Tag Archives: earthquake

Christchurch: Up-top the Cathedral.

It’s been over a year since the February 2011 earthquake claimed lives, destroyed many homes and businesses and caused extensive damage in the heart of Christchurch, the CBD and to the famous Christchurch Cathedral. 😦

I shared some pics of the Christchurch Cathedral that I took a week before the quake in New Zealand: The Christchurch Cathedral. Down below are some pics of my time up-top the Cathedral in the stone bell tower (spire).

A look to the south. You can see Cashmere and Port Hills and other mountains and hills off in the distance.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

Straight ahead is Worcester Street and points west. In the bottom left where the umbrellas are you can see a market in the heart of Cathedral Square.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

A better shot of the market where souvenirs and other small items were being sold.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

Looking out towards the northeast.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

Starring out towards the north down Colombo Street.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

Looking up-top towards the top of the tower from one of the balconies outside.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

The top of the tower from inside. I didn’t reference specific buildings because I’m not sure which ones are still standing or are badly damaged.

Christchurch, New Zealand - Cathedral views

The spire is long gone and Christchurch Cathedral as a whole is in the process of being deconstructed to a safe level. Earlier in the year for a short time they allowed people in to say their goodbyes to a national icon. A temporary “Cardboard Cathedral” will serve until a time when a new Christchurch Cathedral can be built. The city center is still closed.

The rebuilding in Christchurch will be in full swing before you know it and the town will be better than ever because of the resolve, heart, passion and friendliness of their people. I can’t wait to get back there. Some links to more resources on what’s currently happening:

More information on the Cardboard Cathedral.

Christchurch Cathedral – official site.

Aerial photos comparing CBD and other areas last year to now.

Up-to-date coverage on Christchurch Earthquake 2011.

Christchurch, The Garden City, you’ll make it through.

I recently spent two weeks on the South Island of New Zealand. I spent a lot of my time on the open road going from town-to-town soaking in the scenery. My base though was Christchurch, the biggest city by far on this half, as it is for many people who are visiting.

When in Christchurch I spent most of my time in the CBD (Central Business District). I hung out in the Botanical Gardens, Hagley Park, Cathedral Square, The Art Centre, catching rays along the Pacific Ocean at Sumner Beach and in various cafΓ©s , restaurants and bars. I had a lot of great food and met a lot of great people, enjoying the summer weather. The city was constantly active with tons of tourists around and locals going from point A to point B. I left two weeks ago with such a great impression as I have when I’ve left New Zealand in the past.

I was back at home processing the pictures of my trip, including those in Christchurch when I got a frantic call. There was just another major earthquake centered right near the heart of Christchurch. Though it was considered an β€œaftershock” to the September quake, the location of the epicenter (so close to the CBD) and how shallow it was lead to the damage being catastrophic.

I immediately went to Twitter for instant information. People were already posting photos, videos, desperately seeking help, trying to locate others and giving details on the magnitude of the earthquake and more. Checkout the searches #eqnz and Christchurch earthquake. The news quickly flowed to the major newspapers and television stations in New Zealand and abroad. I’ve also found the New Zealand Herald extremely useful.

Getting that initial call, even though brief, put some of my mind at ease. In the days following I found that everyone I knew was accounted for and safe, though that didn’t make me feel better completely because everyone wasn’t so fortunate. Places I went to, hung out in were places where people were when the earthquake hit and didn’t survive. Whole buildings collapsed, the historical Cathedral Church spire came down, floods and debris everywhere, it made me cry. Peoples lives were changed forever in an instant. Some photos of the damage and people rescuing and helping out.

Hearing the heroic stories and how everyone is coming together has been great. A guy desperately looked for, found and helped dig out his fiancΓ© and others out of the rumble and they married three days later. Countries from all over the world have lent a helping hand. Christchurch and New Zealand will get through this and will be stronger. Things will be rebuilt. The people who lost their lives need to and will be remembered.

Naturally I stopped posting the photos of my trip that evening when I found out what happened. The time is not right to post and reflect on the trip, someday perhaps. If you would like to help those in need in Christchurch or locate someone please contact your local Red Cross or visit the New Zealand Red Cross website. You’ll make it through Christchurch and New Zealand. πŸ™‚