More Quakage Feb 22, 2011. Christchurch
As you have probably heard there was an Earthquake in Christchurch on the 22nd of February 2011 which destroyed many buildings in central Christchurch. Being close to lunchtime on a workday many people were in the city and many people lost their lives. We were lucky and all of family and close friends are physically ok. Our house seems ok, but we know many people who have lost family homes etc. We have power and water on again and just had to deal with shifting large piles of silt from the liquefaction around our house. Post earthquake things are generally pretty stressful and being kept awake by aftershocks each night really does not help the situation. Usually I would jump on my bike and go for a ride to clear my head, but with the earthquake epicenter very close to where a lot of the trails are the tracks have been closed because of the danger of rocks falling in aftershocks. 2 people were killed trying to return to their home on a walking track soon after the earthquake. More info and a set of photos that will give some idea of the destruction in Christchurch http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/02/earthquake-in-new-zealand/100013/ or for a more personal view my friend Veronica’s blog describes it well http://thesouthernviking.blogspot.com/2011/03/another-christchurch-earthquake-this.html
This quake was probably caused by the bigger 7.1 magnitude quake of 22nd September 2010, and so is considered an aftershock. As the initial 7.1 quake was at 4am on the weekend there was no loss of life from buildings falling in Christchurch. The shaking magnitude of the 6.3 aftershock however was much worse (3 times the intensity) in Christchurch city as the 6.3 was very shallow and very close. This means the damage from the 6.3 is much worse in the city. The death toll is somewhere around 150 at the moment, with not all the bodies yet identified.
I was standing near the checkout in a supermarket out in Hornby (South West outskirts of Christchurch), and did not think the aftershock was very bad although it had spread goods from the shelves all over the floors. It was not until I got back in my car and started hearing the reports of what had happened to the city that it sunk in just how bad this was going to be.