Poor Christchurch hit by another earthquake

Three years ago, Vee and I visited Australia and New Zealand and had some time in Christchurch. My account of the trip noted of the city:

“Christchurch has been utterly changed, and will experience still more change, as a result of the devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011 which killed 185 people and severely damaged the business centre and the east of the city. We had a short coach tour of the city and our tour director Mark, who grew up in the city, spelt out the extent of the destruction and the challenges of reconstruction. We had a stop of of about 40 minutes next to the Canterbury Museum and Roger & Vee took the opportunity to walk down to Cathedral Square, which is shielded off by railings, so that we could see Christchurch Cathedral which suffered such terrible damage that it may need to be completely replaced.”

Some American friends of ours are currently in New Zealand on holiday and a week or so ago they were in Christchurch. In one of their regular reports, they commented:

“On Saturday, Angela (our innkeeper) drove us to Christchurch’s famed Botanical Gardens and from there we walked to Cathedral Square to meet a “free” walking tour led by a young man who worked for tips. The two-hour walk was interesting and focused on the areas most hit by the devastating earthquake on February 2011 which was just about everywhere. One hundred and eighty-five people died, but thousands more were severely injured and traumatized.

Christchurch was considered New Zealand’s most “English” city and nearly all of the old buildings with their unique architecture is lost. Five years later, Christchurch is still in rebuild mode. Construction activity is accelerating but the process is slow for lack of skilled workers, materials, etc. To fill the need for quick housing and temporary buildings, the government turned to shipping containers. Now, Christchurch, once known as the “Garden City”, is the “Shipping Container” city. An entire shopping area for example, called “Re-Start” has been created out of shipping containers.”

Now we have the report that a further earthquake has struck Christchurch today, but fortunately it appears that nobody was killed or injured.


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