Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Major Earthquake

Christchurch was hit by another major earthquake today- 6.3 on the Richter scale but only 5km deep and 10km from the CBD. We felt it here in Timaru (160km south of CHCH). I was just ending a class and it was one of those awkward situations, do we stay in the room or bolt for the evacuation centre in the field outside the classroom- I had not faith in the desks in our room. Fortunately the quake stopped before we had to decide- but the main jolt lasted a good 30-40 seconds and we knew straight away that if it was strong where we were tehn CHCH was likely to have been badly hit.

Most students went home as many had family they were concerned about. The earthquake was less powerful on the Richter Scale than the one last September but much shallower and caused much more damage to the city. So far 65 people have been confirmed dead but the death toll is likely to rise. The September quake stuck at 4am so caused minimal damage to people, this one struck in the middle of lunchtime and the CBD was badly hit and damaged. Tonight many people remain trapped in buildings.

Luckily all my wife and my families are safe and well although it took some of them several hours to be reunited with their children, which must have been very stressful.

Christchurch's iconic Cathedral in the heart of the city has been badly damaged and indeed people are assumed to have been killed when the spire collapsed.

The numerous of earthquakes since Sept 4 have weakened a number of buildings and today's quake meant they were unable to withstand this one.

A number of people are believed trapped in the PGG building which fell like a pack of cards.

As a result I am no longer sure if I will be going to Wellington for the Wargaming Champs this weekend, we may have far more pressing issues making sure family and friends are safe. We are also likely to cancel Day of Days next weekend as the people in CHCH who were coming down have far more pressing issues.

My thoughts go out to all the people of Christchurch who have been affected by this disaster.


  1. Best wishes for both your families. May they stay in good health.

  2. It is unfortunate that those of us who live on or around the pacific need to contend with quakes. Hope you and yours are all safe!

  3. Until September CHCH was not thought to be at major risk- evertyone expected big quakes to hit Wellington as it is directly on the Alpine fault where the tectonic plates meet. No one knew there were fault lines near CHCH until the
    September quake.

    Have managed to hear from all our familly members there now but still trying to cntact friends.