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Thread: Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Christchurch New Zealand

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Christchurch New Zealand

    Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Chch
    Breaking News Updated 07:17


    A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck about 30km west of Christchurch at 4.35am today, leaving extensive damage in the city.

    Emergency services have been inundated with calls for help following the quake which had a depth of 33km.

    Police said power to Christchurch was out and sewer lines had been damaged, and that part of Avonside Dr had been damaged and could not be driven on.

    Structural damage to houses and broken glass was being reported from throughout Christchurch, while damage and power outages had been reported from as far away as Dunedin.

    A Timaru resident told NZPA he was awakened by the shaking. His house was groaning and a bedside lamp crashed off its table.

    A man who lives in the southern Christchurch coastal suburb of Southshore described the quake as "incredibly long and tortuous".

    He was on the second floor of his house and could feel the house "twisting and fracturing around our ears", and it had been left "on a bit of an angle".

    Photographer David Alexander, of suburban Opawa, told NZPA the aftershocks "just keep coming". His house still had power but street lights were out.

    Alexander said his wife was from Japan and had experienced worse shocks but she said this was a pretty good one.

    Their 103-year-old villa had withstood the onslaught well but there was broken glass and china everywhere, and "a very frightened cat under the bed".

    Christchurch man Chris Hutching said the water mains had burst in his St Albans neighbourhood and that "chimneys are down all around us".


    Radio NZ said police had shut down the central city for safety.

    Christchurch Airport was closed and officials were checking the runway.

    Police said there was a lot of road damage around the city, mostly towards the west end.

    Damage was reported from Taitapu Hotel, and there were reports of possible minor injuries.

    Power out

    Roger Sutton of Orion Energy told ONE News that almost the whole of rural Canterbury is this morning without power.

    Half of the Christchurch central business district was without power and most of northern Christchurch, he said.

    Power was shut down so that the safety of the network could be assessed.

    No Tsunami threat

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said no destructive widespread tsunami threat existed based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.

    But earthquakes of this size sometimes generated local tsunamis that could be destructive along coasts located within 100km of the earthquake epicentre, it said.
    The gods obviously disaprove of my putting new smileys on the forum as no sooner had I done so than the earth moved.:blush:

    The depth has been re-estimated as 10km deep rather than 30.

    Best comment so far: The Darfield publican, Darfield being the epicentre, having lost twelve thousand dollar worth of stock was asked how he felt.

    He replied "shaken, not stirred"
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

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    Pari,

    Heard about this on news and thought of you. Hope you and yours are all safe.

    Time to duck and cover!!!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Chch

    The gods obviously disaprove of my putting new smileys on the forum as no sooner had I done so than the earth moved.:blush:

    The depth has been re-estimated as 10km deep rather than 30.

    Best comment so far: The Darfield publican, Darfield being the epicentre, having lost twelve thousand dollar worth of stock was asked how he felt.

    He replied "shaken, not stirred"
    Obviously you're ok. Am hoping for the best for all of you.

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    Banned tankie's Avatar
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    Take care you guys

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Things are looking good so far, lots of damaged buildings but so far no deaths, cross fingers.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

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    Glad to hear that our favorite friend of the sheep is alright!
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits Chch

    The gods obviously disaprove of my putting new smileys on the forum as no sooner had I done so than the earth moved.:blush:
    I also thought of you the minute I heard about it, and glad to see you are alright. As for the smiley's....thanks....I love'em !!!

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Still no deaths reported though there's a couple of guys in serious condition. As you can see it's the old pre-building code structures using brick that have been the worst, with any luck it'll force this and the other councils to hurry up their forced demolition.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

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    Damn, I had a really good time in Christchurch. I hope things work out ok for everyone there
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Things are looking good so far, lots of damaged buildings but so far no deaths, cross fingers.
    Watch for the after-shocks...keep the bike safe...opps I mean keep everyone safe

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    Señor Contributor Senior Contributor BD1's Avatar
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    glad you (as in person and as in country) came through this without any too serious damage.
    Also good for a change to see a place where a disaster as such does not mean a complete breakdown of society.

    All the luck to you
    If i only was so smart yesterday as my wife is today

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Glad to hear everyone is OK. Now I know why so many Kiwis head to Oz.

    Ironic that the highest death toll of the day was actually a sightseeing plane at Fox glacier. Tough day across the ditch.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    There's good and bad things. Because I'm remote to it the upset for the people doesn't impact me so much and I'm more interested in the infrastructure issues.
    Power to most of the city was back on within two hours. 80% of the city had potable water from the tap within 48 hours. Somewhere between 800 and a thousand homes will be demolished, mostly because of damage from liquifaction. About 10% of the commercial district will be demolished.

    Winners: Infrastructure services, police and Civil Defence performed brilliantly, as did the public itself apart from the usual few looters. A special mention to the structural engineers here and overseas who've been working on securing glass cladding to high rises. not a single pane on modern multi story buildings dropped.


    30km's north east of the city centre with a population of 370,000, 11 kms deep and revised 7.1 on the richter scale. For perspective the 94 North Ridge earthquake in LA was a 6.7 and 17 km deep, with 72 deaths. A TNT equivalent puts the North Ridge earthquake at 168Kt, the Chch earthquake at 670Kt.

    Losers: An idiot vice chancellor of Chch University standing in his library where the massive library shelves had all dominoed. Why? Because they were free standing. If this had happened during the daytime, hundreds of this grinning buffoons students would have been killed and all he could think to do was grin at the cameras and go 'who would have thought?'
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

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    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    New Zealand Quake Smashes Buildings, Rips New Fault

    CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Sept. 5) -- The powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted rail lines around the New Zealand city of Christchurch also ripped a new fault line in the Earth's surface, a geologist said Sunday.

    At least 500 buildings, including 90 in the downtown area, have been designated as destroyed by the 7.1-magnitude quake that struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday near the South Island city of 400,000 people. Most other buildings sustained only minor damage.

    Only two serious injuries were reported from the quake as chimneys and walls of older buildings were reduced to rubble and crumbled to the ground. Prime Minister John Key said it was a miracle no one was killed.

    Part of the reason the city escaped major injuries was because the quake happened before dawn, Key said.

    "If this had happened five hours earlier or five hours later (when many more people were in the city), there would have been absolute carnage in terms of human life," he told TV One News Sunday.

    The quake cut power across the region, blocked roads with debris, and disrupted gas and water supplies, but Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said services were being restored Sunday.

    Power was back to 90 percent of the city and water supply had resumed for all but 15 to 20 percent of residents, he said. Portable toilets have been provided and tanks of fresh water placed around the city for residents.

    Parker said it would take a long time to fully fix some core services such as water and sewage. "Our first priority is just people," he said. "That's our worry."

    Up to 90 extra police officers were flown into Christchurch to help, and troops were likely to join the recovery effort on Monday, he said.

    As the recovery work gathered pace, forecasters warned strong winds would buffet the area, creating problems with flying debris.

    WeatherWatch forecaster Philip Duncan said gale force winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and stronger "could cause serious issues for trees and buildings that were weakened in (Saturday's) huge earthquake."

    Specialist engineering teams began assessing damage to all central city buildings on Sunday, said Paul Burns of the city's search and rescue service. Officials said schools across the region would remain closed for the next two days to allow time to check whether they were safe.

    Canterbury University geology professor Mark Quigley said what "looks to us that it could be a new fault" had ripped across the ground and pushed some surface areas up. The quake was caused by the ongoing collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, said Quigley, who is leading a team trying to pin down the source of the quake.

    "One side of the earth has lurched to the right ... up to 11 feet and in some places been thrust up," Quigley told National Radio.

    "The long linear fracture on the earth's surface does things like break apart houses, break apart roads. We went and saw two houses that were completely snapped in half by the earthquake," he said.

    Roger Bates, whose dairy farm at Darfield was close to the quake's epicenter 19 miles west of Christchurch, said the new fault line had ripped up the surface of his land.

    "The whole dairy farm is like the sea now, with real (soil) waves right across the dairy farm. We don't have physical holes (but) where the fault goes through it's been raised a meter or meter and a half (3 to 5 feet)," he told National Radio.

    "Trouble is, I've lost two meters (6 feet) of land off my boundary," he added.

    Experts said the low number of injuries in the powerful quake also reflects the country's strict building codes.

    "Thank God for earthquake strengthening 10 years ago," the Anglican dean of Christchurch, the Rev. Peter Beck, told TV One News on Sunday.

    Euan Smith, professor of Geophysics at Victoria University, speculated that the very soft soils of Christchurch had "acted like a shock absorber over a short period ... doing less damage to smaller buildings."

    Prime Minister Key, who flew to Christchurch to inspect the damage, said the city "looks like something off a movies set," with wrecked buildings, buckled roads, broken water mains and sewage systems and some flooding caused by broken water pipes.

    Scientists from GNS Science began installing 40 portable seismographs in the region Sunday to record seismic data from the continuing stream of aftershocks. More than 60 had been recorded by mid-afternoon Sunday.

    Seismologists study aftershock sequences to help learn more about the mechanics of the main quake, and to check whether stress in the Earth's crust has been transferred to other faults in the region.

    New Zealand sits above an area where two tectonic plates collide. The country records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year - but only about 150 are felt by residents. Fewer than 10 a year do any damage.

    New Zealand's last major earthquake registered magnitude 7.8 and hit South Island's Fiordland region on July 16, 2009, moving the southern tip of the country 12 inches closer to Australia, seismologist Ken Gledhill said at the time.

    Widespread Damage Caused in New Zealand Earthquake

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    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post

    Losers: An idiot vice chancellor of Chch University standing in his library where the massive library shelves had all dominoed. Why? Because they were free standing. If this had happened during the daytime, hundreds of this grinning buffoons students would have been killed and all he could think to do was grin at the cameras and go 'who would have thought?'
    Let's hope that Vice Chancellor is as high as he goes.

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