Friday, 23 December 2011

Christchurch's fourth major earthquake event ~ 23rd December 2011

This afternoon earthquakes of Richter magnitude 5.8 and 6, ninety minutes apart shook Christchurch.  The central city has been evacuated as have all shopping malls, and the airport has been closed down.  There is fresh liquefaction in the suburb of Parklands (where I used to live) and thousands of households are without power.

UPDATED INFORMATION AND LINKS HAVE BEEN ADDED WITHIN THE BODY OF THIS ARTICLE

The Christchurch Quake map is always a ready source of information.  They note 5.9, I see.
A similar site, Canterbury Quake Live, provides a slightly different perspective.
When the Magnitude 6 quake occurred I was on the phone attempting to bring cheer to my mother who lives in the Sumner district of Christchurch after the shock of the earlier one.  Her voice dropped away abruptly and was replaced by a sound that I can only describe as being like a freight train passing through.  I was relieved to know she was okay!  Amazingly nothing was broken, even though household belongings have been fairly well secured against such eventualities.  Even at this distance it's shocking and I downed a medicinal brandy.

Hold on, Christchurch!
Any large shake is accompanied by swarms of smaller ones.  Today Christchurch has been shaken by 32 so far, and we still have three hours of the day to go!
  • The first big quake of 5.9 M occurred at 1.58 pm
  • It was followed by one of 5.3 at 2.06 pm
  • In less than an hour there were six quakes measuring from 3.7 to 4.8
  • And at 3.18 pm the biggest one of 6.0 shook the city.  That turned out to be the one I heard over the phone!
  • Then were were three more ranging from 2.9 to 4.6,
  • And at 4.50 pm there was one of 5.1 M.
  • ...And so it goes...
The front page of Saturday's Press on the 24th December showed this wave of high magnitude quakes:
These two articles appeared on The Press website the same afternoon as the initial quakes:
Grace Dalley of Rata Design has contributed that: the Regional council quake website has been reactivated and is a good source of info.  Thank you, Grace.

Further coverage:
There are many ways of measuring earthquakes and their effects.  In the article below the ground acceleration of this particular quake is described:
The student volunteer army has swung back into action once more to help clean up the new mess and lending very practical muscle power:
The call for red-zoned land along the Avon River to be designated as park land is mounting:
Liquefaction and service loss in Parklands - how the locals fared: 
These two articles include comments from residents of the same street: the first reflecting the high of a community which has pulled together against adversity and is celebrating that success; the second reflecting frustration and despair over the grind of on-going difficulties - after yet another earthquake.  These responses are characteristic of Christchurch residents where everyday life is unpredictable and the wear and tear of on-going earthquakes is taking its toll.

All my articles about the Christchurch earthquakes and aftermath can be found via the page linked to below, or at the upper right of this screen:

1 comment:

Grace Dalley said...

Regional council quake website has been reactivated: good source of info: http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/