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Christchurch Earthquake Aftershocks Oct 20 2010

The Rebuilding of Christchurch

Look online at the ‘Christchurch Quake Map’ to see just how many mini earthquakes are hitting Christchurch every day. It is really interesting to see this recorded activity.

Campbell Live just last night , the 13th October 2010, gave us good information on the progress thus far in Christchurch, where an earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck on the 4th September 2010.The rebuilding of Christchurch is estimated to be at 4 billion dollars. An extraordinary amount, and the Christchurch mayor who was interviewed on ‘Campbell’ indicates that, eventually this will enable the city to thrive. He says that, in a time of economic recession, to have that kind of money pouring into the city will really give it a boost. There will be lots of work available in Christchurch over the next few years for tradesmen. Builders, electricians and plumbers will not be short of work.

On the news tonight, though, we were told that many people in Christchurch still do not have their sewage system restored. Parts of Christchurch will NEVER have their services restored, because the houses are still sinking and are dangerous to live in. Many people have been struggling with lack of services, including no toilet systems, for around six weeks now. Parts of Christchurch have become deserted and are like ghost towns, because the people have given up and gone. One state-housing area was pictured on the news tonight, and this area which has been home to many people for years, has had the houses condemned by council and are now awaiting demolition.

It was so fortunate that no one was killed in this earthquake. Many people are homeless now, and they will have many challenges in the future to get themselves settled again. But what a wonderful thing that no lives were lost: This would have made the hardships just so much worse, and perhaps unbearable for some people.

Loss of many lives occurred in Haiti when the last earthquake struck. Loss of life occurred in Chile recently – also as the result of an earthquake. We feel for those many people in these countries who are coping with the loss of loved ones, as well as the problem of survival and of having no where decent to live.

POSTSCRIPT: Today is the 19th October 2010, and those aftershocks are still happening down under in Christchurch. Mark Sainsbury covered the story in full tonight on Channel One’s ‘Close-Up’ programme.

Christchurch people are still under enormous stress, as they simply can’t tell when another aftershock is about to happen, or another major earthquake, for that matter. Fran Virtue, a clinical psychologist, said that people are sleep deprived and that the whole community is suffering because of the uncertainty about the situation.

One of the biggest aftershocks since the 7.1 quake which struck on the 4th September 2010 happened today, on the 19th October 2010. Since the 4 September earthquake, ninety five aftershocks have been experienced in the same vicinity as the first major earthquake, but this aftershock was the largest, being 5 on the Richter scale, which is a pretty substantial shake-up. It occurred at only 9 kilometers underground, and at a distance of only 10 kilometers South West from the center of the first. This is just too close for comfort for Christchurch people. Many people ran out of their houses this morning when this aftershock occurred. There are an estimated 50,000 homes in Christchurch so far have to be repaired or rebuilt. Let’s hope that the city will not suffer any more devastation and that they can start to rebuild things.

It seems that modern science cannot help us as far as alerting us to an oncoming earthquake or aftershock. Professor Kevin Furlong, an earthquake researcher who has been on ‘Close-Up’ before, appeared on the programme tonight. He simply said that aftershocks can be expected for a couple of months after a major earthquake, but that we cannot tell how large or small these may be, or how long the aftershocks will go on for. He said that earthquakes at the level of 1 or 2 can sometimes be experienced for up to a year after an earthquake. He explained that the main section of the fault line ruptured on the 4th September, and that these smaller shakes are occurring on the ‘little gaps which didn’t rupture in the big earthquake’.

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