unfortunately I have reality in the form of work to attend to.

    Most of the news so far is focused on the CBD; it’ll be good to see reports from outside the centre. Water mains have been broken, so there will be surface flooding. There also reports of gas mains broken & advice to shut of gas the the main if residences have gas. The hospital is open; only one ward damaged. Just got a report of bodies being taken out of the YHC hostel in the inner city area. (In the old university site near the hospital.)

    CD conference should be on soon (which may be more advisory than informative, as such, given their role).

  • My sister-in-law in Redwood tells me that they still have power & water; very shaken but all OK. Brother-in-law & nephew still over near Rolleston waiting for a clear way home.

  • Alison,

    Good to hear. Sounds if it my lot is OK. I imagine your BIL and nephew could take the long loop from Rolleston/Burnham that takes a long loop past the airport area; it’d avoid all the city proper.

    News briefing from government now on.

  • via: @KARENmagazine by RachelSloane
    The 111 service in NZ Southland is out because of quake, anyone needing urgent assistance must phone 03 211 3044, Fire: 03 214 3779 #eqnz”

    Will add to post later.

  • Signing off for the night. As a closing note, I would suggest readers try the links on the page of sources at The Evolving Newsroom the fellow sciblogger Fabiana Kubke has pointed out on twitter. I’ve named several of these sources already, but this page has these and many more that I’ve noted in an useful easy-to-navigate form.

  • Nicola,

    While I (and others I am sure) very much appreciate the call for support, I personally feel the word ‘tribute’ is a little too soon. There will still be more aftershocks and some people there will still be very much in the middle of it all. (But then maybe I’m feeling a bit touchy about this.)

  • I’m probably going to wind down additions to the post as interest in it seems to be easing. (Might move to adding anything more in comments instead; we’ll see.)

    Do read Vicki Anderson’s on-the-ground account.

    Aimee has added a new post, too, so in a way I can hand the baton over!

    Feel free to add any information in comments.

  • This just in:
    five15design Paul Le Comte
    Breaking news according to radio Hotel Grand Chancellor is in danger of collapse 26 story building tallest in chch #EQNZ

    There are (now) some petrol stations open for the public. Reports are of long queues. (I suggest taking a container & walking v. taking car right up to station?)

    Please only get what you need, you’ll just prevent others from getting some. Those from out of town are best (IMO) to try stock up containers before heading in.

    This tweet lists a few:

    Bumcast Carl McNeil
    RT by five15design@
    SHELL open in the Christchurch area: Belfast, Templeton, Carlton corner, Southbrook, Raceway, Moorehouse Ave #eqnz

    For Caltex, see this page: http://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?id=64049

    Challenge is open in Opawa at least. (long queue)

    Don’t know the situation for BP.

  • Reminder to be careful about scams for donations, for example there are reports that emails from a “James McCoy”, claiming to be from “Donate4Charity NZ” is a scam. Typical clues are near-miss names (e.g. Oxfan for Oxfam), generic or “spoof” email addresses.

    Via twitter [my additions in square brackets]:

    @TelstraClearNZ: We’d like 2 advise every1 in #chch to change their voicemail to let people know they’re ok, if battry running low #EQNZ [Seems a good tip; I’d add that those that live there but have left might do the same regardless of your cell phone battery levels.]

    @Heemi (Heemi Katene-Hill) [Also from @nzherald]
    Police advising people travelling north of Christchurch that Kaikoura’s only petrol station has run out of petrol #eqnz #chch

    @mbachelard (Michael Bachelard)
    One Fairfax worker, our colleague at the Christchurch Press, has sadly died. But the paper still got out. #eqnz #chch

    @JetstarNews (Jetstar Airways)
    #Jetstar services have recommenced in New Zealand with 5 additional services scheduled. See http://bit.ly/grIvjx #eqnz #christchurch #chch
    {No news of discounts (e.g. Air NZ, as reported in my post), but reading between lines they have brought forward opening flights to/from the ChCh airport.]

    A correction? – some say Chancellor Building is 2nd largest in ChCh, not largest.

  • City council is repeating calls for people to stay off the road unless essential: congestion is hampering emergency services.

    University of Canterbury Facebook page has information for international students: http://www.facebook.com/UCQuakeRecovery (H/T WestpacNZ)

    Ministry of Consumer Affairs advice on email scam (consider twitter, too): http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scam-news/scam-alert-42/

    Two blocks on all sides of Chancellor Hotel have been cordoned off. This report on hotels closed with the remark that building has (reportedly) sunken by several metres over the last hour: http://www.spicenews.com.au/2011/02/22/article/LATEST-Christchurch-earthquake/SDYJKVFUEH.html

    Reports are the postal services in/out of Christchurch have been suspended for the time being.

    International travellers without documentations (passports, etc.) check the tweets from CHC_airport: https://twitter.com/#!/CHC_Airport

    Here are a few (but check their twitter stream for the latest, please):

    > Christchurch Airport remains open for both domestic & international flights. Please check with your airline for the latest schedules.

    > Intl. passengers without passports: Foreign p.port holders (excl. AU), go to Burnside High Welfare Centre to register with Red Cross.

    > CHC Airport is running a half hourly shuttle for stranded passengers to Burnside High Welfare Centre from the Red Bus Stop, Intl Arrivals.

    > Intl. passengers without passports: before check-in, AU permanent residents go to Intl. Arrivals Hall to register with AU High Commissioner.

    If you’re looking for YouTube videos, a search of ‘earthquake christchurch 2011’ works well (at the moment!)

    @sarapeary (Sara Peary)
    If u know blind deafblind or partially sighted people in #chch who need RNZFB specialist support, call Michelle Webb on 0800 24 33 33 #eqnz [I really should check what the deaf community is doing; mind you, they are used to relying on digital communications, etc., which might work in their favour provided the service isn’t too patchy.]

  • I suggest these thieves are made to parade the streets of Christchurch with a placard around their necks, with rotten tomatoes and eggs offered to passersby. (Just kidding, of course, but you get the spirit of my thoughts, right?)

    The Atlantic has gathered a fairly comprehensive collection of large (and sharp) photographs: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/02/earthquake-in-new-zealand/100013/

    One of the more unusual images, to me, is a house in Lyttelton bowled by a boulder dislodged from the hills behind the village: http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1298419357/108/4694108.jpg

  • More aerial photos are available from the NZ Herald website, other collections from ground level and videos: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/image.cfm?c_id=1&gal_cid=1&gallery_id=116918#7381068

    Calls for people to stay at home unless they have a genuine need to be out and about are being repeated.

    There are reports of some “disaster tourism” by media working in the inner city area. (Media enter this area with a Press pass so I guess these people are sneaking pass one way or other.) The damage will still be there for many days, if not weeks, so they can understand they leave their rubber-necking until the emergency crews have done their thing instead of getting in the way, and they’d still not miss much.

    The Christchurch City Council ‘Latest news’ section of their website has a number of advisories: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/index.aspx

    This includes water advice: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/newsmedia/mediareleases/2011/201102235.aspx

    (Note that they advise residents to collect rain water if possible.)

    A good collected “how-to” is this NZ Herald article: (I’ve got most of the same stuff above but this is sorted into categories, with tidy wording, etc.; I’m unlikely to find time to clean up what I’ve done.)

  • What a complete collection, Grant. I do not wonder that you are tired. This sort of thing, sometimes, feels like all one can do – but I am sure it is useful to many, and will also serve as an archive and a memorial, later. Best wishes to you and in particular, all your NZ relatives and friends.

    This site among others, perhaps, helps organize offers and requests for Christchurch residents who need temporary accommodations out of the city. I don’t *think* I already saw it in all the resources above:


  • Great addition, Heather. I did see that site linked somewhere in the tweets I’ve read, but somehow it never made it into my material so thanks for pointing it out.

    I’m sure I’ve missed other things, too. I left out the condolences messages from various dignitaries, for example. (I have to admit I did that deliberately as while it was good to see the recognition of what was happening in our little country by these people, with the exception of the Queen’s message—of those I read—they all had they own interests worked into their messages.)

    GeoNet shows that they are getting quite a lot of after shocks, but hopefully being of modest magnitude they won’t cause too much further trouble. (They’re in the M=3-4 range, at least one every hour.)

    For those looking for photos collections The Atlantic has a good collection, with the catch (in my opinion) that the textual descriptions accompanying the photos are understandably better on the NZ sites (e.g. NZ Herald, etc.)

    For those who haven’t read Vicki’s story (linked in an earlier comment), I recommend it.

    Reports are resources (e.g. food, petrol) in areas immediately outside the city are low with people driving out to get what they can.

    It’s funny seeing my relatives out in Hororata turn up in the press again; they were in the press in the Sep. 4th event, too. This time it’s my cousin commenting on the lack of bread for her family because people from the city have bought it. (Hi Kate, if you read this – I’ve no idea if she reads my blog.)

    More later.

  • Just a very quick note:

    Excellent on-going stream here at the NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708400

    A few key points:
    – *all* water to be boiled, even if from tankers
    – Reports of Japanese media crew arrested for trying to sneak into a hospital to get interviews.
    – TradeMe is another source of offers of accommodation (but see Heather’s comment above for another source).

    There are several reports of individual cases of burglaries and looting. See my earlier comments for my thoughts on this sort of thing.

    UCSA (University of Canterbury Students Association) has an approx. 10,000 strong Student Volunteer Army.

    The NZ SMC (Science Media Centre) has just pointed out a “basic backgrounder” is available from the Canadian SMC (PDF file).

  • Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive, having had my city go through this natural disaster, but I find myself irritated by a a post at the blog Depleted Uranium
    While I normally enjoy this pro-science blog, I find the post above to be patronising and insensitive to use a natural disaster to push a pro-nuclear agenda. While I’m not opposed to nuclear power per se, I thought NZ’s primary objection to nuclear vessels was that we were never able to be told whether they were carrying nuclear weapons or not?

  • Well, that blog does go under the name ‘Depleted Cranium’, although you could suggest what is depleted is the contents of the cranium, rather than the cranium itself. Mind you, in the absence of a cranium, the contents might fall out…

    More seriously, I think though that the ban was for both nuclear-powered as well carrying nuclear weapons. The writer gets plenty of other things wrong anyway so I’m writing a short note over there.

  • Hi Grant

    I recognised the tongue in cheek in your first paragraph. made me grin.
    I enjoyed your posts on Depleted cranium too 🙂

  • Away from the event itself, one aspect that might affect students (and others) elsewhere in the South Island, taken directly from civil defence advisory #46:

    Visa Extensions for Foreign Nationals Affected by Earthquake

    Immigration New Zealand is issuing automatic six month visa extensions for any foreign national whose work, visitor or student visa application cannot be processed because of the Christchurch earthquake. Immigration New Zealand’s central Christchurch office in the Crystal Plaza building is unable to be accessed for safety reasons. 2000 temporary visa applications are in that office.

    Other advisories on this page, e.g. For lost or found dogs please contact Animal Control on 021 240 8310 or visit 10 Metro Place – Open 8:00am to 6:00pm. (There have been quite a number of people tweeting about their pet dogs having gone walkabout.)

    There is also a call, well down the advisory page, to discourage internet browsing:

    All networks have heavy congestion. Restrict mobile phone use to text messages ONLY. Only use the phone for emergency calls. Refrain from using data services (e.g. Internet browsing) as this is leading to congestion.

  • As you can see there are fewer things to report. A few incidents that stick in memory:

    – My uncle reports that during the earthquake his bath, half full of water, leapt up to meet the taps on the wall. A nearby broken mains flooded his house – the force of the water too strong to close the door.

    – Rockfall from crater rim onto the cable car building (a tourist venture that provides rides with views), residential houses (see the photo I linked earlier) and those using Bridal Path (a historic track that crosses over the hill between Lyttelton and Christchurch). The cable car building was apparently battered by falling rocks and two tourists stuck in a car that had just left the station. The harbour tops are known locally as the crater rim: it’s the rim of a long-dormant volcano, easy to see if you look at a map or aerial photograph.

    – A 9 month-old killed from a large flat-screen TV falling on her. It is one of the few reports of fatalities outside of the CBD I’ve heard of. (One other being a man walking on the Bridal Path.)

    – The sign language interpretation alongside the media conferences over the past 2-3 days (but not the first couple of days).

    Snapshot factoids/advisories: Power is back on (in limited form?) to ~80% of houses. Water in limited form to ~50% of residences. 70% of GPs working. Extra police mean that normal police enquires can now be dealt with. As for 4pm, 123+ confirmed fatalities (one report has 132, but I’m worried it’s an inversion of the 3 & 2); expected to rise; 70 rescued; >200 reported missing. GNS Science advises that there may be more magnitude 5 or greater aftershocks. The cordoned area of the CBD is still closed; access not allowed to retrieve belongings. Of the 1000 buildings checked CBD: 60% deemed to be safe, 17% had been assessed as safe to access, 20-25% deemed unsafe and evacuated. 341 houses in suburbs unsafe & evacuated (from 4000 inspections). Many supermarkets now open.

    Lyttelton road tunnel now open, Lyttelton residents only. 6 Lyttelton streets evacuated due to rockfall risk.

    For a more complete list of advisories, see civil defence, NZ Herald and others.

  • Just to be clear: the “few incidents” are those over-and-above those that are better-known, and loose in my head at the time of writing!

  • Some before-and-after aerials are available at the ABC website (H/T @five15design)

    (One minor quibble I have is that the code used to the before-and-after won’t let you quite get the full “before” back once you start revealing the “after”.)

  • The Canterbury District Health Board has media releases with health advice:


    It includes advice for basic health, e.g. water (boil or treat it) and food, no fees for visit to GPs before March 6 (presumably to encourage people to seek help rather than risk an infection), summary of hospital situation (including maternity), the Diabetes Centre, all elective surgery postponed until March 7th, Meals on Wheels (resumes Tuesday), GPs and pharmacies that are open, and so on.

  • Updates can be followed at many sites, incl. the NZ Herald (today’s news).

    The http://eq.org.nz/ has an interactive map of resources and reports. A map of incidents can be found here. The Evolving Newsroom has a list of other resources.

    Chch airport is now open for all flights.

    M=4.1 aftershock this morning at 7:55am, depth 5km, centred 10km SE of Chch. Residents of Clifton Hill evacuated due to rockfall risk.

    Housing New Zealand has (temporarily) cancelled rent for its Christchurch tenants, backdated to Feb 22.

    The universities and polytech. will be closed until at least March 14th.

    There is talk that the CBD will be closed for months.

    Rescue teams are now inspecting the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

    This media article reports on radar findings defining the line of the fault. GNS Science has a few links to other science-related information on their site (incl. videos). GeoNet has a page outlining some aspects, with maps. (I’ve also linked to a geology blog somewhere in my article.)

  • While I suggest readers follow the advisor sites I’ve linked earlier (e.g. Civil Defence, to find advisories relevant to their particular situation (or interests), I’ve repeated a few that strike me below:

    – A total fire ban is in place for Christchurch and Banks peninsula. Aside from general risk issues, chimneys may be unsound (e.g. exposed to the ceiling space).

    – Strong winds forecast for tomorrow have raised concerns over dust blowed up from the silt around the city (respiratory issues)

    – I think the health advisories at the Canterbury District Health Board site are well worth noting:

    – People who wear MedicAlert identity bracelets should go online to update their emergency contact and personal information.

    – People who have relocated should take steps to avoid being listed as a missing person (see Civil Defence link earlier in this comment)

    Best wishes to everyone in Christchurch.

  • Throughout the country today there will be two minutes of silence to acknowledge last week’s earthquake and the losses experienced.

    For those in Dunedin, gather in the Octagon before 12:51 pm if you wish to join in with others. I’d expect it to be full to overflowing.

  • Thanks rpg. (Meant to say thanks to the *hug* earlier, too. See – I haven’t forgotten!)

    It was on the 6pm network news tonight and in the papers for New Zealanders, but you’re right – international readers might not know.

    I should really have popped that in: thanks for bringing it up. It is nice to have a *little* positive news.

    You might have noticed we are having a little bit of a nuisance from a local astrologer who is promoting his earthquake predictions.

  • People trying to recover undamaged cars from inside the (cordoned off) CBD should try contacting Turners Car Auctions.

    (I presume the registration plate numbers of the damaged ones are being recorded somewhere.)

  • QEII stadium and the associated recreation complex has apparently been closed indefinitely due to damage.

    Sad to hear that. I competed at the stadium once as a kid, and took lifesaving badge courses there. It’s a major resource for the athletes / swimming community in Christchurch, originally built for the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

  • The University of Otago has extended it’s student enrolment deadline by a week to allow Canterbury students to enrol. Other universities are likely to have similar arrangements.

  • The Timeball Station—an iconic feature of Lyttelton—is to be dismantled. I guess it’s not unexpected, but to lose it will be felt.

  • I think the plan is to reassemble the Timeball Station in the same spot again in the future.
    Recent reports suggest that around 50% of historical buildings have been red stickered.

  • It did see a mention of doing this for the tower, but not of the rest of the building. Quite a bit of this news is hard to pin down precisely.

  • The search of the collapsed Cathedral spire has found no bodies. There are suggestions that the estimate for the overall toll may be revised downward. (Good.)

    The central city cordon is to be reduced tomorrow (Sunday March 6th), initially to allow business owners and residents in those area access; general public access to come later. (Map; PDF file. Looking at this map, it almost feels like central Christchurch has been zoned like Berlin once was.)

    Water reservoirs have been inspected and are now being refilled.

    M=4.1 aftershock at 10:49am – depth 5km, 10km west of Lyttelton.

    Word is FIFA may be organising an international level charity match. There’s word it will include some big names, but I don’t want to get my hopes too high! Off-topic: New Zealand has just won the rights to host the 2015 FIFA under-20 World Cup – a big event. Let’s hope they bring a few of the better matches to Dunedin’s new covered stadium.

  • Just had a 4.8 which lasted for about 8 to 10 seconds. A little bit disconcerting.

  • I have some idea. I was in the 4.9 at Boxing Day in an inner-city store.

    Details: 7:34pm, depth 11km, within 5km of Lyttelton (so Lyttelton will have had a fair jolt)

  • One easy way to keep up to date is to follow @geonet_above4 on twitter. This reports all earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater. There is also @geonet_above5.

    Another way is to follow @NZquake, a bot that follows the geonet RSS feeds and turns them into tweets. This *seems* to report everything geonet reports (I’ve seen a report of a M-2.9), which will mean it’ll be pretty active given the number of earthquakes each day in NZ.

    Via @ChristchurchCC: Vehicles owned by the general public that are in Zones 1 & 2 can be collected by owners tomorrow from 2 pm.

    Over 8 million dollars raised from tonight’s Lotto proceedings.

    @NZcivildefence is asking people (via twitter):
    PLEASE don’t speculate abt damage after an #eqnz aftershock. Confirmed damage reports will be tweeted by @NZcivildefence and @CEQgovtnz.
    (Knowing social media that will evoke a mixed reaction.)

  • As this comment thread is something of an archive of some of the events of this time, I’ll add that one of the events was a considerable fuss in some circles over astrologer Ken Ring and his claim to have predicted this earthquake. He “revised” a prediction of a 7+ somewhere in the world after the fact to point at Christchurch; in practice his 7+ prediction failed: no earthquakes of this magnitude occurred over the ten days his prediction was for.

    This fuss is captured on sciblogs, as witnessed by the list of posts at the end of this post (just skip past the video):


    This fuss in fact drew considerably more traffic to sciblogs than the earthquake itself, although that will be partly explained by that for several days my blog was the only one here on the subject. (My take on the relatively modest rise in traffic around the time of the earthquake was that we were to stunned to write; in my case it was as much to cope with not being able to help out directly. Rather than fret I could at least type.)

  • Stunning news just in via the network TV news: apparently plans based on geo-tech reports are that approx. 10,000 homes will be demolished. The report indicated that (regions) of the Avonside, Bexley and Dallington suburbs will not be re-built upon. The issue appears to be that the land is too bad to remediate. These residents will be re-located. (At least in the shorter term; it’s not entirely clear from the report if this is for the long-term also.)

    Equally disturbing is to learn that some business owners will have no opportunity to retrieve items in some buildings. While this isn’t entirely unexpected, as someone who runs a solo consultancy I feel for those businesses. Losing all your documentation, for example, would be a huge loss. I hope for their sake that these businesses made off-site backups of the computer files, something I tried to emphasise in my earlier still-not-complete (!) series on backups:



  • Geology reports indicate that the Port Hills (essentially the crater rims of the extinct volcanos to the immediate south of the city) rose 40 centimetres with the two sides of the slip moving past one-another about 1.5 metres:

    http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/2011/03/06/earthquake-factsheet-sunday-6-march-2011/ (PDF copy of this factsheet also available; this report can be found on a number of sites.)


    The second link has a large collections of links and maps to geology-related information on the earthquake. GeoNet also has an interim summary page:


  • Some feel the 10,000 homes to be demolished figure is too high:


    Details of the restart of Canterbury University for the many issues they have can be found here:


    – this includes building 8,000 sq. metres of temporary open-place lecture and seminar space until inspections & clean-ups are complete. (They are claims of a tented temporary campus, but I haven’t been able to explicitly confirm that on a brief search.)

    A Kiwibank scam is running, claiming the bank has lost contact details from the earthquake (most unlikely). I’ve received this email myself. These scams are routine, but pinning it on a recent disaster is a new low.

    John Campbell’s show tonight is asking calling for photographs in a competition for the best temporary long drop. (Hole-in-the-ground toilet, for those from overseas.) Sewerage is a major issue, with timelines for fixing the problem in the months (in some areas, presumably), compared to days/weeks for the majority of power and water services.

    On a personal note I wonder why I’m adding to this comment thread a little as I don’t seem to get ‘hits’ to the post anymore!

  • Don’t know about anyone else but I appreciate the email updates of the comment thread!

  • I’m with Richard. I haven’t stopped by the post itself, but the updates are fascinating, and I think you’ll be glad of the archive aspect of things. And you know for every commenter there are around 90 other real humans who are lurking out there. You could always throw up the post on Twitter again, signaling the comment updates…

  • Thanks for the messages of support. I’m inclined to forget about the RSS feed as I rarely use them. I get enough email and have enough distractions as it is!

    I think in future if I’m tracking an event that lasts more than one day, I think I’ll follow the NZ Herald’s lead and publish a new post for each day (or so). But I sincerely hope I don’t see another event like this for a while. In the last 6 months the South Island has had several earthquakes (if you include Boxing Day, etc.) and the Cave Creek Mine disaster.

  • I have to admit I’ve been very lax recording aftershocks. The trouble is (or at least my excuse is!) that there are so many that even ones over 4.0 aren’t particularly special news. One more today:

    Quake: mag 4.1, 8 km deep, Wed, Mar 9 2011 1:18 pm (NZDT), http://geonet.org.nz/3475871g Within 5 km of Lyttelton

    (This one is centred near Huntsbury Road, very close to the epicentre of the February M=6.3 event.)

  • The aftershocks continue, as you’d expect, with a magnitude 4 or greater most days. One feature of the September 4th magnitude 7.1 earthquake was wide commentary that people didn’t appreciate the number of aftershocks that follow a major earthquake and their persistence, and, I guess, the size of the bigger aftershocks. In a sense we could consider this another example of the trouble of learning things via the media in that media rarely report the aftershocks of major earthquakes elsewhere in the world, except for perhaps the very largest (as I’ve been guilty of earlier; I’m still skipping those less than magnitude 4.)

    (I’m not saying it’s the media’s responsibility to fill this in, but the limitations of using a news source as a means of getting a fuller understanding of a subject.)

    As with the September 4th event, a lot of people have left town – more this time than then. While there is talk in the media of this becoming permanent for some, I’m picking permanent relocation will be (very much) the exception rather than the rule. A lot of people have headed out simply to get a break and some decent sleep. Aside from the movement, earthquakes—including larger aftershocks—are quite noisy. Many find them hard to sleep through with the result they’re permanently tired and stressed. Also, many kids can’t go to school as their schools are still re-opening and they’re restless with little to do so their parents are taking them elsewhere for a while.

    Last night (Fri, Mar 11 2011) saw a magnitude 4.1, 11 km deep at 4:00 am (NZDT), within 5 km of Lyttelton centred on the Summit Road, north of Summit Road / Evans Pass junction. http://geonet.org.nz/3476658g

    Almost all the traffic to my blog is for earthquake-related material, albeit particularly related to the Ken Ring fiasco rather than the earthquake itself, which is a little unsettling and frustrating.

  • Reports are that a second 5,000 chemical toilets have arrived at Christchurch, of a total of over 30,000 ordered. This will be in addition to the portaloos already in use, but for a residence. Using the portaloos people have to walk some way down the street to a shared toilet. [edited for error.]

  • Saturday, March 12 2011, am.

    At 2:37 am: M=4.2, 11km deep, centred near the old Lyttelton-Sumner road to the east of Lyttelton (within 5km of Lyttelton).

    Japanese rescue workers assisting at Christchurch head home to assist with major earthquake in Japan (noted above) with a large tsunami (reports vary between 7m and 10m high). The earthquake off the Japanese east coast was initially reported at USGS as M=7.9, but revised upward to M=8.8, then M=8.9.

  • Aftershocks with magnitude in excess of 4.0 continue. There was one reported at M=4.0 centre at Camp Bay (on the opposite side of the harbour from Lyttelton, to the east of Diamond Harbour) on Saturday evening, just before 7pm.

    This morning (Monday 5:14am) saw a M=4.1 near Little Port Cooper, east of Camp Bay. (This is a bay on the southern entrance to the harbour.) Depth 8km, centred ~20km east of Lyttelton.

    (I should add here that M=4 earthquakes are fairly common in NZ, occurring somewhere in NZ on most days. Around 330+ M=4+ earthquakes occur in NZ per year. I’m only mentioning in these comments those that are aftershocks to the Feb. 22nd M=6.3. Others have occurred elsewhere during this time, e.g. Rangiora, Wellington, Te Anau, etc. They rarely cause real damage, so visitors to New Zealand should not be put off; you’d be unlikely to experience one anyway. They would give those not used to them a brief thrill, but getting them every day would be wearying; ditto for those already under stress from larger events.)

  • This is apparently the footage shown at the memorial service held yesterday at Hagley Park (at which Prince William and other dignitaries attended), as three clips:




    I recall seeing this as a much longer film a day or two ago, but I can’t seem to locate this at present. (Or at least quick enough for me not to lose interest in persisting!)
    [Edited to correct error.]

  • Via GeoNet at Sun, Mar 20 2011 9:47 pm (NZDT):

    Magnitude 5.1, 10 km deep, 10 km east of Christchurch, centred near the Pages Road / Breezes Road intersection (i.e. within the eastern portion of the city).

  • Hi eviltwit,

    It strikes me as one of those “earthquake education” things we were talking about the other day (on another thread, I think). Quite a few people had commented that they never appreciated just how long the after shocks go on, and how frequent they are.

    There’s quite a game on twitter under the #eqnz hastag of tweeting guesses for the magnitude before geonet release their reviewed magnitudes 20-30 minutes later.

  • The aftershocks continue, of course… I’m only mentioning those above magnitude 4; there are smaller aftershocks, too.

    Sat, Mar 26 2011 2:11 am (NZDT): Magnitude 4.3, 11 km deep, centred 10 km north-east of Christchurch at the Marine Parade – Lonsdale St. intersection, right next to the shoreline at New Brighton.

  • Several buildings are being moved to Christchurch by road (i.e. on the back of trucks), notably unused classrooms from elsewhere in the South Island. Two were reported as being moved from the ‘Deep South’—well Balcultha—in today’s Otago Daily Times. Former classrooms from Dunedin have previously been moved north. The article reports that in total around 100 classrooms are being moved from around the South Island to Christchurch. (I’m left thinking that driving long-distance to Christchurch you might find yourself competing for road space with a building or two.)

  • And the aftershocks continue. Tonight a magnitude 4.2, not within the city, but generally-speaking nearer to the epicentre of the Sep 4th earthquake. 8:40pm, 10km deep, near Charing Cross (intersection of Bealey and Telegraph roads).

  • Friday April 1st, 4:45pm

    According to numerous news reports, Civil Defence has announced that

    – at least 184 buildings in the inner city require major work.

    – 128 are marked for demolition

    – 37 require partial demolition

    – 12 require remedial work

    – no high-rise building are considered fully safe at this point in time.

    – 7 buildings are identified as critical (taller buildings close to infrastructure, roads or endangering other buildings): Rolleston Court apartments, New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education, Community House, BDO Spicers Christchurch, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Harcourts Grenadier, & Kenton Chambers.

    – A full list of buildings to be demolished is to come “soon”.

    Other news:

    – “Quake ID cards” to be issued for entry into “red zone” (inner central city that is cordoned off).

    – Complaints about demolition teams salvaging contents from buildings.

    Further news at http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/

  • Magnitude 4.0 aftershock, centred at the end of Huntsbury avenue, 6km deep, within 5km of Lyttelton and Christchurch.

    Before I left to study in England, I took up rock climbing, figuring there weren’t much in the way of mountains in England! I’ve seen reports indicating that a number of the routes on Castle Rock, on of the places I learnt to climb have been—to choose a word—‘altered’.

    People are still be asked to restrict their water usage (e.g. not to water gardens, wash cars, etc.)

  • via GeoNet: Magnitude 4.0 centred just outside the entrance to the estuary mouth (where the Heathcote and Avon rivers merge to enter the Pacific Ocean). Depth 10km, 10km to east of city centre.

    Vehicle recovery sounds in full swing, with a team extracting them from the central areas of the city centre. (Spare a thought here that it’s been more than a month since the earthquake now.)

    Civil defence summarise their current focus as:

    “The focus for Civil Defence is getting the boil water notice lifted, sorting traffic issues, making the central city safe to enable businesses and residents back in to return and to recover sewerage systems and other services and facilities.”

    Advice to boil water and limit use of toilets remain. Those with chemical toilets are being asked to use them, likewise those with portable toilets in the street, to ease the load on the sewerage system.

    A full list (at the time of writing) of buildings to be demolished, partially demolished or made safe can be found here:


    (I see that at least one building—The Mayfair building—is on the list twice, under different street frontages.)

    A PDF Q&A download for the newly-formed The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority can be found obtained here:


    “Contrary to the ‘Triangle of Life’ viral email from a self-professed expert, Drop, Cover and Hold is the best advice for New Zealand and is endorsed by all civil defence, science and emergency services agencies. ” – see:


    Further at http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/ and elsewhere.

  • One thing I haven’t touched on is that number of displaced people living in other’s houses. As I have slowly been getting back in touch with everyone over the past few weeks, there is a pattern of many people putting up others in their houses, many because they have lost their homes, or have had them declared unsafe. Also, some boarders from schools need accommodation.

  • 9th April, 2011. The request to boil all drinking water was lifted last night in Christchurch, Lyttelton and Bank Peninsula. Sewerage remaining a problem in many areas.

  • A large aftershock occurred at 5:50pm today (Sat. 16th April, 2011), magnitude 5.3, 11km deep, centred near Camp Bay to the east of Diamond Harbour.

    I’ve been lax in adding to this thread, partly as I’ve since I’ve been easing off since my recent trip up to Christchurch and partly as I’m unsure how many if any remain following it! My apologies to those that are still taking the feed.

  • Some early information via tweets from the aftershock earlier tonight. Own comments in square brackets.

    Most of those in the twitter ‘magnitude prediction game’ had it as around 5 or slightly more. These guys aren’t bad at guessing the magnitude. (Experience…)

    Various reports of telephone and power outages, and more rocks falling from the crater rim. (The latter is unconfirmed, but other tweets independently say the same thing from different locations.) One local complains it knocked over his beer. (Priorities are in the right place – ?!) Various reports of minor breakage (stuff on shelves falling off, TVs falling over, etc.)

    @michaelmurfy Michael Murphy
    Riccarton mall has been evacuated. #eqnz
    [Biggest shopping mall in Christchurch; Saturday night shopping I’d guess. It’s busy place.]

    @NathanaelB (Nathanael Boehm)
    Power out in at least Sydenham and St Martins. Phones down in Kaiapoi. Felt in Oxford. Rockfalls in Sumner. #eqnz

    @TelstraClearNZ (a NZ internet provider)
    #EQNZ Approximately 34 roadside cabinets down – various services down due to loss of power – Stay strong #Christchurch

    More later (perhaps! – no promises here…)

  • Some of the more ‘personal’ tweets are interesting:

    @chloemcinnesuk Chloe McInnes
    House just kept on moving and crashing. I have dye in my hair! Not a good time #eqnz

    _AnnyMa Anny Ma
    Nothing quite evacuates customers at closing like a massive fucking quake #eqnz #chch

    dyedredlaura Laura Campbell
    if my backyard wasn’t messy from the party before, it is now. All the empties have toppled over! #eqnz

    gutterkitten ashley t
    yeah, the boy needs to come home now. i can handle big aftershocks, just cant handle them alone. #eqnz

    kiwiskivi Sam Kivi
    Knocked four guitars over. Need guitar rack with seismic isolators #eqnz

    HerrSchnapps Jade Montagu
    Crazy how quickly Riccarton mall disintegrated into chaos as people panicked. Run sheeples, run! #eqnz

    fauxparse Matt Powell
    Well. In the middle of wedding speeches about how this relationship had survived so much #eqnz-related disruption, no less.

    hirendpatel Hiren Patel
    First proper aftershock while driving. Felt like I drove over something big. #eqnz

    mcela871 Lauren McEwan-Nugent
    swaying lampposts in Riccarton #eqnz

    alanmcox Alan Cox
    I hate sitting in silence and darkness and hearing the distant sirens. #eqnz

    ardrigh Dagan McGregor
    Typical Australians, they were feeling left out of all the #eqnz discussion, so they went and organised their own earthquake
    [Trans-Tasman rivalry for those from overseas…; see next tweet, too]

    waihekenews Waiheke News
    Chch quake & Q’land quake almost simultaneous and both M5.2 #eqnz

    NathanaelB Nathanael Boehm
    Now enough about Christchurch, how are people in Queensland Australia after that 5.4 they had 30 minutes ago? #eqnz #qldquake

    I can’t keep up… 200 tweets while I gathered the ones above…

  • Reports are landlines are overloading: use texts.

    More snippets via twitter:

    pixelcabbage Lawrence Smith
    Nice welcome home by #eqnz from Samoa. Yes, we missed you too 😉

    kiwiskivi Sam Kivi
    That scared my pig #eqnz
    [For those from overseas, some people have pet pigs. It’s a long story.]

    TelstraClearNZ TelstraClear
    Our Network in #Christchurch is stable – Tech’s repairing a few faults. Any outages will be due to power. Will keep y’all posted #EQNZ

    geekstuff geekstuff
    Burst water main … bottom of Moncks Spur, Redcliffs. #eqnz Cellphone quality sorry. twitpic.com/4lfxlv

    ProducerMatthew Matthew K
    Photo: Rockslide in Sumner, New Zealand following aftershock #eqnz twitpic.com/4lg2iv

    [Seems the power is coming back on in places already; might be a safety switch-out? Reports suggest the landline and broadband outages are due to power cuts. Several people are asking after the Grand Chancellor hotel in the central city, which is sumping but still standing. Reports are landlines are overloading: use texts.]

    I’d better run and sort out a late dinner… hope people up north (Christchurch) are OK and look after yourselves everyone!

  • Possible damage reports:

    @NathanaelB Nathanael Boehm
    @psychedalicpunk Some stock at supermarkets, a sink, a couple trapped in a house, I heard of a house fire too? #eqnz

    @psychedalicpunk Chelsea
    There are reports the roof of the Stanmore New World has partially caved in #eqnz

    @ProducerMatthew: New photo: Earthquake damage to a sink in Christchurch, NZ via @georgiasteel16 – http://twitpic.com/4lfr05

    @TuataraGuy Des Hosie
    #fire crew have closed road at intersection of Stanmore & Worcester due to power lines falling during aftershock crews on scene #EQNZ #CHCH

    Reports are that due to violent shaking power sub stations had automatically shut down and will be restored by around 8pm. (These reports cite Orion chief executive Roger Sutton.)

  • The tweeter who had dye in her hair, i can totally relate to!

    Poor CC. I hope everyone is okay!

  • News & a little more twitter humour:

    Smaller, aftershock that followed; magnitude 4.1, 8:40 pm, depth 9 km. Within 5 km of Diamond Harbour.

    @ChristchurchCC ChCh City Council
    Please stay home and limit your travel as there is more liquefaction and some traffic lights are down http://ow.ly/4BzVC

    @ChristchurchCC ChCh City Council
    Police are checking the Lyttelton, Cass Bay and Port Hills areas after reports of minor rock falls

    @ChristchurchCC ChCh City Council
    Orion confirms power was back on in all areas 7.50pm. Great work!

    @ChristchurchCC ChCh City Council
    Rock fall on Evans Pass Road, damage to eastern road – motorists are asked to take care. http://ow.ly/4BAjS

    @CatoAnt Cato Antoninus
    @NZquake That 5.3 had me treading water jogging by Pioneer Stadium. Saw gym windows shimmer. Gym rats had after-shock grins.

    @ChristchurchCC ChCh City Council
    Latest Public Information Update on this evening’s aftershock http://ow.ly/4Bzz5
    — this report includes “The Strategy Building in Victoria Street is now leaning. Roads in the vicinity, including Montreal have been closed.” The tweet below includes a photo:

    @Magna_Quies Sandy Wilson
    Strategy building pre quake, sounds a gonner now http://www.myplace.co.nz/listing/CCH10102

    @ssheere01 steve sheere
    Hark, the dulcet rumble of a teenie aftershock #eqnz . Its gonna be one of those nights I think. Time for a large Pinot Noir.

    @beck7747 Rebecca Brocherie
    Fuck. You know it’s a decent aftershock when you can feel the loo rolling round like a swissball under your bum

    @monique_TV3 Monique Devereux
    Recommending Sav Blanc as #eqnz deterrent. Only three of us felt that shake due to excessive consumption following 5.3.
    [They’re referring to later, smaller, aftershock that followed; magnitude 4.1, 8:40 pm, depth 9 km. Within 5 km of Diamond Harbour]

    A number of people are tweeting a link to an xkcd cartoon that I posted in an earthquake-related article I wrote a while ago: http://twitpic.com/4kzlwg

  • For further local information, try the Canterbury Earthquake website: http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/

    Jmilbs Jonathan Marshall
    I’m guessing the 4.1 one hour ago was an aftershock of the aftershock of the aftershock of the Sept quake. #eqnz #aftershock

    @monique_TV3 Monique Devereux
    #eqnz bastard broke the things we bought to replace the things that sept broke which we replaced after Feb! GRRRRRR more Sav Blanc pls.

    kimbakerwilson Kim Baker Wilson
    Our reporter in ChCh says the Strategy Building is now in process of being demolished
    [If this is true, they’re not mucking around – see earlier comments tonight.]

  • rpg,


    I did at one point think to join in the “You know you’re from Christchurch…” articles that popping up a while back. Basically, it was a series of jokes starting with that line. They showed nicely little realities of the situation. If you hunt around with google you should find a few.

    I guess I ought to explain why I was wondering if this is of any use. It used to be that when there was a decent aftershock, I’d see a surge of visits to this post. Now I get surges of visits to an article I wrote in response to comments about astrologer Ken Ring’s “predictions” instead.

  • eviltwit,

    As a guy I don’t think I can relate to it quite the same way, but I could imagine if it mussed it up, she’d spend the next few weeks explaining that the awkward streaky look was her new ‘aftershake style’ 🙂

  • More anecdotes and info from various sources (mostly the #eqnz twitter stream). My comments in square brackets in the case of adding a thought to a tweet. The Canterbury Earthquake page for April 17th has the latest updates on practical things, water breakages, etc. As you’d expect, another check of the CBD is underway as already weakened buildings may be further weakened; initial reports suggest that there is limited additional damage. Rocks apparently have now been cleared from the roads, but there are still cautions over some liquefaction on the roads in eastern parts of the city.

    @debworkprogress Deb Robertson
    Why hello 2am! Too many after shocks today make sleep elusive

    @RogoNic Nicola Petty
    With Twitter and an iPhone you are never lonely in an earthquaked city.
    [That’s the impression I get listening in to the twitter #eqnz stream too…]

    @cadetdory Lauren
    A little unnerved to have just received a txt from my Mother saying she thought I had died.. This whole life thing is getting too real

    @johnstewartnz John Stewart
    Back from my walk (circuit of the New Brighton and South Brighton bridges). Lots of new liquefaction mini-volcanoes on or near track.

    @johnstewartnz John Stewart
    Also a few new broken water and sewer pipes bubbling up, especially near the New Brighton bridge.
    [Not good hearing about more sewerage issues.]

    @thegetwit Gareth Thomas
    bye bye Strategy building http://bit.ly/e0V2wE
    [I’ve mentioned this earlier. Others say this building was marked for demolition prior to the aftershock, but the additional damage on the aftershock had moved the demolition forward as it was considered too dangerous to leave standing.]

    @RWynnWilliams Ruth Wynn-Williams
    Near death experience at Briscoes today turned out to be a tiny child shaking the shelves. Not funny.
    [Hahahaha. I can just picture this. Seriously, though, anything that shakes gets an ‘alert’.]

    @wasabhi abhinavkeswani
    RT @malclocke: “new clearway for cyclists on Fitzgerald Avenue has been approved for installation” #awesome #eqnz << woohooo!!

    Some pea-brained vandals burnt down some of the on-street portaloos.

    It’s raining in Christchurch (we’re copping it in Dunedin, too) and a few are discovering the aftershock has moved their roof… (for those overseas, it’s autumn here, with light snow / sleet forecast at higher levels tonight)

    @CraftyLana Lana Wigley
    Poor parents 🙁 just discovered with all this rain & recent #eqnz their roof has moved away from house & water is pissing through everywhere

    @TuataraGuy Des Hosie
    The big crack through the fire station is letting in heaps of rain – umbrellas may need to be issued!

  • “Some pea-brained vandals burnt down some of the on-street portaloos.”

    seriously, the pea brain ought to be strung up by his toes.

  • If you haven’t seen it already, the ‘eqviewer’ website is well worth exploring:


    This uses (very) hires aerial photographs, with both before and after photographs; you can move around to a particular location then toggle between the before and after scenes. Bear in mind it’ll only show the larger-scale damage of buildings that have actually collapsed—plenty of buildings are standing, but with large cracks in them, etc.: that sort of damage won’t be visible from above.

    There’s also some information on what roads are open, approx. locations of portaloos, etc.

  • As you’ll have seen I’m not updating this as often. It’s not I’m not following things or forgetting. It’s just an article by geologists the other day suggested these smaller aftershocks might continue until 2013. I can’t see myself updating this thread for that long… (Astrologer Ken Ring—aka ‘The Moon Man’—has “predicted” aftershocks to end at the end of this month, but even a naïve glance of the drums makes this seem most unlikely.)

    By my recollection, there have been three aftershocks near Christchurch greater than magnitude 4 since I last wrote, and, of course, more between M=3 and 4. The most recent was magnitude 4.1, 10:07pm tonight, 8km deep, centred in the Lyttelton Scenic Reserve (on the Port Hills, above Lyttelton). Locals are reporting this on twitter as two very close together. (The other two, from memory, were on the Southshore spit and a M=4.3 S.W. of the city.) [Bear in mind that while typically a magnitude 4 occurs more-or-less most days somewhere in NZ, these are shallow and right next to or under the city. There was a M=4.5 just a few minutes ago off the coast of the North Island, for example.]

    I read the Christchurch paper occasionally. Little things strike me. A gardening column was exclusively about liquefaction – not your run-of-the-mill gardening column.

    EQC has decided that the February 22nd aftershock will be considered a new earthquake for the purposes of insurance. (That is, new damage will new a new claim with EQC.) Still on the subject of insurance, Western Pacific Insurance has folded, pulling all it’s policies. Others are expressed concern of a lack of cover for ground issues while no building is on the land in between demolition and rebuilding. Some elderly residents who are in retirement units (rest home units, really, next to a hospital) are concerned that they will get back little from the damage and will essentially be left homeless, or well out of pocket. (The stock of rest home accommodation is reduced as you can imagine.) Sorry this is all negative, but there’s a theme here: insurance issues crop up for large events like this.

  • While a fair way from Christchurch, but still in the same province, this morning featured a shallow (9 km deep) magnitude 5.2, at 7:08am, 20 km nor’west of Oxford, west of the Less valley. It’s a pretty wild area, so there will be few people near the centre.

  • Magnitude 4.0 centred in Bromley (one of the eastern suburbs), depth 7km; May 5 2011 at 8:54 am.

    (Note also that this conflicts with Astrologer Ken Ring’s remarks; as expected by geologists aftershocks after continuing after April – see two comments above.)

  • That aftershock was a stones throw from my work. It was pretty intense, quite a few rattles afterwards as well.

  • ShadowMind,

    Yeah, I saw a few people on twitter (#eqnz) saying the same. I’ve only been following up on those with magnitude 4.0 or greater. I imagine all of these are feisty for those sitting right on top of them.

  • And another: magnitude 4.0, 6km deep, centred on Summit Rd on the Crater Rim above Rapaki at 1:23pm, May 7th. (~10 km south of city centre.)

    Some sewerage has been restored to north-east Christchurch.

    One media story for those that might have missed it:


    ODT (Dunedin paper) reports ~$3 million in damage claims for both the Sep. 4th 2010 and Feb 22nd 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. (Makes me wonder if I ought to have filed on for the widening of a crack in the small brick retaining wall behind my house…)

    A few random tweets from #eqnz:

    Gloryr66 (Gloria Shaw)
    My dogs dont move for anything under a 5 now. Finally getting use to earth moving.

    CentrePntMotel (Jeff & Naomi Peters)
    Yippee! I was 4th to tweet that one! #takeitwhenyacan!

    WendyDavie (WendyDavie)
    OMG Screamed in Pete’s ear on the phone, LOL. Me Cashmere he Tower Junction .5 second delay. Still shaking but smiling.
    [Must be interesting to experience the delay in arriving over the phone.]

    rachaelking70 (Rachael King)
    Dear #eqnz, please don’t visit during my toddler’s nap. It wakes him up and I am usually in the shower. Have crying babe and unrinsed hair.

  • Correction: the newspaper reporting ~$3million in earthquake damage claims in Dunedin is the Star, not the ODT (Otago Daily Times).

  • You can view Columbo St., which runs north/south through the centre of the ‘Red Zone’ via TerraLink’s streetcam:


    (It‘s not that clear from a brief peek, but it does provide another viewpoint compared to others that have been offered.)

    And the aftershocks continue:

    Magnitude 4.0, Mon, May 9 2011 at 11:52 am (NZST), 20 km west of Christchurch. Depth: 10 km

    Centred in Rolleston, a new subdivision/suburb west of the city, near the corner of Overbury and Rochester Crescents.

  • Rolleston was woken early at 3:04 am with a magnitude 5.3 aftershock, depth 15km, centred at the corner of Lincoln-Rolleston Rd. and Branthwaite Drive.

    Naturallyenough #eqnz is busy again. I’ll give you a sampling in a few minutes…

  • Just a few minutes ago (9:09am) a magnitude 4.1, also 15km deep near Rolleston. (There was a magnitude 3.4 earlier, but I’m only tracking magnitude 4 or greater.)

  • Have just read a letter from my insurers to say that my house premium (to arrive soonish) is to “is likely to increase significantly” because of the earthquake. Apparently international reinsurers have reassessed their risk in NZ, and raised reinsurance premiums. Naturally, everyone is busy passing the cost on to the consumer…

  • Recent reports indicate that over around “900 building[s] were expected to be demolished in the central city, [along] with another 300 commercial buildings in the suburbs” (Ben Heather reporting on Warwick Todds, Cera interim deconstruction manager). Apparently continued earth movement under some buildings has moved more to be added to those considered for demolition.

  • The haunting hours early this Sunday tossed up three magnitude ≥ 4.0 earthquakes near Christchurch within 2 hours.

    The first was a magnitude 4.0 west of Lincoln, sou’west of where the recent Rolleston aftershocks have been centred (Sun, May 15 2011 1:01 am; Magnitude: 4.0; Depth: 11 km; 30 km south-west of Christchurch).

    The next is a M=4.6, centred at the head of Menzies Bay, on Bank Peninsula, to the nor’west of Little Akaloa, sou’east of Christchurch (Sun, May 15 2011 2:25 am; Magnitude: 4.6; Depth: 10 km; Details: 20 km east of Christchurch).

    Next has been a M=4.0, centred on the Lyttleton harbour heads, immediately east of Little Port Cooper (Sun, May 15 2011 2:40 am; Magnitude: 4.0; Depth: 9 km; Details: 20 km east of Christchurch).

    Twitter was comparatively quiet about it, perhaps in part because they were slightly further from the city, in rural areas.

    A NZ Herald article cites electronic payment figures to suggest 1 in 7 people left Christchurch following the Feb. 22 earthquake: nzh.tw/10725729. Personally I think has an obvious flaw: many people are leaving for a few days to take a break, then return. It might suggest the number of people out of town on a typical day, but my suspicion this will be substantially higher than the number of people who have left on a longer-term basis. Another issue is that I know a lot of sporting and cultural events are being shifted to nearby towns, with Chch people travelling out to them.

    If you search twitter using ‘SAI Expo’, you’ll pick up tweets of the meeting discussing future plans for Christchurch.

    (Updated to fix link.)

  • The eastern end of the Greendale fault is busy again with a magnitude 4.4 at 12:41 pm this May 17 2011, near Prebbleton (10km sou’west of Christchurch), 7km deep.

    Fairly modest reaction from the twitter #eqnz crowd. A number of people are saying that it’s not that easy to distinguish from the gale force winds battering their houses. (Gusts were forecast to around 120km/p/hr.)

    @lilmagoolie (Maddie)
    Nothing like a lurch at lunchtime!

    Christchurch Town Hall and Convention Centre will apparently remain closed until the end of 2012.

    Central city (Red Zone) residents that want access to retrieve property, etc., are being asked to sign up for access by May 31st:


  • There’s been a lot of attention on deaths and buildings in earthquake reportage, with very little on injuries. This article is about the rescue and recovery of an aftershock victim who broke his neck when his bicycle front wheel went into a pothole in an aftershock of the Feb. 22nd event. It closes by quoting some orthopaedic surgery statistics, copied below:

    There were 130 orthopaedic operations for quake injuries at Christchurch Hospital in the week after the February earthquake, including:

    31 had a broken hip.

    12 had a spinal fracture.

    12 had a fractured pelvis.

    12 had fractured thigh or shin bones.

    Nine had crush injuries, of whom three were double leg amputees, and two lost a leg.

    20 arm or shoulder fractures.

    12 ankle fractures.

  • New Zealanders may wish to try out a documentary on tomorrow night on TVOne, 5 Days in The Red Zone (Wednesday 9:30pm – 10:30pm), following a rural police team called in to work in central Christchurch after the February 22nd earthquake.

  • Weds, May 25th: A magnitude 4.1 early this morning (6am) centred near the Ferrymead railway yards caused some temporary power outages (depth 7km, within 10km of the centre of the city).

    The documentary I referred to in the previous comment is on this evening.

    The media has carried at least two reports of large-scale looting of inner-city hotels, with the owners gaining access only to find their business has been stripped of many goods. One place reported that—literally—even the kitchen sink had been taken. Understandably this upsets and angers many. (I have bookmarked these stories: if anyone overseas wants them, let me know and I will find time over the weekend to include them here.)

  • The reported probabilities are:

    A 23 per cent chance of a magnitude-6.0 to 7.0 quake in the next year, dropping to a 10 per cent risk the following year.

    More than 90 per cent chance of a magnitude-5.0 to 6.0 shake in the next 12 months, falling to more than a 70 per cent chance in the following year.

    (Citing a likelihood in itself doesn’t not give the precision of the estimate; that would need additional figures specifying the precision, or bounds, of the estimate.)

    Ron: I would suggest you don’t troll on this subject unless you want to be showered on by the public in the way that astrologer Ken Ring has.

  • Grant… Oh, the hypocrisy… How is posting something in the national papers trolling? I haven’t made the forecast… experts from the Government’s GNS have… so why on earth would I expect to be ‘showered on by the public?’ If I was a cantabrian I’d be concerned, if not worried… I’m not, thank goodness…
    Govt agency warns of major quake threat, TVNZ
    Strong chance of another big shake, NZ Herald
    Big earthquake risk put at 23 per cent, Stuff.co.nz
    Risk of big quake risk put at 23%, Radio NZ
    Christchurch warned of another big quake, Monsters and Critics
    Christchurch warned of another big quake, Deutsche Presse-Agentur

    But thanks for caring… 🙂

  • Falafulu, it’s an interesting rush to respond, but, alas, you obviously are not aware that the paper cited was the subject of scientific misconduct… and acknowledged as a duplicate publication of work published some 11 years earlier.

  • Ron, obviously whether it was a duplicate or not is irrelevant. My aim was to point out that scaling/power laws (a tell-tale sign of SOC dynamics or Self-organized-critically of complex system) may the method/s used by scientists today to estimate earthquakes frequency/magnitudes.

    I think that Physicist D. Sornette who first applied SOC concept into earthquakes in a paper he published in (1989) Europhys. Lett. 9 , 197-202. SOC was first put forward by Bak, P., Tang, C. and Wiesenfeld, K. (1987). “Self-organized criticality: an explanation of 1 / f noise” which appeared in “Physical Review Letters 59 (4): 381–384”.

    The references is all there in the article you said it was duplicated. One of the coauthors of the (duplicate) article was the inventor of SOC itself, Prof. Per Bak.

    Google & search for terms/phrases such as, “scaling laws”, “self organized criticality” and “earthquakes” and you can find some recent publications in those topics. I just saw one in Nature journal.

  • Ron, here is one from Geophysicist Didier Sornette , et al, which again he highlighted the unversality of scaling/power laws in earthquakes phenomena. The PDF pre-print is freely available.

    We propose a simple theory for the “universal” scaling law previously reported for the distributions of waiting times between earthquakes. It is based on a largely used benchmark model of seismicity, which just assumes no difference in the physics of foreshocks, mainshocks and aftershocks. Our theoretical calculations provide good fits to the data and show that universality is only approximate. We conclude that the distributions of inter-event times do not reveal more information than what is already known from the Gutenberg-Richter and the Omori power laws. Our results reinforces the view that triggering of earthquakes by other earthquakes is a key physical mechanism to understand seismicity.

    Download : “Universal” Distribution of Inter-Earthquake Times Explained (Appeared in Journal of Physical Review Letters, Volume 97, Issue 7, 2006).

    See, the derivation of Sornette’s main theoretical prediction for the PDF (probability distribution function) of recurrence times (Equation 11).

    There is no doubt that scientists at GNS had read Sornettes’ paper (including hundreds of other similar papers from other scholars).

  • Regards the earlier probabilities for earthquakes over the next few years, these figures apply to Canterbury region as a whole, not just the Christchurch area. As a consequence they ‘read too high’ if reduced to just the Christchurch area.

  • “How is posting something in the national papers trolling?”

    It isn’t, Ron. Your subtext of sneering at government scientists is though.

  • Sneering? Qui moi???? No… just taking the mickey out of their precise figure of 23 percent!

    Carol, did you see them all backtracking on the TV news tonight?

  • Ron,

    Grant, you’ll note I referred to Cantabrians…

    So? My point stands. It wasn’t in reply to you either (if I’m replying to someone, I name them), but was a general note because it’s been incorrectly presented (or misread) elsewhere.

    mayor Bob Parker and GNS Science are downplaying predictions

    No, they put it in it’s context. The opening paragraph you’ve paraphrased in writing “downplaying predictions” is TV3’s not GNS’ or Parker’s words. Parker and Gerstenberger’s words are:

    Parker told ONE News that when the regional prediction was broken down to Christchurch the figure for the city dropped to 5%.


    “Gerstenberger told ONE News the chance of a large quake hitting the Christchurch metro area was about 6%.

    “What we’ve actually calculated is the 23% probability for the entire aftershock region. So that’s looking much beyond Christchurch,” Gerstenberger said.”

  • Ron: no, I missed the TV news.
    It does seem that the way in which this forecast was initially released was not ideal, and as Grant said – some explanatory context was needed. If you dispute that figure of 23% probability for the whole region perhaps you should take it up with the hazards modeller who came up with it.

  • Carol,

    It originally came to wider reading via a city councillor’s blog (Sue Wells). She, in turn, got it from Sutton, the chairman of CERA at a CERA meeting/event.

    My impression of the TV3 news (not the article, the 6pm new bulletin) was that they mixed messages. To me that emphases the need for this to be clarified.

  • Carol, my cynicism relating to the figure is that it was expressed as a precise number… 23%… the fact is they have very little idea…

    I recall Dr John Beavan endorse Mark Quigley’s statement that vague assertions of increased earthquake likelihood are not useful… surely gns’s chrystal ball predictions fall into that realm?

    [Ron – As you will have noticed the main aim of this thread is to serve as a news feed for others, e.g. those overseas. I’m happy for the odd discussion, but your over-working the one thing with persistent snarky “objections” is disrupting it’s purpose. If you really must continue making a nuisance of yourself, this thread is more appropriate.]

  • Grant, this has nothing to do with Ring… It is GNS making the forecast… so the discussion belongs here… I wasn’t aware SCiblogs was for people overseas… Can’t see that written on their website… Peter, can you refer me to that policy?


    [Try here or one of the several other earthquake-related threads I’ve written. You choose. Just not here, please; you’re disrupting what is intended as a news feed. (Last call.) I did not say “sciblogs is for people overseas” – lifting words out of context to bully is silly.]

  • Ron, you can’t bully me as to how run to my own blog. I’m just trying to manage this thread for what it is intended to be, esp. for the sake of other readers. Use this if you prefer. (Note: you’re one strike down now.)

  • “I recall Dr John Beavan endorse Mark Quigley’s statement that vague assertions of increased earthquake likelihood are not useful…”

    For goodness sake, Ron, this is completely dishonest. If you would bother to read Mark Quigley’s website you will find that he has no problem at all with the GNS predictions.

  • From Friday June 3rd, 5pm, more of the CBD will be opened to public access. The areas opening are Zone 6 and the south-east corner of the Red Zone. Details here

    Warnings have been circulated on collecting shellfish. Norovirus—usually associated with infected faeces or vomit—has been found in river outlets. (With sewers damaged, some sewerage has been pumped into the rivers.) Safe areas for collecting shellfish are north of the Waimakariri River and from Taylor’s Mistake, south. See Christchurch District Health Board (CDHB) post-earthquake warnings update, dated May 31st, e.g.:

    “Warnings remain for the waterways of Avon/Otakaro and the Heathcote/Opawaho rivers, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai, and Pegasus Bay beaches adjacent to Christchurch because of ongoing sewage discharges.”

    The CDHB are also reminding people that the flu vaccination is free for those under 18 living in Canterbury. (It is also free for pregnant women, anyone who has a long term illness, or people aged over 65 years.) There is also contact information for those who have lost the main form of heating in their house due to earthquake damage, and other general information.

  • And so they continue: magnitude 4.1 at 11:07am, June 4th, 7km deep just south of Rolleston, ~20km from the centre of Christchurch. Curiously reported by only a handful on #eqnz as a “wobble”. Hmm.

    The Saturday papers have summaries from geological surveys, finding several new small faults under Christchurch and one off-shore. At present I can only find the media reports, not a written account from GNS/GeoNet, etc.

    The International Film Festival *will* be coming to Christchurch 🙂 Aug 11th- Details: http://www.nzff.co.nz/ (There is a shortage of entertainment in Chch at present.)

    An excellent pictorial blog of a visit to Christchurch:


  • At 9:24am a magnitude 5.5 aftershock centred just S.E. of Rolleston occurred (15km deep, ~20km from the centre of Christchurch).

  • Oh rats, I’m forever forgetting our comments don’t give the date: for the record it’s June 6th.

    Initial reports are any damage is minor (e.g. things falling off shelves), but widely felt—as far as away as Omaru*—and described on #eqnz as long and wobbly.

    One tweets says that this was the sixth largest aftershock since Sept. 4th 2010. (Need to verify, but see Canterbury Quake Live.)

    On twitter:

    @OrionNZ (Orion New Zealand; power company)
    No power outages after this morning’s 5.5 quake. Power cut in parts of Fendalton and Ilam not related – expected back on by 10.30

    followed by:

    Hurray! Power back on in Fendalton and Merivale. That gurgle is the sound of 1000 coffee machines starting up… #eqnz
    (* One account says also felt in Dunedin, but I’m erring on the side of caution)

    @pharmacopaeia (Erin Harrington)
    Time for another round of mark the new cracks in the foundations with chalk.
    [The idea is to put a chalk line perpendicular across cracks; if they move further, the chalk lines on either side of the crack will move to be out of alignment.]

    @hdpaONENEWS (H du Plessis-Allan)
    That 5.5 shake in Chch had our journalists under desks during the morning conference call.

  • June 6th, 2011. Aftershock at 5:04pm, immediately N.E. of Rolleston, ~20km from centre of Christchurch, depth 10km, magnitude 4.5.

    EQC has ruled that the magnitude 5.5 earlier today will be treated a new event for the purpose of insurance.

    The Christchurch City Council has reported ‘no significant damage’ from the magnitude 5.5 aftershock this morning.

  • Several aftershocks around midday:

    12:29pm Magnitude 4.5 Just south of Oxford (11km depth, this is a fair way from the city, but in the region of the September 4th 2010 earthquake)

    1pm Magnitude 5.5, 10km east of Christchurch – just off Taylor’s Mistake (11km depth)

  • Darn, forgetting our blogs don’t show dates – that’s Monday June 13th.

    Some commentary via #eqnz

    – a smaller aftershock occurred shortly after the M=5.5; details not yet up

    – strongly felt (unlike reports of the previous 5+)

    – reports of items falling of shelves in Riccarton Mall (that’d be ~20km west of the 5.5) and in houses, cupboards etc. “emptying”

    – reports of some more rocks down in Sumner (“car tire sized” by one account)

    – some power interruptions and phone line issues

  • 5.5 was a real doozy! Anyone know of any good science jobs outside of Christchurch? 🙂
    Temporary evacuation of a number of buildings around town and the sound of sirens across the city. Fingers crossed injuries are minimal.

  • Smaller aftershock at 1:08pm (June 13th) is now reported as magnitude 4.4, same depth & close to source of magnitude 5.5 (i.e. Taylor’s Mistake).

    Police say no reports on injury. Some reports of liquefaction. Phone lines seem to be overloaded; TelstraClear is asking for people to keep the lines clear. 10 roadside cabinets out.

    Apparently it’s knocked 0.8 cents of the $NZ-US rate. (True?)

    Several reports of sirens and building evacuations (e.g. Riccarton Mall, University of Canterbury)

    One report of land slip at Sumner (H/T NZ Herald)

    No further: twitter is reporting “over capacity”…

    Thanks for the update Michael, feel free to add any local news.


    @dannews (Dan News)
    RT @NZStuff Police say a building on the corner of Stanmore and Worcester Street has collapsed and people were feared trapped inside. #eqnz

  • More on-going news:

    Telecom is asking people to use texts, not land-line calls.

    @nzherald (nzherald)
    Fire Service spokesman says crews have been called out to 38 incidents, including a house fire, bust water mains, and liquefaction. #eqnz

  • Twitter (#eqnz) as usual is providing an excellent news stream, although I have to admit it’s unsettling to get news feeds like this when most people you know (relatives etc.) are up there and you’re elsewhere.

    Tip for twitter users: change the filter from ‘Top’ to ‘All’ to see all the tweets.

    I’m trying to filter some of the more relevant tweets for readers as a service:

    @TelecomNZ (Telecom New Zealand)
    Mobile and fixed network operating well, but with some congestion. Use txts where possible: http://cot.ag/lUKX6G

    @typemark Mark Spurgeon
    Crack has appeared in Durham st over bridge Sydenham side @ChristchurchCC #eqnz yfrog.com/keifpdj

    @mckenzin (Norman McKenzie)
    Dust has billowed out of the inner city red zone, indicating the collapse of buildings. #eqnz

    Police saying *no* additional rock fall in eastern areas – opposite to previous comments immediately above.

    @rqskye (Judi Frazier)
    MT @NZStuff Per Bob Parkr:Unconfirmd reports injuries w/in cordon wher dozns of demolitn contractrs hav been workng #eqnz #Christchurch #NZ

    Various businesses, libraries, polytech, etc., are closing for the remainder of the day as a precaution.

    @rqskye (Judi Frazier)
    MT @NZStuff Update: #Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) has closed the campus for the rest of the day.

    @sethjnz (Seth Jones)
    twitter is great, but sometimes incorrect info spreads way to quickly, such as that rumour of a collapsed building on Worcester St
    [true – take these notes as ‘unconformed’]

    Damaged (v. collapsed) building in earlier report has apparently been cleared by police – no reports of injuries. Good to hear. H/T NZ Herald.

    @nevrar (Andrew Drake)
    Centra hotel in CBD has wall on a lean now according to @newstalkzb bulletin

    @NZStuff (Stuff.co.nz News)
    Update: Two people rescued from St John’s church in central Christchurch.

    @hydrostrat (Timbo)
    Beagle has run away again!! She hates earthquakes! If anyone sees a tri-colour beagle let me know.

  • Early tweets of another large aftershock just coming in. Massive spike on the geonet earthquake drums. Details soon.

    @TheNewsBlotter (Chris)
    RT @NZStuff: UPDATE: 6 ppl taken 2 Christchurch Hospital w/ moderately serious injuries as a result of falling building material.

  • […] is scheduled to appear at 12:51pm, February 22nd – a small nod of remembrance to last year’s aftershock that hit my hometown. Rather than offer an essay, photos or videos I ask readers to spare a […]