Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 


Christchurch – the only place with a cordoned off inner city

Christchurch Earthquake 2011 - Central City Footage from Gerard Smyth on Vimeo.

March 22, 2010

- By Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media

Quake-rattled Christchurch – the only place in the world with cordoned off inner city


Earthquake-devastated Christchurch today is the only city in the world without a central business district.

One month on since the fatal February 22 earthquake, the most English of New Zealand cities is a city no more. The inner central area is still cordoned off to the public.

The people of Christchurch have not been allowed into their central city area for a month. Businesses have not been allowed into the business district (CBD) since February 22 when the quake killed almost 200 people and caused more than $30 billion damage.

Around 80,000 people of a greater city area of almost 500,000 people fled Christchurch after the quake. Some have returned; many will never return.

One month on, Christchurch is still under a national state of civil emergency.

Around a third of the city’s sewage pours into its English-named streams and rivers without reaching the main treatment plant.

The city’s highest building the Hotel Grand Chancellor is in danger of collapse. This is a city under siege and struggling to function. People are battling to function.

Just thousands of Christchurch householders are in temporary accommodation. More than 10,000 homes have been lost to the quake’s violent shaking. Possibly a third of the inner city will be demolished. Most churches have been destroyed.

People are suffering significant distress as confirmed by the national Civil Defence controller John Hamilton.

Water is too contaminated to drink without boiling it. Power has been restored but thousands of homes are relying on emergency generators which may not be enough to heat water for showers.

The earthquake has left 100,000 homes with damage. People’s lives are in disarray.
The future is uncertain.

Christchurch, the garden city, was one of the most liveable and safest places in the world. None of that applies any more. It’s etched in the unnerving faces of people who still remain. People don’t smile so much any more.

The spirit of Christchurch has been buried in the wreckage of the terrifying quake that ripped through the biggest South Island city at 12.51pm on February 22.

A weather forecaster, who works by the moon, predicted a big earthquake for Christchurch a few days ago. People already frightened fled the city for a few days expecting Armageddon. Just a 5.1 earthquake rattled those that remain. Christchurch is recovering, very slowly, but nerves are frayed and life is on a knife edge.

The city’s biggest sporting brand, the Crusaders rugby team, has lost their ground, AMI Stadium, and will not play a home game in Christchurch this year.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

HiveMind Public Engagement Report: NZers Want Stronger Action On Sugar

Over December 2016 and January 2017, Scoop hosted a trial community engagement exercise on the issue of Sugar and Public Health on our new HiveMind platform... Most promising was the fact that there was much agreement from across a wide range of participants from different backgrounds and perspectives on potential solutions to some of the accepted public health challenges we face around sugar. More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: Land Of The Long White Egalitarian Myth

New Zealand has earned its reputation. Its quality of life is consistently ranked among the highest in the world... New Zealanders themselves report extreme satisfaction with their lives. All of these accolades cover up another truth, however: New Zealand hasn’t been a social-democratic paradise for a long time now. More>>

Alastair Thompson: The Role Of A Free Press In Defending & Fostering Democracy

The arrival of Trump is a wake-up call – not just to the Anglosphere and the developed world - but to our entire planet: Democracy, it turns out, is much more fragile than we thought. More>>

OPENING THE ELECTION:

Related:

Lyndon Hood Satire: In Which My Computer Develops A Bug

When I arrived at the office this morning I found a message typed on my computer. It was poorly capitalised and punctuated – as if it had, for example, been written by a very determined medium-sized insect flinging itself against the keys one by one... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news