Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Earthquake Anniversary

Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Magnitude 6.3
Depth 5km deep
181 people killed

Today is the one year anniversary of the February earthquake in Christchurch.It's been a sad and quiet day. There was something that brought a smile to my a face and a few tears - we have so many orange road cones around the place warning of road damage etc...well people were encouraged to place flowers in the top of the cones, so everywhere today I saw flowers in road cones, it was lovely (unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me)

The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, especially in the central city and eastern suburbs, with damage exacerbated by buildings and infrastructure already being weakened by the 4 September 2010 earthquake and its aftershocks. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, producing around 400,000 tonnes of silt.

I was at work in Lincoln which is about 16 km south east of the central city and although we feel it really badly out there, we had no significant damage. We never really knew how bad it was in the city until the radio stations went off air, which was quite scary as you knew something really bad had happened then. I lived in Christchurch near the central city, and as I drove back into the city, it really hit just how serious the situation was. The roads in a lot of areas were badly buckled and damaged, there were holes and big lumps in the road where there didn't used to be! and liquefaction was everywhere...
They haven't accidentally parked at the beach! but this is liquefaction which comes up from the ground bringing flooding and silt and with it. We has some liquefaction at our house, but not much compared to other suburbs

This is after we had shoved it into piles. We also lost water and power, power was out for 3 days and we had no water for 2 weeks - yes, 2 weeks! So this was our toilet

It was built my my flatmate, and I think it has a nice indoor outdoor toilet freshener needed. LOL We used this for 2 weeks until we had water again, but we still had to boil the water for a further 3 months because of the badly damaged infrastructure. Showers were at any ones house who had water, friends of friends, I could shower at work luckily.

I used to bike on this road!

Whats left of Christchurch's beautiful Anglican Cathedral
Christchurch is recovering from just not one earthquake but more than 10,000 aftershocks, the February earthquake was the second serious earthquake after the September 2010 quake which was a 7.1 magnitude but because it was at 4.35am people were still asleep, and not many buildings in the city fell down.

Even though this is a rather somber post, I have to say Christchurch is rebuilding and we can move on with our lives (the ones that have stayed! a lot of people left the city - can't say I blame them especially the people who's homes where destroyed) and I hope one day we can say that we survived and rebuilt a city from the ruins.

I must say I am a little misty eyed writing this, it is very traumatic living with earthquakes - large and small - you never know when you might get another big one, but you learn to live with them and adapt and also learn a lot, things like:

you can live without power for a few days
an outdoor toilet isn't that bad
and it's amazing how a community can come together and help each other, something we all need to practice once in a while...


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