Christchurch Earthquake Case Study A case study of an earthquake in a HIC. At least over my side of town (Halswell),  I saw evidence in the 7.1 September earthquake of a powerful wave. The conventional view on liquefaction seems to be that the damage is caused by subsidence of the buildings into the soil, but I don’t think it has to be this way. It is in Cashel St, several hundred metres from the Avon River. Government’s food and fibre reset report lacks a core, Quantitative easing floods capital markets, The ongoing search for new markets – India and beyond, Rugby’s role in a greater South Pacific strategic reset, A1 milk predisposes to asthma and lung inflammation, COVID-19 scenarios are becoming increasingly evident, COVID-19 is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability, North-East Asian markets as alternatives to China. Developers, councils and engineers do some great work, no argument there, but when you see something like the Grand Chancellor and the Ferrymead towers go ahead you really do wonder how they (the designer) can even think it looks good, surely they cannot be proud of those buildings, they are just damn ugly. The collapse of the cathedral is less surprising. "New Zealand has excellent earthquake standards in its building codes, but those standards were much more stringent on the Alpine fault to the west of Christchurch than in the city, where secondary faults are poorly known. Liquefaction happens when underground water in the soil comes to the surfac… Eventually the Drainage Board morphed into Environment Canterbury. It seems to me that we still have much to learn about liquefaction. Can low interest rates really stimulate the economy? 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Maurice Lamontagne, a seismologist at the Geological Survey of Canada, said: "What surprised me most was not seeing the damage to masonry buildings like the cathedral's bell-tower but to see new concrete buildings crumbling down. Civil defence declared a category 3 emergency, … In terms of magnitude, this was just a moderate earthquake, but the local effects on  Christchurch have been huge because of its proximity and shallowness. Christchurch copes with a tragedy it did not see coming By Larry Greenemeier on February 22, 2011 … Because noticeable earthquakes are rare in most areas, people may not recognize that the objects and buildings around them represent potential hazards. [Update of 1 March: there are conflicting reports as to the date of construction. The earthquake epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 What caused the Christchurch earthquake? Damage to buried pipes allowed sewage to enter the water so people had to boil their tap water. Many old, historic buildings have been earthquake strengthened in the last 20 years. One of the key messages from the September quake seemed to be that as long as a building was away from the streams, rivers, or low-lying land with a high water table, then it could withstand the shock as long as it was of modern construction. These are just three of many photos taken by Asher, who jumped on his bike and took some amazing photos around the city in the immediate aftermath. The September 2010, February 2011 and June 2011 earthquakes did not cause tsunamis because they happened on land and did not disrupt the sea floor. Most of the houses have timber framing and this has stood up well. Meagan Jones The severity of the damage appears to be due to a combination of the earthquake coming from a previously unknown fault that runs beneath the city from the nearby Alpine fault, and the violence of the shaking because the city rests on damp sediments. It was the middle of a working day and many people were at school or work, having lunch or running errands. The codes were further strengthened in 1976 with the concept of ‘controlled failure’, and strengthened again in 1984 and 1992. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 185 people from more than 20 countries died in the earthquake. Semi official reports coming through are suggesting more than  500 buildings in the CBD will have to go. [Update of 1 March: There are reports that the structural strength was supposed to come from the ‘core’ built into the rear of the building. ", Damp sediments under Christchurch made tremor more violent, Survivors are taken from a modern building damaged by Tuesday's earthquake in Christchurch. If you have an earthquake that has a 90% chance of not being exceeded in 50 years, the authorities might say that's an acceptable risk, we can live with that. Other photos are sourced from Google and are currently uncredited.). Though the government supplied money for those who were fired, businesses that needed re … [Update: By early March some 180,000 tonnes had been trucked out.] The cathedral and many other old brick buildings were known to be vulnerable to shaking and some had been weakened by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck more than 25 miles outside the city six months ago. The September quake had occurred in the early hours of the morning with family generally close at hand. However, in Christchurch we also have many old buildings which predate these regulations. As for the brick chimneys on the older wooden houses, well they descended ungracefully to the ground. This building is adjacent to the Avon River in  Cambridge Terrace. Advance Publishing Ltd, Pingback: » Blog Archive » Christchurch earthquake aftermath. Pingback: YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT-FINAL | YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT. Water pipes, roads, bridges, power lines, cell phone towers and ordinary phone lines were broken or damaged. I would credit both you and your website. ", He added: "Experts have been surprised that the town itself has been hit.". A M6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand on 22 February (21 Feb in UTC), leaving at least 75 people dead and hundreds injured or missing. On Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12.51 p.m. Christchurch was badly damaged by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which killed 185 people and injured several thousand. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon. It would seem that some were killed by the ensuing fire after being trapped. A M w 6.2 (M L 6.3) earthquake occurred in Christchurch on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time (23:51 UTC, 21 February). Officials will now inspect buildings and draw up an inventory of damage. I was totally wrong, the found floor held up while everything above collapsed onto it! The liquefaction on these soils is much greater than  in September, and initial reports are of up to 150,000 tonnes of sand and silt needing to be removed, compared to about 30,000 tonnes last September. 0 1 2 … As had happened after the 4 September 2010quake, there was a lot of liquefaction. Unfortunately, the Arts Centre, which was built from 1877 onwards, suffered some Buildings have collapsed around Cathedral Square in downtown Christchurch. 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Warm regards, Over on the eastern hills of Sumner, Redcliffs, and Mt Pleasant ,  it seems the shaking of the ground was so extreme that no practical building code could have saved many of the houses. Also, both  in September 2010 and again in February 2011, there has been some liquefaction in areas previously identified as low risk. At 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand. At least up until the mid 1980s, the designs were non-ductile. Monday’s COVID-19 decision will be a defining moment for New Zealand, Contact-tracing will be the Achilles heel of the COVID-19 program at LEVEL 3. Having planned the building of a new house both in Australia (in the 1980s) and in New Zealand ( in 2001), I know that the building code is a lot stronger here in  New Zealand than in Australia. The soil is considered susceptible to liquefaction and have a very low resistance to liquefaction. It is the materials used that cause the problems. Thanks. Most of these buildings had no damage or only a little. In other words , they were built for strength, but with rigidity rather than the flexibility needed to  absorb the energy of a huge quake. Even the underground fuel tanks at my local service station, filled with fuel just the day before, were thrust upwards by this force. However,  a combination of observations plus document-searching does provide some answers. I have also looked with wonder at the simplicity of house construction in Uruguay, where earthquakes are essentially unknown. It was with surprise that the Drainage Board/PGC which collapsed onto the first floor, did not collapse completely. One small but perhaps important point is that at least in some places the water and sand continued to bubble up for hours after the earthquake and not just during the earthquake. Some places that escaped liquefaction last time have received it this time, and vice versa. Houses with modern timber structural framing  also stood up particularly well. Christchurch earthquake: collapsed building was 'poorly designed and constructed' A six-story office building that collapsed and killed 115 people in New Zealand's devastating earthquake … The earthquake damage to modern buildings in Christchurch caught many experts by surprise and suggests the city was more prone to destructive tremors than … And a lot of those that may be livable in the short-term, are still incapable of being permanently repaired. Presumably it was built to the latest codes so as to absorb the energy without suffering structural failure. Projects like this are rare but do happen especially if someone is determined to get their way. When the earthquake gets very severe - as in the February 22, 2011, Christchurch earthquake, everything is damaged to some extent. (Photo credits: The first three photos in this post come from Asher Trafford. This time it was often colleagues, classmates or complete strangers who comforted and hel… Hundreds of houses were destroyed, including the Christchurch Cathedral, and damages will probably sum up to some billion dollars. There are many puzzles as to why some of Christchurch's buildings have survived the 6.3 earthquake of February 2011, and others have not. As to whether they have retained their structural integrity underneath, that will require an engineer’s report. Why Was New Zealand's Latest Earthquake So Deadly? Even within Christchurch, location was of huge importance, but there is more to it than that. Debbie Jarvis Other earthquakes have resulted in far bigger death tolls, not least the Japanese earthquake and tsunami just 20 days later. In contrast, in parts of the low-lying Eastern suburbs I assume that the liquefaction damage was indeed through subsidence, as I have no evidence to argue otherwise. Some buildings caught fire after the February earthquake. As per Meagan above, I’m also requesting permission to use the same photo, to appear in NZ Rodder magazine. Thirty-nine people lost their lives when unreinforced Change ). It may have been 1979.] This provides a reminder that the Christchurch earthquake really was a local event: short, sharp and vicious. The December 2011 and February 2016 earthquakes were off the coast, in Pegasus Bay, but the movement on the earthquake … That means it pre-dated the first earthquake design requirements of the 1965 code. Liquefaction on Kilmore St ( Asher Trafford), Liquefaction in park off Colombo St (Asher Trafford). Christchurch Hospital was evacuated due to damage in some areas, but soon reopened to treat the injured. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A big unknown is how many of the modern buildings that apparently survived will still have to be pulled down. The messages from the 7.1 ‘dress rehearsal’  earthquake on September 2010 seemed reasonably straightforward. Why buildings are managed for earthquake risk Experience from Christchurch and overseas has shown that the failure of earthquake-prone buildings, or parts, can endanger lives. It was built nearly ten years after the 1976 regulations [see update above] which  introduced the principles of  ‘controlled failure’ and may also have been subject to the 1984 regulations. Impacts of Christchurch Earthquake In total, the 'rehabilitation' costs $15.1 billion dollars worth of damage, Many businesses needed to fire employees due to the heavy re-building fee. Before and after shots (below) of the seven storey CTV building (built in the 1980s) show another  modern-looking building. "It's clear that the New Zealanders rather underestimated the shaking that Christchurch could sustain," said Roger Musson, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey. So there are many potential ways to create safer buildings that will ride out an earthquake and remain fit for use – and Geoff says many of these will be visible in new buildings around Christchurch, especially those on Cambridge It failed to attract tenants as I recall and was retro fitted as an hotel in the early 1990s. Kind regards I had always thought before the quakes, that the columns in the ground floor holding up everything in the floors above above were an inherent weakness. It was originally a carpark building. Old houses and commercial buildings constructed in the early 20th century, or in some cases in the 19th century, and which relied on single or double brick for their structural integrity, disintegrated rapidly. So one has to ask the question, how could the tsunami have killed so many people in a country that was supposed to be the most tsunami-aware nation on Earth? Hi there, I was wondering if I could use your picture for a poster I am presenting at the NZ Society of Earthquake Engineers conference. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The story behind the failure of the 26 (some reports say 27) level Grand Chancellor Hotel, constructed in 1995, will take some time to emerge. "Liquefaction is a huge problem in Christchurch because the city is built on an alluvial plain, on sediments that are vulnerable to liquefaction," Clague said. Perhaps the ground acceleration went beyond the design capacity, as there is no doubt the ground acceleration was extreme. Both this building and the now Hotel So were built at about the same time. Of all the buildings that have been affected by the earthquakes this one has demonstrated to me that looks alone are most certainly not any indication of resilience or strength. Yet only a few km away there is no damage. Same conditions – credit to photographer/website. Architects and engineers sometimes do get it wrong, the ugly towers at Ferrymead are testiment to that, no matter how clever people think they are some projects should just not be done regardless of reputation and influence. An a… Photograph: Christchurch Press/Reuters. A significant amount of drilling of holes both in the concrete walls and floors was done. John Clague, an expert in natural hazards at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, said it was unclear what caused such serious damage to modern buildings, but said the answer could be the "liquefaction" of the ground when the shaking began. With the February earthquake there now seem many more lessons to learn. ( Log Out /  the Christchurch CBD district is built on liquefaction prone soil, making it at high risk of damage from liquefaction. [Update: The buildng was sold to private investors in 2009.] The earthquake occurred on New Zealand’s South Island, 10km west of Christchurch, at 12.51pm on 22nd February 2011 and lasted just 10 seconds. As each day goes by, the task of rebuilding Christchurch city and suburbs seems to grow. Most Cantabrians were away from their homes when the 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck at 12.51 p.m. on 22 February 2011. The original building codes go back to 1935, but earthquake design really only started in 1965. Not only are the codes stringent, but they are enforced. The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, often referred to as the Blueprint, is the plan developed by the Fifth National Government of New Zealand for the recovery of the Christchurch Central City from a series of earthquakes, in particular the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.. I do not know who the architects were for the original construction but the engineers were Holmes Wood Poole and Johnstone. The rest of the building was in effect suspended from this core with only light support in the corners.] In the ten minutes after it hit, there were 10 aftershocks of magnitude 4 or more. Where the shaking or ground movement was severe, then houses on piles seemed to fare  somewhat better than those on concrete pads. Each day over the last five months, as I have driven to work, I have looked with wonder at a multi-million-dollar modern home owned by a well-known sporting identity, which looks normal from the road but is going to be pulled down for exactly this reason. The quake was centred 10km south-east of the city at a depth of 5km. Several aftershocks were reported, some registering at a 5.6 magnitude. What is clear is that people on the upper floors had the best chance of escape, with many of those on the lower floors being crushed by the collapse of heavy concrete floors. Our Queensland house was built on a hill-top and had a special cyclone rating, but I doubt very much whether it would have withstood the shaking that our New Zealand house has withstood. But the 2011 Christchurch quake, … The devastation in  the CBD includes modern buildings built from the 1960s to the 1990s that were untouched by the larger but not so close 7.1 September dress rehearsal. The building is many hundreds of metres from the Avon River on the corner of Cashel and Madras Streets. Maybe the wonder is that more modern buildings have not collapsed, and perhaps we should give due credit for that. It is the stringent New Zealand building codes that make house building so expensive in this country. "An earthquake is a sudden release of The earthquake struck the Canterbury region in New Zealand's South Island and was centred 6.7 kilometres (4.2 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand's second-most populous city. The critical issue with this earthquake was that the epicentre was at shallow depth under Christchurch, so many people were within 10 to 20 kilometres (6 to 12 miles) of the fault rupture. A lot will depend on whether the concrete pads have shifted, cracked, and tilted. However, on the western hills, where I live, the form of cladding seems relevant. Unfortunately, a house with a concrete pad that has cracked and split is history. And in the days after the earthquake, it was the Japanese media who were the most persistent in asking why the building failed as it did and killed so many… Also, houses built on a concrete pad in areas adjacent to streams and waterways, were found to be susceptible to cracking of the pad linked to liquefaction of the soils. This is the building where most of the deaths occurred, perhaps as many as a hundred or even more, including most of the foreign deaths at the Kings Language School. Earthquake is a combination of a lot of frequencies. The codes focus on the standards that have to be met, rather than specifying precise building procedures. the frequency can be so low that you cant hear it, but your dog or your cat may hear it and freak out before the earthquake hits. Although Lincoln Uni does remain closed, that is because many staff and students live in the city. Case study: Christchurch 2011 (HIC) Causes The earthquake struck the city of Christchurch in New Zealand on 22 February 2011. Anywhere adjacent to a current or former spring was at risk. Some buildings will be written off and torn down, while others will be repairable or declared safe for immediate occupation. Is the Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign on track? Originally this was known as the ‘Drainage Board Building’. On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch shortly before 12:50pm at a shallow depth of four kilometres. Clearly it suffered immediate damage, but it was only some hours later that it began to tilt. Before and after shots of  the PGC building (see below) tell a story of a modern-looking building, although built in about 1963. It is of the liquefaction on Kilmore St, and am planning to use it as the background. What we do know for sure is that thousands of homes cannot be brought back to being livable. This was the second major earthquake to hit the city; the previous quake occurred on 4 September 2010 and registered at a 7.1 magnitude. It was turned down by a number of building companies because of the dubious nature of the project. A reason to why there was so much damage done was because that the land, infrastructure and roads were still either damaged or weak due to the 2010 Christchurch earthquake which had a magnitude of 7.1. many building which Large buildings and structures such as bridges, in particular, must be designed so that vibrations arising from earthquakes are damped and not amplified. Earthquake resistance can and is, in many cases, built into the design of the building. I am preparing a report on the Christchurch earthquake for Rotary Down Under magazine and I’m wondering if I might have permission to publish your image of Liquefaction on Kilmore St? On 22 February 2011, at 12:51 pm, Christchurch was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. In Christchurch we have been very attached to our heritage buildings, but now it is time to move forward and rebuild from the ground up. Hi, with regard to the Grand Chancellor building it should never have been built. Whether or not PGC were actually the building owners in 2011, or simply the major tenants with naming rights, is not clear to me. ( Log Out /  Assistant editor, Rotary Down Under, Yes, but the credit should go to Asher Trafford. Commentary on agriculture, rural development, and wider issues. There is a somewhat historical  (probably about 1999) but generally informative assessment of the liquefaction risks in Christchurch at  However, I think that if they were to write this document again it would say some things differently. "But even if they'd known about the fault, they wouldn't have been sure it would produce such strong shaking, so they might have still underestimated what actually occurred. Over half of the deaths occurred in the six-storey Canterbury Television (CTV) Building, which collapsed and caught fire in the earthquake. In any case, the Uni itself is being used as a base for rescue personnel. It was been done at the time when the Americas Cup parade was held in CHCH. Because the ground loses its rigidity, buildings can be shaken far more violently. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. In my Uni office, and in sharp contrast to the September earthquake, there is not one paper or book that has moved. Why did so many buildings survive the earthquake? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Christchurch 22nd Feburary Earthquake New Zealand is prone to earthquakes because its situated between two major plates. ( Log Out /  Christchurch Earthquake Its is the energy being moved through the rock like a whale song in the ocean. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Pingback: Rebuilding Christchurch | PHSGeogBlog. Christchurch Earthquake The reason Christchurch suffers so much damage from liquefaction is because of the soil type and soil arrangement in the region. The Grand Chancellor hotel was originally constructed in the mid 1980s as an office tower. The New Zealand defence forces have been called in to help move people out of the central business district.Fires were reported at the Canterbury Television (CTV) … The government declared a state of national emergency, which stayed in force until 30 April 2011. It seems that we do indeed have very stringent building codes in New Zealand. Asked by Wiki User 0 1 2 Answer Top Answer Wiki User Answered 2012-05-07 03:09:14 2012-05-07 03:09:14 Because you're fat. Either way, there are questions to be answered as to why the failure was so catastrophic. Across the suburb, the silt and sand laden water continued to flow from some of the boils for several hours afterwards. "When shaken, these sediments transform into a liquid, causing irregular settlement of the ground, which is extremely damaging to buildings and buried structures, like water lines.". Print this … It has treated over 220 serious injuries so far, even though sometimes they were working by torchlight. The spire of ChristChurch Cathedral has completely collapsed. New Zealand is apart of the Pacific Ring of Fire. But newer buildings were constructed in line with recently improved regulations that were expected to protect them from the worst shaking the city might encounter. Ha, fatty. Beaches and waterways were polluted for many … The Christchurch building inspectors made multiple visits at key times to our New Zealand home, particularly when the foundations were being laid. Grand Chancellor Hotel with earthquake damage and tilting at 2 degrees.