Christchurch rocked by mag 7.4 earthquake

The details are sketchy as the sun has just come up, but there are reports of widespread damage, the airport is closed and the civil defense folk have activated the national response centre.

I’ve already heard from one Green party member downtown, whose doing alright. The Press has finally put out something worth reading.

Our thoughts are with you Christchurch! For those of you, like me, who have eaten half of their earthquake kit and ‘borrowed’ the batteries, it’s time to revisit the Get Ready, Get Thru website and rebuild that kit!

Here is a fresh report from MSNBC, with more details than The Press report above.

Tell us how you are doing Christchurch!

This page is being updated by Chch Civil defense.

50 thoughts on “Christchurch rocked by mag 7.4 earthquake

  1. It’s actually not particularly bad out here in the east of Christchurch. Water is down, and electricity was done until an hour ago, but the only damage I’ve had is one broken glass in the sink. Looking around my street I can’t see too much other obvious damage for anyone else either.

  2. y’know how hubbard claims to be pretty close to ‘the big fella’..?

    d’yareckon he called in a favour…?

    ..asked for christchurch to be smote…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  3. y’know how hubbard claims to be pretty close to ‘the big fella’..?

    d’yareckon he called in a favour…?

    ..asked for christchurch to be smote…?
    .
    Perhaps the timing of the quake would indicate the grace of God. If it happened a few hours latter many people would have likely been killed when those facades and brick work came down.
    Thank God it happened when it did.

  4. Very nice of god to only cause widespread financial damage, except for that guy who’s chimney fell on him. I wonder what he did to deserve that!

  5. Valis, Did God tell us to settle on one of the most tectonically active pieces of real estate on the planet? Did the people of Christchurch not know that the area is prone to earthquakes?

  6. Did the people of Christchurch not know that the area is prone to earthquakes?

    Shunda, I would suggest that the people of Christchurch would have been more concerned about the threat of flooding than the threat of earthquakes (don’t forget that Christchurch is built on a flood plain).

    Perhaps the timing of the quake would indicate the grace of God. If it happened a few hours latter many people would have likely been killed when those facades and brick work came down.

    Agreed – we can be grateful that thus far, there have been no deaths and only two serious injuries.

  7. “Who will be the first lefty(or dopey Nat for that matter )to step up and invoke the fallacy of the broken window re this disaster…?”

    The explanation of this sounds just like the standard measurement of wealth – GDP. So I guess a ‘mainstream’ economist is the most likely first candidate.

  8. It was an earthquake.. NOT A POLITICAL OPPORTUNITY !!

    But it IS…..Try telling your mates at the Standard and Red Alert different.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/thank-the-regulators/

    September 2010 at 10:04 am
    Quote:“It is most definitely a reminder of why we have standards and why those standards need to be maintained and not left to the “free-market”.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/09/04/christchurch-earthquake/

    Quote:”I’ve been following events since 6am on National Radio – what a great service!”

    Ok…maybe rather innocent sounding but I still smiled at what I saw was a subtle dig at any suggestion it should be sold.

    The “payback for the SCF bailout” jokes are already circulating…

  9. Power came back on in my suburb at about 3:30pm. Water was restored a few hours before that. I know of chimneys down on old houses.

    The weather is fine with light winds, but tomorrow’s forecast is for southerly gales, so some people will be busy securing tarps on rooves, etc.

    We still feel a number of aftershocks, some big enough to consider moving to doorways, but none lasting any significant time.

    A number of road bridges are closed – whether because of known damage or because of suspected damage I don’t know. Apparently the CBD is a mess and is cordoned off by the Police. I’m guessing that it is the old buildings that have taken the biggest hits.

    Trevor.

  10. Only recently geologists discovered a number of fault lines much closer to Christchurch than was realised at the time. Because of the flood plain, we were led to believe that the buildings would be isolated to some extent, but liquification could be an issue for the larger (heavier) buildings. I would be concerned about tsunamis, which is why I have never considered owning property close to the beach.

    Trevor.

  11. Oh Rand!….its started happening on Kiwiblog…..

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/09/massive_south_island_quake.html#comment-736165

    Looking for the silver lining, will this be a tremendous boost to the economy? The reconstruction effort will require a national effort. If you’re in the building industry in chch, you’re gonna have a bit of work.

    That sort of “logic” is what handycaps this country so badly from being really propsperous and having a far higher standard of living.

    Lets burn down all our houses to stimulate the building industry while we are at it….

    uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!

  12. Given the exceptional qualities of the lean-to’s and sheds that… oh wait, they’re called HOUSES here…. that most New Zealanders relish so much (that bracing cold fresh air just does wonders for… oh wait, you mean it is INSIDE the house?… for the sinuses).

    An opportunity for repairing some substandard stock perhaps? Not much of one though. Which is good… but the need for rebuilding a lot more than what the earthquake damaged, remains.

    respectfully
    BJ

  13. James – You seem to want to scrap with “lefties” but don’t appear to realize that “lefties” aren’t what we are. We’re Greens. We have a few lefty ideas but we aren’t I suspect, the people you appear to be guessing we are.

    Would you care to argue in favor of using GDP to measure economic health? That we will argue against, it is a poor measuring tool and the people who devised it recommended against using it as it is used today.

    Would you care to argue in favor of greater globalization? That could get a rise.

    However, you will find very few of those radical left stereotypical characters in our ranks. There are some, we are certainly a bit left of center collectively, but that is not what defines us. We are Greens first.

    BJ

  14. “…It was an earthquake.. NOT A POLITICAL OPPORTUNITY !!..”

    you obviously haven’t yet seen bob parker leaping into every camera shot/background possible…

    ..and positively oozing unction as he does so…

    eh..?…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  15. THE END OF CIVILISATION

    4.30 this morning I was awakened by a loud shaking then I realized that it was an earthquake.

    In Lake Coleridge we are used to tremors and I thought it was the alpine fault, I never thaught it would hit Christchurch so hard.

    For those who think that the rebuilding would be good for the economy must have a warped sense of values, the buildings that fell were the most beautiful samples of the old world.

    The friendly old buildings that gave Christurch it’s character.

    I fear the monstrosities that are going to be erected in their place.

    This could even spell the end of civilization!!!!

  16. CAN I MAKE A REQUEST?

    Can anyone in Christchurch tell me what state those pink buildings in New Regent st are in?

  17. Some of us are a lot closer to the epicentre than Christchurch is, yet have suffered verging on zero damage. Kaiapoi and south of it appear to have been walloped, but north of Kaiapoi there is no visable carnage, and everything is working normally.

    Christchurch is also hit and miss – the kids houses (and the kids!) are all OK, but one of their places of work is trashed, as are many older and bricky places. Lots of chimneys down. Seems the wooden structures just went with the flow, but the permanent materials places fractured and failed.

  18. “I’ve been following events since 6am on National Radio – what a great service!”
    But did you hear him play. Beach Boys, Good Vibrations!
    Near the end of the song the announcer realised what was on, came back on, apologised and tried something else.
    Priceless!

  19. James – You seem to want to scrap with “lefties” but don’t appear to realize that “lefties” aren’t what we are. We’re Greens. We have a few lefty ideas but we aren’t I suspect, the people you appear to be guessing we are.

    You seem to hold to all the usual fallacys…minimum wage laws,horror at 90 day trials,foreign ownership,no “asset” sales,job creation ansd social equality by state redistributive spending etc etc…

    Would you care to argue in favor of using GDP to measure economic health? That we will argue against, it is a poor measuring tool and the people who devised it recommended against using it as it is used today.

    While its one tool its not a prime one for me.The economic freedom index is a far better guage to where a countrys at….the freer and less regulated countries with strong but limited rights protecting governments are the obvious winners in the economic health stakes.

    Would you care to argue in favor of greater globalization? That could get a rise.

    Define globalization.If you mean true free trade between consenting individuals in different countries of course I would endorse it….it makes us all richer and lessens the chances of war etc….more of it I say.

    If you mean over regulated,politically managed “globalization” with WTO’s,taffifs etc that actually prevent free trade and consign many millions of the worlds poorest to permanent poverty then I would also oppose that…as I do now.

    However, you will find very few of those radical left stereotypical characters in our ranks. There are some, we are certainly a bit left of center collectively, but that is not what defines us. We are Greens first.

    Well on many issues you sure fooled us!If you stuck to true enviromental issues you would probably find much less conflict with the rightys and Libertarians like me.And with an open minded approach to ALL ideas about how to preserve and protect the enviroment,like private property rights etc you may find yourselves making greater headway…but those ideas are regarded with horror by the Greens …and thats because they conflict with basic socialist dogma re public ownership and equality of outcome,which underpins the modern enviromental movement at least since the sixtys.

  20. Phil, It’s every “leaders” job to be seen, and to be seen to be “in control” in the aftermath of every natural disaster. Or is their something in the election campaign manual requiring all mayoral contenders be given equal airtime?

    A more important question is why their was no plan to keep the bus service operating when council has known for at least 12 years that earthquakes are the biggest natural threat to Christchurch and that the CBD would be badly affected by facades falling into the streets. Surely the Red Bus depot or AMI stadium, both near CPIT and the one-way system, could have been designeted as an emergency BusXchange. The route network is based on buses travelling from one suburban extremity to an opposite compass point suburban extremity with all the various routes hubbing in a central location. That hub function is vital but it is not vital that it occur within the CBD during an emergency. This might be an problem in other centres as well so the Greens should find a way to highlight this issue so that effective action is taken.

  21. “..Phil, It’s every “leaders” job to be seen, ..”

    that’s all well and good … in theory…

    but have you seen him…?

    he positively oozes out of/all over the screen…

    (yr monitor/screen needs wiping after his appearance..)

    and i keep expecting him to break into a sob…and the cry..

    ‘won’t someone think of the children..!’

    he hasn’t so much got his heart on his sleeve..

    as he his holding it out in front of him…

    ..impaled on a stick…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  22. Yes….the sooner Jim “triple dipper”Anderton is elected to continue his bludging on the public tit the better eh Phil?

    He must be steaming at the free good publicity Parker has been handed by this quake.

  23. given parkers’ record…

    (just how much has he spent..?..whoar…!)

    even a ‘triple-dipper’ would be financial-relief…

    ..and if nothing else…anderton is an ‘organiser’…

    he’s the perfect man for the job…

    …parker ‘emotes’ better tho’…i’ll give you that…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  24. “Ok…maybe rather innocent sounding but I still smiled at what I saw was a subtle dig at any suggestion it should be sold.”
    James, dear boy, how self-centered of you! Not everything is about you, you know!
    Deb

  25. @Kevyn
    My understanding is that the buses are not running because of damage to the roads. I suspect that they will also need to check the bridges before allowing the buses to cross them with passengers.
    If it were only access to the bus exchange that was the problem, then I don’t see why the Orbiter and Metrostar would be affected as they don’t run through the bus exchange or the central city at all.
    Trevor.

  26. One of the concerns that they had yesterday morning was getting power to the various cell phone sites etc before their backup batteries ran flat. Fortunately most people heeded the call to avoid using their mobile phones except for urgent calls. However the weather was nice and sunny – perfect for running these sites from solar panels if only they had been fitted with them.

    Incidentally I never saw any suggestions in any media that texting was preferable to cell phone calls – not only does it save the batteries in the cell sites but it also saves the batteries in the cell phones.

    Trevor.

  27. Fill Ewe, what should Bob Parker be doing? Talking about veganism and dope smoking? Sometimes you really are an f-wit. The media seek a spokesperson, that’s what the mayors job is.

  28. you like a good public ‘emote’..d’ya sam..?…

    well..parkers’s yr man…eh…?

    and if you have seen his multiple appearances…

    you will know he just says the same feckin’ thing…over and over again..

    (and don’t get me started on his sad-puppy-dog-eyes muggings to camera…

    he is not so much a ‘ham’….as a walking porker…)

    and how about all that christchurch-‘heritage’..?..eh..?

    who knew it was all just a facade…?

    ..eh..?

    (and speaking of ‘christchurch-facades’…have you seen bob parker on the telly..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  29. The BIG story is that this massive earthquake in a major city has resulted in zero deaths. The timing had much to do with it of course because most people were safe at home in their lightweight timber framed suburban beds.
    Had they been in offices many would have been turned into hamburger my moving filing cabinets etc.

    The low damage level is a tribute to our engineers scientists and our building codes.
    Hopefully more people will be aware that “solid brick” is not your best friend in an earthquake.
    Of course we know that Christchurch is subject to earthquakes. That is why there has been a major programme for strengthening older buildings. Every part of NZ is at risk of earthquake. It’s just some are more at risk than others.
    The light timber frame is the ideal construction. I remember a seminar on earthquake design from an expert who had just returned from the great Alaskan earthquake. I house, which could have passed for any bungalow in Auckland, rolled down a steep hill during the earthquake. The window panes remained intact.
    Remember, an earthquake of this magnitude killed 230,000 people in Haiti. Mud bricks may be romantic but they kill you in an earthquake.
    Also those people who have to leave their homes do not have to worry about squatters. They have secure title to return to.
    It is also amazing how quickly services etc are being restored. There is little one can do to prevent underground effects such as broken pipes and gas lines.
    The response time is remarkably good.

  30. Owen,
    The rapid and effective response is an unintended consequence of the government reorganisation in the 80s. Once responsibility for funding earthquake research was decentralised money finally was made available to investigate the Alpine Fault. The conclusions published in 1998 stung infrastructure providers into action. Since then CCC has been using more expensive quake resistant pipes in all it’s renewal projects. Most importantly Dr Yetton’s analysis of damage reports from historic quakes provided CD and emergency services with information on where liquifaction and masonry failures were most likely to occur within the greater Christchurch region.

    Unfortunately Transit has been able to do little more than identify those bridges and slopes that are at risk of failure during an M8 Alpine earthquake or any other quake that might deliver MM9 ground motions to critical highway lifelines because, in a repeat of what happened between 1927-1929 and 1965-1975, for the last six years 10% of South Island petrol taxes have been sent to the North Island instead of being spent preparing for the big one. Since all of that money came from Canterbury and probably most of it from Christchurch we should very soon have an announcement from Joyce and the Auckland Mayoral Forum that the tender process for the Waterview Connection has been cancelled to allow those several hundred million dollars to be repatriated post haste.

  31. Fascinating to see how concerned you ” lefties” are about the biggest natural disaster in our history for decades. Pull the other one BJ Chip, greens, lefties , who gives a rats arse what you call yourselves . I’ve never seen people sieze a poorer moment to sieze a political opportunity.
    Pitiful,get off your lazy idealogical arses and do something useful for people in a great deal of strife.

  32. PPs,

    my comments were directed as much at the commentary from the green mps on this blogsite as they were to this particular thread….. before you ask.

    [frog: If you make those sort of allegations against Green MPs, you should provide links to substantiate them. Please don't try to make political capital out of what is a tragedy for many people in Canterbury.]

  33. The low damage level is a tribute to our engineers scientists and our building codes.

    I agree with you there Owen, although we should also remember those who died in the Napier Earthquake – it was because of that disaster and the horrid death toll that those regulations well and truly started coming into force. It was because we learnt those lessons that days like Saturday morning, and like the 2nd of March 1987, we have had serious earthquakes without the serious death toll or the serious injury toll.

  34. My understanding is that the buses are not running because of damage to the roads. I suspect that they will also need to check the bridges before allowing the buses to cross them with passengers.

  35. john-ston
    YOu are right to draw attention to our response to the Napier earthquake. It was a timely wake-up call and since then whenever we might be getting complacent another jolts reminds us of the need for eternal vigilance and ongoing research.
    I was privileged to be in a position to assist with the development of lead rubber bearings as part of base isolation systems which have made bridges and critical buildings more quake resistant.
    I was discussing the energy absorption process with a physicist and he explained that the four inch nail is a useful energy absorber and makes a contribution to the performance of timber framed buildings. He was confident that a quake many of the nails in your typical house would to too hot to touch.
    We licensed them to Californian companies and there has been a massive regtro fitting of bridges throughout the US – they learned that lesson from the last SF quake when bridges collapsed and closed down the network.
    Katrina was not a quake but reminded us that elevated highways are the best route for emergency evacuation because they are not prone to flooding or rubble falls. Contrary to what some seem to believe public transport is virtually useless at times like this because it does not take people where they want to go and people cannot take any belongings or pets.
    My worry about Waterview and the viaduct extensions is that both go underground and more importantly below sea level. Consequently they are likely to be full of water in a Tsunami disaster and we know that people’s fear of tunnels increases dramatically when earthquakes are running around the neighbourhood.
    Then people run out of gas in panic and they take ages to clear.
    So head for the viaducts and high highways and think of the scientists whose base isolation systems have made them safe.

  36. I take offense at that allegation frog, Ive spent the last few days helping people in the field affected by this event.I was surprised to see the lack of interest in the topic from your mps on this blog plain and simple , given the coverage it has recieved on other “political” blogs. if that is because the greens are out there doing stuff to help people then fine, but dont even think of accusing me of making political capital out of it.

  37. Heres my take on the god thing (not that I believe) but consider this
    people didnt die, so everyone is like praise be to god, god has blessed Christchurch blah blah

    did christians consider god was perhaps punishing Christchurch in the same way he did the the city of Sodom for its sins ?

    Look at Haiti for instance, practictioners of black magic, drugs and prostitution are rampant, gods will, gods anger or simply nature ?

  38. “Look at Haiti for instance, practictioners of black magic, drugs and prostitution are rampant, gods will, gods anger or simply nature ?”
    IMO, nature combined with capitalist exploitation. And I am a Christian.
    Deb

  39. Cadastral updates are now a routine part of the national survey.
    Whole countries like New Zealand are on the move both laterally and up and down.

    The cadastral update is now much more systematic because of satellite GPS technology.

    There will definitely need to be an update after the Christchurch earthquake and will follow international protocols. Eg look at the Fiordland update here:
    http://www.landonline.govt.nz/about-landonline/newsletter/200911/esurvey.asp#4

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