Christchurch Earthquake Case Study 2011
Following the 7.0 on the Richter Scale earthquake of 2010, Christchurch, in New Zealand didn’t expect to receive a second significant earthquake within the space of a year.
At a depth of 5km (focus) of the earthquake occurred 2km west of the town of Lytteltonvery close to Christchurch, the second most populated city in New Zealand with a population of 390,300. See google map here.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:51:43 PM at epicentre.
Magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale. See the USGS info here
The 2010 Christchurch despite being a higher order of magnitude earthquake at 7.1 on the Richter scale happened in the early hours of the morning at 4.35am which explains partly why there were no casualties as the central business district would have been empty with few people in high rise buildings.
The earthquake was part of the aftershock sequence of the M 7.0 September 3, 2010 Darfield, earthquake in New Zealand.
There is a thrust fault which is linked with the plate boundary between the Pacific and Australian plates which meets in the centre of South Island, New Zealand.
- 181 dead (as of 3 May 2011)
- 80% of the city had no electricity
- Water supplies and sewage disposal badly disrupted
- Road and bridges damaged
- Liquefaction of the ground (solid ground is shaken so much that water rises quickly up and turns the ground into a liquid state
- Many historic buildings damaged or destroyed
- People trapped in rubble (this story really was interesting as I listened to her on the radio talking from her mobile phone whilst trapped under the rubble)
- In the seconds, hours and days after the earthquake rescue and response was offered by ordinary people as well as the emergency services on duty
- An emergency meeting Government Cabinet Meeting was held at 3pm. Read more here
- The Canterbury Art Gallery which had been designed to be earthquake proof survived and was turned into a Emergency Response centre. Read more here
- Satellite Imagery was provided for emergency teams to help with allocation of aid and rescue from the US and France. See more here
- 300 Australian police were flown in brining the number of the police to 1200
- The police provided security cordons, organised evacuations, supported search and rescue teams, missing persons and family liaison, and organised media briefings and tours of the affected areas.
- The Red Cross provided grants to families with children under 5 years of age who were living in significantly damaged homes caused by the September or February earthquakes, with their electricity bills. Read more here
- The police coordinated forensic analysis and evidence gathering of fatalities working closely with pathologists, forensic dentists and scientists.