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Scarf-Carrot-Coal

Big Earthquake In New Zealand

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Just woken up to a big earthquake. House has been swaying from side to side and many aftershocks being experienced. Reports coming in from all of NZ. I guess it must be 5. something.

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Watching the devastation on the heraldsun. Truly a different breed compared to the +7 with last years September's quake, a shallow moderate quake combined with effects of Liquifaction and already weakened building bases. Hundreds possibly trapped and many more killed. Air Traffic Control in Christchurch being turned over to Auckland aswell as gas&water being turned off.

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I had been out in the city to get my hair cut and returned to my desk at 12:45PM At 12 50PM the 6.3 earthquake struck. It was so violent. The 5 storey office building started to sway and twist. I dived beneath my desk. My computer fell off my desk, coffee went everywhere. ceiling panels fell out, filing cabinets toppled over. When it finally stopped, I grabbed my keys and went for the emergency exits. Bits of the concrete structure had fallen into the stairwells. Outside there was broken glass everywhere.

On the pavement outside, there was an aftershock. The land was moving like it was alive. Four men carried a young girl to the hospital - she had a blue face so I fear the worse. People were crying, being hugged, desperately trying to contact loved ones on their mobile phones. We heard stories that office buildings had collapsed - later confirmed. We saw a dust cloud rise from parts of the city - it was either a fire or buildings collapsing.

After 15 minutes I left and started walking towards my car. The pavements are all buckled, kerb stones raised. The front of buildings have collapsed. You can hear sirens and car alarms. Water is coming up from the ground due to broken water mains. I cross Mortimer Square and people are sat around supporting each other.

I eventually get to my car and drive to Jake's school. There is liquidfied sand and water on the road. The school chapel is missing part of its walls and roof. The bridge over the stream is all buckled. All the pupils are on the school field. I sign my son out and drive via the side streets to Harewood in search of some diesel - I didn't have enough have get home. I find a garage so I fill up my car and drive home.

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Confirmed death toll at 17, but it will get higher.

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65 confirmed dead....

Prime Minister John Key confirms 65 dead "and that may rise".

Speaking on his arrival at Christchurch Mr Key said: "We may well be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day".

He said 180 police were working on the ground with an extra 200 on their way. There were also 350 military personnel there and another 250 on their way.

Forty members of an Australian urban search and rescue team were on their way from Australia and New Zealand had accepted help from America as well.

"We may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day."

He described it as a "scene of utter devastation''.

The earthquake struck at a much worse time than the last one with more people were out on the streets this time.

"We will get through this. New Zealand will regroup, Christchurch will regroup."

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Glad that you and your family are OK Scarf-Carrot-Coal.

Shocking pictures coming out on the TV here.....Hopefully my friends In Christchurch are OK ...Some working out at the University others in town.

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65 confirmed dead....

Shocking pictures on the TV here ....why has the impact of this quake been so much greater than the previous stronger quake?

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Shocking pictures on the TV here ....why has the impact of this quake been so much greater than the previous stronger quake?

Shallower and centered nearer the city. And at a worse time (1PM on a weekday instead of 4AM on a weekend!)

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:( Just turned on the BBC news to see the pictures

coming in. Awful. 6.3 magnitude they are saying.

B.

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awful scenes from Christchurch-hard to believe areas I walked around several years ago are in ruins, so many people still missing so the already fairly large death toll looks like rising further.

Good to hear you are okay SC, a graphic account by you of your experiences, you must have been so relieved when you reached the school.

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Epicentre closer to the city buildings weakened by the previous one and the time all make for a very bad experience. If I remember correctly Christchurch hasn't had a lot of earthquakes and was considered "relative" earthquake free compared to the rest of New Zealand. There was speculation that a fault nearby had re-activated but this more likely to be an aftershock from the previous one.

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Shocking pictures on the TV here ....why has the impact of this quake been so much greater than the previous stronger quake?

its all to do with the depth of the quake.... shallow quakes may measure less but have greater effect

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Epicentre closer to the city buildings weakened by the previous one and the time all make for a very bad experience. If I remember correctly Christchurch hasn't had a lot of earthquakes and was considered "relative" earthquake free compared to the rest of New Zealand. There was speculation that a fault nearby had re-activated but this more likely to be an aftershock from the previous one.

Yes, Wellington is always considered to be the most worrisome. So important buildings here are built on base isolators, and the supports for motorways are encased in steel. The city is on the continental divide, and has about five faults running through it (one is a 10min walk from my house). But we've barely had a jolt here for ages.

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awful scenes from Christchurch-hard to believe areas I walked around several years ago are in ruins, so many people still missing so the already fairly large death toll looks like rising further.

Good to hear you are okay SC, a graphic account by you of your experiences, you must have been so relieved when you reached the school.

I was happier when I filled up with fuel and had enough to get home! Jake was taking it in his stride; all part of the NZ adventure :0)

Kirsty, my 10 year old daughter is away on school camp some 100Km away. However, the school has taken the sensible view that the kids are safe, so why bring them back into Christchurch? We will collect her tomorrow.

Glad that you and your family are OK Scarf-Carrot-Coal.

Shocking pictures coming out on the TV here.....Hopefully my friends In Christchurch are OK ...Some working out at the University others in town.

Lyttelton & New Brighton are being described as un-inhabitable although the areas closer to the university should be better placed. Sumner and Red Cliffs have been cut off due to bridges being taken out. The Lyttelton tunnel is closed.

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_51365380_011338520-1.jpg

It is in the nature of earthquakes that they tend to cluster in space and time.

And Tuesday's damaging tremor in Christchurch is almost certainly related to the much more energetic event that hit the region last September. But whereas last year's quake caused relatively little damage and no deaths, the natural disaster that struck the city on 22 February looks set to go down in the record books as one of the most catastrophic in New Zealand's history.

The critical difference on this occasion is that the ground broke almost directly under the country's second city, and at shallow depth. Christchurch would have been subjected to intense shaking. Masonry collapse was widespread, even in a city where earthquake building regulations are among the strictest in the world. Seismologists began to record the biggest tremor, a magnitude 6.3, on their equipment at 12:51 and 43 seconds local time (23:51:43 GMT) - right in the middle of Christchurch's day. The focus, the point in the Earth where the rocks first rupture, was a mere 5km (3 miles) below the surface.

Contrast this with September's magnitude 7.0 event; its epicentre occurred some 40km west of the city and at a depth of 10km, and it continued to rupture mainly away from the major built-up areas. Seismologists on Tuesday were in agreement though that these events are linked. There have been a series of aftershocks following on from September's quake - approximately six that have been greater than or equal to magnitude 5. But the 22 February earthquake represents the largest aftershock to date.

The grander geological setting for both events is certainly the same. New Zealand lies on the notorious Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim. More specifically New Zealand straddles the boundary between two tectonic plates - the Pacific and Australia-India plates. In the north of New Zealand, to the east of North Island, the more dense Pacific Ocean plate is pulled down beneath the lighter Australia-India plate in a process known as subduction.

To the south of South Island something similar is happening but the other way - the Australia-India plate is being forced below the Pacific plate. On South Island itself, the location of the latest quake, a third scenario plays out. Here the plates rub past each other horizontally. This is most evident to geologists as the Alpine Fault that runs down the spine of the land mass. Dr Gary Gibson, a principal research fellow from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, commented: "On average, large earthquakes will occur less frequently in Christchurch than along the plate boundary, as has been the case for the last 200 years. "However all earthquakes in the Christchurch region will be shallow, so the effect of a given earthquake will be worse than from a deeper plate boundary earthquake of the same magnitude."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12534181

Reference Number: 3468797

Universal Time: February 22 2011 at 8:21

NZ Daylight Time: Tuesday, February 22 2011 at 9:21 pm

Latitude, Longitude: 43.60°S, 172.56°E

Focal Depth: 7 km

Richter magnitude: 4.8

Region: Canterbury

Location:10 km south-west of Christchurch

262-christchurch-quake.jpg

http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/quakes/recent_quakes.html

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I've just played one of the videos I made when on a 4 week tour of both islands in Feb-March 2007. The one from Christchurch, its surreal watching buildings that are now largely a heap of rubble and hearing reports of so many people trapped, lets' just hope that the anticipated death toll is much less than currently feared.

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For people with information on 'missing persons' or who are concerned about the whereabouts of relatives or friends they haven't hear from, Google have created a website this morning:

http://christchurch-2011.person-finder.appspot.com/

Also updated advice via the media:

Water supplies have been disrupted throughout most of the city. If it rains, residents are asked to collect water in buckets if possible. Residents are advised to conserve water and boil drinking water for three minutes.

There will be a water plan put in place to get water to the community, Civil Defence says. Portaloos will be deployed, however this may take some time. Civil Defence says people should look after neighbours, friends and family.

Power will remain off in the CBD and eastern suburbs overnight. Tomorrow's kerbside collection is cancelled to the Brighton and coastal areas.

The central city of Christchurch remains closed to traffic. The central city business district has been cordoned off and police are warning people to stay away from the areas within Madras, St Asaph, Montreal and Kilmore Streets for their own safety and to let emergency services do their job. People who try to get into the cordoned off areas will be turned away.

Cordons will be pushed out to the Four Avenues overnight. There is reported damage in other parts of the city including Lyttelton.

POLICE ADVICE

- Stay out of the central city

- Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel

-Check the welfare of your neighbours - especially the elderly

-Conserve water

The Lyttleton road tunnel is closed and there are rockfalls on the Summit Road so please avoid these areas. Ferrymead Bridge is closed.

For roads information go to the New Zealand Transport Agency .

Emergency triage centres for the injured are operating at Latimer Square, Canterbury University and the Sanitarium Building in Papanui - not South City or the Spotlight Mall, Sydenham.

CIVIL DEFENCE ADVICE

- Expect aftershocks.

- Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on.

- Help those around you if you can.

Only attend A and E at the hospital if absolutely essential. For other injuries, contact your nearest after hours medical centre.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/cold-wet-night-quake-hit-cantabrians-4038527

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quake7_220211_pgb.jpg

quake5_220211_pgb.jpg

chch_10_pgb.jpg

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Devastating scenes got me thinking about Haiti the forgotten quake. People are still sat in tents and the recovery has effectively been frozen since early 2010. At least Christchurch will recover whether Haiti ever will is in the laps of the gods as minds turn elsewhere.

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I have extended family in Christchurch, one of them works for the traffic department and last time I managed to get through to NZ has still not been seen so hoping for good news... Part of the reason I moved to UK permenantly - apparent less % chance of natural disaster though my thoughts are of course with everyone in Christchurch at this horrible time. By the way - Liquefication is the very last thing you want to see from a rebuilding / emergency services sense - but at the same time it does lessen the impact from further quakes due to the structual change in the soil below ground.

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Truly terrible scenes, especially so soon after their last quake. When it's somewhere you've been to it just somehow hits home harder than when it happens somewhere you haven't, and never plan to go to (eg Haiti or Aceh).

Apparently this was a faultline that had been dormant for thousands of years- comparatively speaking, the cathedral spire collapsed a few milliseconds after I walked past it in 2003. And I have family who used to live there. And someone I know returned from NZ last week- it may be 10,000 miles away but it might as well be in my backyard.

Sincerest condolences to all affected- NZ/Aotearoa is a fabulous country and I wish her and her people a speedy recovery

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I have extended family in Christchurch, one of them works for the traffic department and last time I managed to get through to NZ has still not been seen so hoping for good news... Part of the reason I moved to UK permenantly - apparent less % chance of natural disaster though my thoughts are of course with everyone in Christchurch at this horrible time. By the way - Liquefication is the very last thing you want to see from a rebuilding / emergency services sense - but at the same time it does lessen the impact from further quakes due to the structual change in the soil below ground.

Hell's bells Buzzit. I hope your family turn out to be OK - the phone lines are obviously completely overwhelmed at present, making communication very difficult, so hopefully tomorrow you'll find they're all safe and sound.

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This quake is still considered an aftershock of the September quake.

Death toll at 75 now.

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