Monday, November 8, 2010

Facebook: Oct - Nov Quake Days after Christchurch 7.1 Quake. Castle Rock

Images of Castle Rock, quake rock fall & landslide:

14.11.10. Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Port Hills Rd, Christchurch

I continued Facebook comments about Christchurch's 04.09.10, magnitude 7.1 quake, which elicited dialogue:



14.11.10. Close up of Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Port Hills Rd, Christchurch

Mark: Got a speed fine of $80 for zooming 61 kms / hour in a 50 km / hour zone. Geez I live dangerously in my dotage. October 2 at 9.22 pm.

Cassidy (Aus): You're a rebel Mark. October 2 at 10.02 pm.

Maggie (RSA): Top Gear for you to come for a session in their "reasonably priced car." October 3 at 3.46 am.

Travers (RSA): And they let you shape young minds? October 3 at 5.26 am.

Mark: I was pissed off at first, then I saw the funny side, especially after the quake. October 3 at 10.05 am.

Leanne (UK): Sounds like you need to be on the race track then? October 3 at 11.31 am.


14.11.10. Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Bridle Path Rd, Christchurch



14.11.10. Close up of Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Bridle Path Rd, Christchurch

Mark: Mag 5 aftershock last night, conversation stopper at my postponed birthday meal - house jolted, shook & creaked. October 5 at 10.07 am.

Sheila (RSA): Certainly a birthday dinner to be remembered. Stay safe. October 5 at 5.17 pm.

Mark: Sheila latest count reported by The Press, since 4 September, 7.1 quake, we've endured "1439 seismic shocks as of 9 pm Tuesday October 5," yet scientists haven't figured out whether there's a fault under Christchurch or not, as shocks so far all epicentre out of Chch. So much for science. Leah enjoying holidays, is back to work next week. Luke is doing tech theory, but no prac due to collarbone mending. Jake is relaxing. October 6 at 9.42 pm.

[After the Boxing Day quake, which caused more damage to Christchurch, especially Cashell Mall, scientists woke up to the fact there was a CBD Fault right under Christchurch CBD. Embarrassing for well paid seismologists in their Canterbury University ivory tower. Never mind more faults to be discovered in future quakes...]


14.11.10. Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Bridle Path, Port Hills

Mark: 5.0 mag aftershock yesterday afternoon, 5+ weeks post 7.1 quake. Chch licking its wounds. Parker mayor again.

Leah's back at work. Luke's back at tech with a smaller collarbone sling. Jake's looking for new restaurant work - interviews. October 14 at 10.45 pm.

Sheila: Gosh those aftershocks at 5 must be alarming. The universe is certainly giving Chch a shaking up. Comforting to know that you are all safe. Thank you for keeping us up to speed. October 14 at 5.02 pm.

Werner (RSA): Mark why are there so many earthquakes down there in NZ? October 15 at 4.42 am.

Mark: Had several big aftershocks recently: Mon 4.1, Tues 4.0 & 5, the latter a whopper as it was shallow & close to Halswell & Taitapu near Christchurch, felt like the 7.1 quake on 04.09.10. Bounced my car for about half a minute.

@ Werner: NZ is on the Pacific & Australian tectonic plates, so there's lots of seismic activity in NZ, mostly unnoticed or ignored by locals.

Check out Geonet to get an idea of the number of daily quakes / aftershocks in NZ.

Chch aftershocks are spectacular at the moment, as the 7.1 magnitude, Sept 4 quake was so close to Chch & seismologists hadn't a clue it was coming, blamed a 16 000 year old hidden side fault off the Alpine Fault in the Southern Alps.

A NZ map will show you the big Alpine Fault running in a south to north direction (similar to the Californian San Andreas Fault) going up the South Island to the Pacific, where the two plates meet & rub each other up the wrong way (sideways, or up & down) - hence the quakes.

Aftershocks are mini quakes following a big quake, where deep plate edges 10 to 20 kms below sort themselves out (hopefully) twanging, pushing, shoving, like a subterranean rugger scrum, sans referee. Aftershock pressure & release causes more pressure & release elsewhere, hence more aftershocks along a fault line. Someone described it a bit like an elastic band, stretching & releasing energy.

Aftershocks are not to be feared, but are still hair raising as they are unexpected. If one is unlucky to be near an unstable bldg which chucks brick or stones around, or collapses, there are nasty consequences.

Christchurch is built on old swampland & ancient alluvial plains, so silt liquefaction is a quake consequence where tons of underground silt oozes up in mounds, called volcanoes or boils & together with underground water causes huge damage in riverside areas or old swampland, especially after rains. As Chch had heavy rains before the Sept 4 quake, there was lots of liquefaction damage. And riverside or swamp suburbs already have underground water.

Hopefully for us it's a once in a lifetime event. Experts say aftershocks continue for a couple of months after a big quake, so hopefully they'll recede soon. October 21 at 4.31 pm.

[False: Experts in hindsight revised aftershocks duration to a couple of years].


14.11.10. Bridle Path view of Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Port Hills

Mark: Luke finished his tech builder course this week. Jake started a new Under The Red Verandah restaurant job. Good week except for Mon 4.1 & Tues 4.0; 5.0 aftershocks. My car bounced like it was in porn movie. October 21 at 5.59 pm.

Heather (RSA): Not hearing anything about the aftershocks here in SA. Are you sure it is not you with Parkinsons disease? October 21 at 9.39 pm.

Andrew (RSA): Only time the news stations here in SA are interested in hearing anything about NZ, is when the ABs lose. October 21 at 9.55 pm.

Maggie: And how would you know what a porn movie is like? October 22 at 10.46 am.

Mark: Heather. Not Parkinsons.

Andrew. ABs now giving the Wallabies a go in Hong Kong. [ABs lost].

Maggie. My wayward youth. October 31 at 5.47 pm.


14.11.10. Close up view of Castle Rock after the quake landslide, Bridle Path, Port Hills

Mark: Christchurch is recovering in patches, some rebuilds & repairs are quick, some stalled. October 31 at 5.53 pm.

Pam (RSA): Was looking forward to seeing all those old bldgs when we got there as Janet had told us how beautiful they were. October 31 at 4.55 pm.

Mark: There'll be enough left for you Pam. People are still assessing whether to demolish or not, like Elmo Court (on TVNZ two nights ago): varsity tested the strength of concrete in the bldg, as it costs as much to rebuild as to repair in Elmo Court's case.

The quake made me appreciate what we lost, so I look more at older bldgs now & marvel at how some survived & others not. Random luck I think. Have seen quite a number of older bldgs patched & repaired. Think you'll have fun spotting which bldgs were repaired & which weren't damaged at all. October 31 at 9.24 pm.


14.11.10. Bridle Path view of Castle Rock quake landslide, Port Hills

Mark: Labour weekend I drove along reopened Summit Rd, Port Hills & saw the quake had knocked a block off Castle Rock. Block about the size of a 3 storey bldg ended its gouge near Bridle Path. November 3 at 4.15 am.

Janet (NZ): That'll be an interesting photo especially if you had a "before" photo. November 3 at 4.53 pm.

Mark: You're right Janet. Saw the rock fall on a Google Map satellite pic in The Press recently. Hard to see the fall from Chch side, as it's on a hidden slope, off Heathcote Valley, but easily seen from Summit Rd. Will go up the Bridle Path next week before the rock fall grasses over again. Was a massive brown gouge down Port Hills with clean rocks shattered off the east side of Castle Rock. Bet rock climbers will want to find new climbs after the dust settles. November 3 at 5.10 pm.


14.11.10. Close up Bridle Path view of Castle Rock quake landslide, Port hills

Mark: Two months sharing portaloos with neighbours: Two months post quake a SA family living near Brooklands Lagoon left portaloos for dodgy sewage reconnection. They wait for the Earthquake Commission to cough up & make up their minds whether their liquefaction damaged home will be rebuilt or not. November 9 at 1.17 am.

[Castle Rock rock fall was harbinger of worse to come in Port Hills suburbs in the 22.02.11 quake].

Jason (RSA): I never thought it was that bad there. November 9 at 8.38 am.

Mark: Jason some riverside & swamp suburbs were badly damaged by liquefaction with silt mounds everywhere. Other "dry" suburbs like ours were relatively unscathed. Random good or bad luck & a bit of common sense where one buys / rents property. Monday's The Press said undamaged suburbs now have slightly improved house prices, the market responds. Doubt many people want to buy houses in suburbs affected by liquefaction mud. November 10 at 9.01 am.


14.11.10. Two big rocks at the bottom of Castle Rock quake landslide, Bridle Path, Port Hills. See 2 people sitting by a rock

The Star advert, Nov 5, 2010: Message from Simpson, EQC boss:

"It is worth noting that while we report that we have received 110 263 claims these actually break down in many cases into separate claims for buildings only, contents only and land only. The total of these is currently 139 301.

The Insurance Council is calling Canterbury earthquake the single largest insurance event in New Zealand's history and of course we agree. The private insurers collectively and EQC on its own have each received over 100 000 claims. We believe that it means that the EQC is handling the largest number of claims by any single insurance company ever in the southern hemisphere...

[No excuse for tardiness in inspections / assessments & payments].

Our project manager Fletcher Construction has been establishing our first site office for repairs in the $10 000 to $100 000 range this week and we now expect to see the work to start in earnest...

[EQC sat on its hands for 2 months post quake, waiting weeks for a geotech report, before repairs were actioned. No wonder people with damaged properties were angry with EQC].

Claims Settlement Status

The overall process for 4 291 claims is complete, the inspection & assessment process for 13 061 is complete but the final paperwork for them is not, the inspection & assessment process for another 13 831 is underway, and work on the remaining 78 934 claims has yet to start..."

Two months post quake, if I had a quake damaged property with unsettled claim, I'd be spitting fire at EQC.


14.11.10. Sheep & a big rock at the bottom of Castle Rock quake landslide, Bridle Path, Port Hills


14.11.10. Walkers & a big rock at the bottom of Castle Rock quake landslide, Bridle Path, Port Hills

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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