Christchurh Cathedral topples, deaths confirmed

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What we know so far. At 12.57pm a 6.3 magnitude earthquake was centred at Lyttelton a depth of 5km. TangataWhenua.com has heard from news reports that most historic buildings have been destroyed and that the hospital is being evacuated. The spire of the Christchurch Cathedral has toppled and some reports are saying that people are trapped.

The NZ Fire Service has confirmed that there have been significant injuries and death but were unable to confirm numbers. A number of fatalities have been reported at several locations in the central city, including two buses crushed by falling buildings. A doctor and emergency services are attending.

At 2.09pm other reports include multiple building collapses, fires in buildings in the central city and persons reported trapped in buildings.

Because this earthquake was so shallow and so close to the city of Christchurch the damage is expected to be significant. Christchruch has been recovering from the 7.1 earthquake which happened in September 2010.

Lyttleton has been particularly hard hit, as has Sumner which is located nearby. The following video was just upload to YouTube:

The first shows significant liquefaction:

This video shows a landslide and fire in Sumner:

The following images were loaded immediately after the quake by Laura Campbell of Christchurch via TwitPic:

3 COMMENTS

  1. Christchurch is built on sand and swamp land- it was rejected many times as a settlement back in the day. Government knew and knows this.

    • Jax it has very little to do with what the City is built on – it has everything to do with the proximity to major fault lines like the Great Alpine Fault. The rock basement under Christchurch has been bending upward for yonks as it is part of an unrelenting Sumo contest with the Australian tectonic plate – something had to give. All over the world cities are built on soft ground. If this had happened under London or Sydney the carnage would have been massive.

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