Tag Archives: Natural Disaster

From Under the Rubble: Earthquakes on New Zealand’s South Island

I spent the vast majority of 2016 on the South Island of New Zealand, an area deeply rooted in nature. The whole place seems to have spilled out from a page of National Geographic. It is a land of Continue reading

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Inside New Zealand: A personal account of the 2011 earthquake

Photo by Alistair Paterson (Flickr)

Photo by Alistair Paterson (Flickr)

Imagine sitting down in your cosy living room. Imagine a cup of tea steaming in one hand. Imagine a newspaper balanced on your lap and a lifetime’s worth of memories decorating the walls of the home you have loved for nearly twenty years.

Now imagine what happens next. Your living room starts to shake and tremble; the cup of tea falls from your fingers and shatters across the carpet, and in a matter of minutes the home which you love so dearly is reduced to dust and rubble.

At 12.51pm, Tuesday the 22nd of February 2011, the citizens of Christchurch,  New Zealand lost a lot more than their homes. 185 people died that day, their lives claimed by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the Canterbury region just 6 months after another had occurred – measuring 7.1 – causing significant damage to the city but no fatalities. This earlier quake had weakened the city’s buildings and infrastructure, leading to the severe causalities that were sustained in 2011.  Continue reading

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