property video Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city. Amid the devastating destruction caused by earthquakes almost a decade ago and a recent terrorist attack, the city has emerged as a global symbol of hope.
A drive down Fendalton Road offers a glimpse into the top-end properties that have set a new record for the suburb. It’s where rugby legend Richie McCaw and his wife live.
The February 2011 earthquake
The 22nd of February 2011 was a dark day in the history of Christchurch. The earthquake was the most deadly natural disaster in New Zealand’s modern history, killing 185 people and causing major damage to land, buildings and infrastructure.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake was centered 10km south-east of the city centre at a depth of 5km. It caused more damage than the 4 September 2010 quake, with many buildings and streets being left in ruins. This was largely due to the liquefaction of Christchurch’s eastern sections. The shaking turned water-saturated layers of sand and silt beneath the ground into sludge that squirted upwards through cracks in buildings. This resulted in heavy damage to some houses and significant disruption to water, power and sewage services.
In the central city, buildings were extensively damaged and many were deemed unsafe. Some of the more historic brick and mortar buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Christchurch Cathedral and the venerable Christchurch Provincial Council Chambers. Other historic buildings in the city’s business district were also badly damaged, particularly those built before 1900.
Thousands of businesses were relocated out of the central city, and a cordon was placed around the area, restricting access to unsafe buildings. This had a significant impact on the economy, and slowed the pace of recovery in the city.
Aftershocks are smaller-magnitude earthquakes that follow a principal, or main, quake. They result from the sudden release of stress that has built up within and between rocks during the main quake.
Although they are weaker events than the principal quake, some aftershocks can cause significant damage. In some cases, they can also hamper rescue efforts by further destabilising buildings and other structures that have been weakened by the principal quake.
Harper Bush, 10, is a talented singer who’s put her talent to good use in a music video to promote her family’s home in Christchurch’s North Brighton. The video was posted on Trade Me and Harcourts’ websites this week, with the aim of attracting interest from prospective buyers. It has already received over 17,000 hits.
Christchurch’s city centre, east and south suburbs were devastated by the February 2011 earthquake, and the central business district was closed indefinitely, impacting 50,000 central city jobs . Outlying towns such as Kaiapoi and Lyttelton suffered significant loss of commercial property.
The city of Christchurch (population 350,000) is located on the eastern edge of New Zealand’s South Island, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Its foundation consists of late Quaternary alluvial gravels that built up over time as river deposits from the Southern Alps. The city is vulnerable to shaking and liquefaction due to blind faults beneath.
Since the February 2011 earthquake, a series of major aftershocks have added to the damage caused by the February quake. In addition to building damage, water pipes, roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed by liquefaction and landslides. Power lines, cell phone towers and ordinary telephone lines were broken or lost.
Several long-term response research initiatives have emerged to support the city’s recovery. These include community-based ‘soft infrastructure’ projects such as Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, which have revitalised the city at a street level. They also contribute to social cohesion and cultural renewal. Cohort-linkage studies show that the most damaged residential areas have experienced greater decline in quality of life than less-damaged communities. This is primarily because of the financial burden of repairing and rebuilding residential properties.