Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Devastating Earthquake in Christchurch

As I presume most NZ in Tranzit readers will probably know, after riding out a 7.1 richter scale earthquake in September last year with no loss of life, Christchurch was hit yesterday by an extremely violent type of aftershock of 6.3 richter scale.

This earthquake has essentially taken out almost every older building in the city - a city renowned for its traditional buildings and English charm, its lovely old world elegance.  It destroyed almost all the older heritage buildings that had survived the original quake. This latest quake occurred in the lunch-hour and the massive widespread collapse of buildings or their facades caught thousands of people at work or out on the streets in their lunch hour. Several modern hgh rise buildings also suffered chronic structural failure. How many people are buried - dead or alive - under rubble remains unknown, though rescue crews have saved several dozen from beneath fallen buildings.

To put it mildly this changes everything. For ever. I have no idea where the future will carry Christchurch. Or at a more personal level my own life or NZ in Tranzit,  debating options for the future of public transport in Christchurch. The sort of critical analysis and advocacy I post here seems suddenly trivial in a city which will probably have to reroute its bus service to avoid the CBD for months and possibly downsize its bus system, as well everything else merely to struggle to stay afloat for the next few years.

Please excuse me if postings remain somewhat only erratic in the coming months. In the meantime  I hope the ideas suggested here, whether for local projects (that can translate to other situations) or in general, will continue to inform and inspire. Thanks.


  1. Thanks for telling readers that you're alive. Hoping for the best for you and your family.

  2. Thankyou Jarrett - what can I say this is a most ghastly tragedy, appalling loss of life. My home(a housing coperative set-up which includes the large 1862 built gabled brick house I have lived in many years) has managed to stay standing and upright after three violent earthquakes and countless minor ones since September 4th. This said it is now so cracked it may be beyond repair and has been declared unsafe to enter. In the circumstances it seems a very small loss. Everybody who has suffered property loss seems to feel and say the same thing, that it is nothing compared to the suffering of those whose families have lost loved ones. In the midst of heavy hearted grief and devastation we also feel huge gratitude. With business at a standstill we mill around or volunteer, but I suspect will also take refuge, rest and escape in the minutae of overseas transit systems, just to get away from the current situation.

  3. Good to hear you are ok. We’re ok here too.

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