Posted by: scribe9 | September 4, 2010

Earthquake!

I assume that the rest of the world has now heard about the 7+ (they keep changing the decimal on the Richter scale) earthquake that hit Christchurch during the night. We didn’t feel a thing–it was 500 miles away, and on the other island.

Rick and I remember the major quakes in our lives as having occurred during the night, but the last really big one here–a 7.8 that leveled the town of Napier in 1931 (which is why it’s almost all Art Deco architecture now)–occurred in the late morning, with much more devastation and loss of life. So far, I’ve heard of only two seriously injured by the Christchurch quake.

Christchurch is an old city, as New Zealand cities go, full of old masonry buildings. It also has the lovely Avon flowing through it, and a short streetcar line. I don’t know yet what has happened to all of those, except that the Avon flooded, but here’s what they looked like in December when we were there:

Water is a big problem now– lots of sewer and water lines are broken. On TV they advise people to be careful with their hygiene, and not flush their toilets–I think they could use more specific information!

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