Category Archives: Earthquake

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE : Christchurch: Lonely Planet boost for tourism

Christchurch’s determination to rise from the rubble has been richly rewarded with a spot in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities worldwide to visit in 2013. The NZ Herald reports

MY COMMENT : Great news for a great New Zealand city – whose heart has been hurt by quakes…

Link to Liturgy’s Earthquake articles 

It’s expected that a nod from one of the world’s most popular travel guides, which placed Christchurch sixth, will be a boost for the city’s tourism industry that was brought to its knees after the February 2011 earthquake.

Much of the city’s infrastructure was ruined in the quake and 185 people were killed.

Christchurch was singled out by Lonely Planet for the way it was “bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness”.

New Zealand’s second largest city is rising from the rubble… with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair.”

It’s the only New Zealand city to make the 2013 list, while Hobart is the only Australian city to make the cut.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said the accolade was a tribute to the city’s “let’s get going” attitude and creative approach.

He says some visitors to the region came because they were interested in the impact of the earthquake, but most visited because it remains the main gateway to the South Island and is still a “beautiful garden city”.

“This will certainly help the tourism industry… it’s a priceless recognition of all the hard work that has gone on. We’ve been very wounded, international visitor nights in accommodation are down 50 per cent from before the earthquake.

“It’s Christchurch’s `let’s get going’ energy that visitors like. It’s not the old Christchurch that they’re coming to see – like the historical buildings – it’s a city with a bit of energy.”

Mr Hunter says projects like Gap Filler in which dull public spaces, such as spots where buildings had been torn down and removed, display art or offer entertainment, had been popular.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker is thrilled Lonely Planet has picked up on all the exciting new aspects of the city.

“It’s a real coup to get Christchurch included in the list of top 10 cities for 2013. As a regular user of Lonely Planet when I am travelling myself I fully understand the significant value of this recommendation.”

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says this shows the world how far the city has progressed since the quake.

“Hopefully we’re going to see a lot more visitors heading our way as a result of this endorsement,” he said.

Lonely Planet’s Asia Pacific Sales and Marketing Director Christ Zeiher says 2013 will be a great year to visit Christchurch and “experience the amazing energy of the city in its rebuilding phase”.

Tim Dearsley, general manager of Christchurch’s IBIS Hotel which closed after the earthquake hit but reopened last month, says the Lonely Planet listing will bring the city’s recovery forward by a year.

Christchurch’s Double-decker bus tour company Hassle-free Tours is mentioned in the 2013 Lonely Planet guide as one of the best ways to explore the city.

Co-owner Mark Gilbert, who last month won the Pacific Asia Travel Association Young Tourism Entrepreneur Award, says being mentioned in the “travellers’ bible” is a fantastic achievement.

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities 2013:

1. San Francisco

2. Amsterdam

3. Hyderabad

4. Derry/Londonderry

5. Beijing

6. Christchurch

7. Hobart

8. Montreal

9. Addis Ababa

10. Puerto Iguazu


Earthquake shattered illusions of growth

Quakes shakes our reality. The physical impact destroys not just buildings, but changes lives and communities   . Preventing said destruction through improved planning and infrastructure, in the China that is consciously pushing forward, is the challenge. From ‘The Global Times’ editorial.


M5.2 SICHUAN-YUNNAN-GUIZHOU RG CHINA 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Multiple earthquakes struck rural areas of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces on Friday, claiming dozens of lives and wounding hundreds. The news sent shockwaves throughout the country, highlighting China‘s vulnerability to natural disasters and the urgency for strengthened capabilities in disaster prevention and reduction.

A quake as strong as Friday’s, which was measured at 5.7 on the Richter scale, could have caused fewer or even no casualties in a more developed region.

It once again served as a reminder that China has far from having completed its modernization process. The country as a whole is still prone to calamities that prey on its weaker aspects. Three decades of fast development have ushered China into the great cause of modernization, but that time was merely the beginning.

Many poorly constructed houses could not withstand the quake and were reduced to rubble. People who have illusions about China’s national strength have to wake up to the fact that many people still live in houses with similar conditions. It is impossible for them to be immediately relocated to safer ones any time soon.

Society as a whole is by no means affluent enough. For many at the grass-roots level, it is more reasonable to spend their limited disposable income on a slightly better life. Coping with natural disasters has never been a priority for those people, who instead have to count on luck as they cannot afford the costly requirements of investing in precautionary measures.

Many would prefer bigger, rather than safer but more expensive, houses or apartments. To take the time and invest money in the prevention of natural disasters, which are unpredictable and are unlikely to occur, does not seem like a persuasive proposal to many in China.

The fundamental reason for this lies in poverty. There are always more pressing and urgent priorities in daily life for them to spend their money on.

Despite the status quo, we have to act now. Reflection and remedies should be in place. Things cannot be done in one move, but that’s no excuse for remaining idle.

China should seek fast and quality development at the same time. The safety of lives is at the core of such an ideology. Houses, bridges and food should be safer and that’s where modernization should be unswervingly headed.

Upgrades to urban infrastructure should no longer focus merely on their appearance. More people should work toward disaster prevention and rescue. Any infrastructure work should put safety above all else.

Indeed, safety comes at a cost. But it also brings more development opportunities and wealth in the meantime.

Source :

Christchurch anniversary : Childrens poems

Christchurch quake anniversary : recalling the ugly, considering the future

 Taken from the Port Hills overlookingChristchurch when the quake hit.

As New Zealanders remember the earthquake of 22nd February a year ago, a range of media have covered many aspects of the event. Here I attempt to summarise some of my own thoughts and facts… 

*** Quake factsheet at my re-launched Learn From Nature blog | follow me at twitter

Just as Christchurch was beginning to recover from the huge impact of 4 September 2010 earthquake, a massive aftershock delivered an even more deadly and destructive blow to the city. News reports of the Anglican Cathedral without its characteristic tower, flashed across the internet and newspapers. In January, NAEE co-chair Henricus Peters visited his family who lives there to see the city for himself.

Out of sight, out of mind. Such folly, as we all know now, when it comes to nature. Many Cantabrians probably thought a major earthquake would not happen in their lifetime, despite occasional warnings from scientists, council planners, engineers, and Civil Defence workers that there was still a good chance it would.

The threat was, it was thought, might be from the Alpine Fault, which runs through the western spine of the South Island. Instead, it was hidden or ‘blind’ faults, under the Canterbury Plains. What happened on Saturday 4 September 2010 at 4.35am and continued on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12.51pm, proved to be damaging …. Canterbury’s fertile plains are the result of millions of years of mountain building, glaciation and river action. These deposits masked the greywacke bedrock with its tell-tale splinters and cracks resulting from the pressure of the colliding Australian and Pacific tectonic plates [1].

Vast amounts of energy were released in the first few hours of 22 February, changing the shape of Christchurch. The Port Hills are 40 cm taller in places, and Port of Lyttelton is now several centimetres closer to the city.

Everyone has been affected by this natural disaster, turned human disaster for all those who have lost loved ones and property. Schools are sharing premises, since of their locations has been devastated and is now ‘red zoned’ – cannot be occupied.

182 people died as a result of 22 February. This was because a shaken city was now rocked and people were inside these already-affected structures.

21 – the number of earthquakes exceeding magnitude 5 since 4 September

247 – number of earthquakes exceeding magnitude 4 since 4 September

6016 – number of earthquakes detected in Canterbury since 4 September

563 million – number of hits on GeoNet in the six days after 4 September

Christchurch has been presented with a rare opportunity. We have the chance to build a better city. Christ’s College [2], where my brother teaches, has lost a large number of buildings. They are now designing far better, more sustainable premises, which will benefit future generations of students.

Acknowledgements: 1. ‘Earthquake’ by Chris Moore; The Press.  2.

Links :

Quake latest : Christchurch rattled (again)

English: The Pyne Gould Building following the...

Image via WikipediaNew Zealand—A series of strong earthquakes struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.

A series of strong earthquakes struck the city of Christchurch on Friday, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee into the streets. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.

One person was injured at a city mall and was taken to a hospital, and four people had to be rescued after being trapped by a rock fall, Christchurch police said in a statement. But there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or widespread damage in the city, which is still recovering from a devastating February earthquake that killed 182 people and destroyed much of the downtown area.

The first 5.8-magnitude quake struck Friday afternoon, 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of Christchurch and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Minutes later, a 5.3-magnitude aftershock hit. About an hour after that, the city was shaken by another 5.8-magnitude temblor, the U.S.G.S. said, though New Zealand’s geological agency GNS Science recorded that aftershock as a magnitude-6.0. Both aftershocks were less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The city’s airport was evacuated after the first quake and all city malls shut down as a precaution.

About 60 people were treated for minor injuries, including fractures, injuries sustained in falls and people with “emotional difficulties,” Christchurch St. John Ambulance operations manager Tony Dowell told The Associated Press.

“We have had no significant injuries reported as a result of the earthquakes today,” he said.

Warwick Isaacs, demolitions manager for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, said most buildings had been evacuated “as an emergency measure.” The area has recorded more than 7,000 earthquakes since a magnitude-7.0 quake rocked the city on Sept. 4, 2010. That quake did not cause any deaths.

Rock falls had occurred in one area and there was liquefaction — when an earthquake forces underground water up through loose soil — in several places, Isaacs told New Zealand’s National Radio.

“There has been quite a lot of stuff falling out of cupboards, off shelves in shops and that sort of thing, again,” he said.

Isaacs said his immediate concern was for demolition workers involved in tearing down buildings wrecked in previous quakes.

“It … started slow then really got going. It was a big swaying one but not as jolting or as violent as in February,” Christchurch resident Rita Langley said. “Everyone seems fairly chilled, though the traffic buildup sounds like a beehive that has just been kicked as everyone leaves (the) town (center).”

The shaking was severe in the nearby port town of Lyttelton, the epicenter of the Feb. 22 quake.

“We stayed inside until the shaking stopped. Then most people went out into the street outside,” resident Andrew Turner said. “People are emotionally shocked by what happened this afternoon.”

Around 26,000 homes were without power in Christchurch, after the shaking tripped switches that cut supplies, Orion energy company CEO Rob Jamieson said.

“We don’t seem to have damage to our equipment,” he said. “We hope to have power back on to those customers by nightfall.”

Hundreds of miles of sewer and fresh water lines have been repaired in the city since the February quake.

One partly demolished building and a vacant house collapsed after Friday’s quakes, police said.

Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale said the quakes came at the worst possible time for retailers, with people rushing to finish their Christmas shopping.

Despite the sizable quakes, there was no visible damage in the central business district, where 28 stores have reopened in shipping containers after their buildings were wrecked by the February quake, he said.

“Hopefully tomorrow we’ll be feeling a little bit better again and restoring our faith in the will to live and to stay in Christchurch,” the city’s deputy mayor, Ngaire Button, told National Radio.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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