Christchurch Earthquate - February 22, 2011

Back on September 4, 2010, a powerful earthquake shook the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Thankfully there wasn't significant damage to most prominent buildings and things got back to normal fairly soon.

About 6 months later, on February 12th, 2011, we arrived in Christchurch. We had a lovely ten days to enjoy this beautiful city with its rich collection of heritage buildings. Yet as we explored the neighborhoods, studying the urban form, we noticed that many buildings, mostly older, were damaged but still standing, awaiting demolition or refurbishment as the work of recovery from the earthquake continued.

Then, on February 22, 12:51 PM local time, the City Centre of Christchurch was struck by another violent earthquake!

We were in our hostel, Old Country House, at that moment. There was a deep rumble and the building starting shaking quite violently from side to side. We just dropped to the floor and clung to the walls to keep from falling. As the shaking subsided we hurried outside to find all our housemates huddled together, many quite disturbed, waiting for what might happen next. Fortunately no one was hurt. A number of aftershocks followed, one quite violent, but our hostel held up with virtually no damage.

As reports started to filter in, we began to learn of the extensive damage to the central business district, only about 1 miles from where we were. The authorities immediately sealed off the area so we couldn't see for ourselves and relied on the same news coverage all of you had.

Over the next few days we walked around our neighborhood to see what had happened.

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