Christchurch yet again

Started Feb 22, 2011 | Discussions
Ralph McKenzie Senior Member • Posts: 2,051
Christchurch yet again

My thoughts are with those in Christchurch today. I have been glued to the TV news all afternoon. You watch these things unfold with a sense of disbelief. As is always the case in disasters there are some great photos. The BBC has a series here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12533722

So for any Kiwis here with relatives in Christchurch, check they are ok when you can.

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justrick Regular Member • Posts: 401
Re: Christchurch yet again

Been doing the same Ralph, been watchin with a lump in the throat at some of the scenes
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skimble
skimble Veteran Member • Posts: 6,178
Re: Christchurch yet again

Just this morning I ask a work mate how things are in Christchurch after the last tragedy and 3hr later I walk into the canteen the TV shows this pictures from today's quake

First I thought they may show some from the last quake till I got closer. Lets hope the earth keeps quiet for some time to make the recovery possible.

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Wellington100 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,743
Re: Christchurch yet again

What a tragedy for such a beautiful city.

Apparently this was not an aftershock from last years quake but a separate quake on a different fault. What bad luck for the city to have 2 major earthquakes consecutively like this.

A couple of years back one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded, happened in the ocean off the South west tip of New Zealand, it was a 9.2 but it caused no damage as it is such a remote area. This one though so much smaller, happened right underneath the city during business hours.

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Richard Senior Member • Posts: 1,032
Re: Christchurch yet again

I just saw it on TV this morning, what a shame!

danny_only Forum Pro • Posts: 11,115
Re: Christchurch yet again

My deepest sympathy to those who suffered from this terrible earthguake, wish both the city and the people recover soon.

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Best Regards,

Danny

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dotbalm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,222
Re: Christchurch yet again

Mild aftershocks can really fray the nerves, I cannot imagine what this is like. Approx 65 killed as of this AM. Bad timing too - midday...

What is interesting to me is this happened in the downtown where at least from appearances the buildings which suffered don't seem to be uniformly old, or of unreinforced brick and this is certainly not the third world where clay is the main building material.

I'd be very interested in the building code angle. I understand the quake was about 6.3 and shallow (est. 5 km) and located beneath the city.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area - was in SF just yesterday to tour Alcatraz with my son - I'm always paying attention to cracks and shifts such as in our streets (I've watched one make its way across the street in 4 years w/only small quakes), buildings, etc. Heck, the Memorial Coliseum where the Cal Bears play football is going to be rebuilt since among other things it lies on a major fault in Berkeley and is old. Where we sit the two exterior walls of the stadium have come apart and are held together by a metal patch straddling the gap. I had all the stucco of our house removed during our remodel since its construction pre-dated the use of shearwall material. We shearwalled the entire house and had that inspected. Feel much better in the case of an earthquake now.

So that is my concern beyond the people aspect: what if anything can/should be done differently in the building code and even inspection process in NZ and elsewhere. In such countries material, construction skill and engineering skill are clearly available. In California we try to be on the leading edge of this aspect of construction, but there is room for improvement especially if you're sitting on a faultline. I'm sure people from here will go to NZ to study the failures and see where any gaps exist in our own code.

In the meantime, I hope the best for those affected.

OP Ralph McKenzie Senior Member • Posts: 2,051
Re: Christchurch yet again

Yes dotbalm , like you folk we too live in a country on the edge of the "Ring of Fire" so while earthquakes are common here just not on this scale.

The building codes here are extremely stringent, especially so in quake prone areas. But as one engineer said, a shallow quake like this under the city was always going to do a huge amount of damage no matter how well built the buildings were, not to mention the road damage.

The majority of the damage in the cbd is to older buildings, most pre 1964 before the building codes were changed. It appears that most of the larger more modern buildings while sustaining damage are realitively unscathed.

The real magnitude of the disaster wont be known until crews get out into the industrial and residential areas. Thats when the damage will show as industrial infrastructure is key to recovery and from what I've seen so far there is significant damage in the outer areas of the city. After the September quake they were looking at 3 years to complete all the damage recovery, now I think it will be closer to 10 years as an enormous amount of housing is now unlivable.
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BobORama
BobORama Senior Member • Posts: 2,591
Re: Christchurch yet again

Finally heard back from a long time acquaintance whose hoise is within a mile of the epicenter. He was visiting friends up along the north coast on vacation. But he has reports from a neighbor that a dozen of the homes around his are a total loss and his own home sustained severe damage. There is no water, sewer, electric, ... pretty much back to the stone age if it were not for cellular communications. But it seems as if there were comparatively few injuries / fatalities compared to what was possible.

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