National State of Emergency, Mon 14.03.11. Three weeks post 22.02.11, mag 6.3 quake, Christchurch was deep into its national state of emergency, the CBD riddled with NZDF soldiers, guarding cordon checkpoints. Christchurch citizens had to endure NZDF zoning jargon, like zones 1-5 & cordon restrictions, whilst banned from the CBD red zone by Civil Defence demolishers.
I had brunch at Merivale McDonald's, then wanted to walk Christchurch quake cordon, zone 3, beside the no access, red zone, as zone 3 was opened on Friday, 3 days ago. Merivale McDonald's had 2 signs on a wall extolling its potable water & recycling of post quake waste water:
14.03.11. Merivale McDonald's quake sign, national state of emergency, read:
Just to let you know,
* Our water supply is certified as safe for consumption
* Our waste from the kitchen and toilets is being captured on-site and removed for treatment
* Water is a precious resource. Please be considerate in the use of water in our bathrooms.
11 images, Papanui Rd, Bealey Ave:
14.03.11. Sept 4 & Feb 22 quake damaged, brick Carlton Hotel, Papanui Rd, national state of emergency. One News camped across the road from the Carlton, several weeks. Carlton Hotel was demolished. A retail / office block was rebuilt on site
I parked my car near the bottom of Papanui Rd, wandered past a white painted hotel with 2 cop cars outside. Returning later that afternoon, I saw 2 more parked cop cars & a clutch of cops in the driveway.
Cops were spoilt in their hotel with a BAR sign on front, after they patrolled the broken CBD & eastern suburbs, with citizens still in shit, 3 weeks post quake, battling for potable water & portaloos.
14.03.11. Yellow digger demolishing brick, Saggio di vino, damaged by the Sept 4 quake, trashed by the Feb 22 quake, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency.
I wandered past One News 3 porta-cabins on Papanui Rd, opp cleaned up, TV presentable, quake collapsed Carlton Hotel, with a celebrity news reader seated at a table cell-phoning someone.
I thought One News team was slack, as news was happening right outside their cosy porta-cabins. I stopped for a while & coolpixed a digger demolishing brick, Saggio di vino across Bealey Ave. Not a One News camera in sight.
The Jap camera crew had left their Bealey Ave road island camp - a 9 mag quake & tsunami to report in Japan: 2 800 death toll so far & Fukushima nuclear radiation danger.
Saggio di vino was damaged by the Sept 4 quake & was scaffolded for nearly 6 months. It took Feb 22 quake trashing for authorities to demolish Saggio di vino. What were they thinking?
Another lethal, old brick bldg, across the road from twice quake damaged Knox Church, also brick, with 1 000s of brick projectiles, leaned next to Saggio di vino. Both bldgs were demolished.
14.03.11. Orange, Hi Vis vested, NZDF cordon soldiers & USAR / TF in black overall & hard hat checking demolition of Saggio di vino, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency
When I returned 3 hours later, Saggio de vino was a heap of brick rubble, with 3 Urban Search & Rescue (USAR / TF ) men in black overalls & hard hats checking the demolition site for safety. As usual NZDF soldiers, in camouflage uniforms & orange Hi Vis vests, guarded every cordon crossing.
Sophie's Cafe, Papanui Rd cnr, next to One News camp, had two rows of pics on the window, Sophie smiling with celebrity news readers, a paradox as real news was on the streets for anyone to see.
In 2012, Sophie's Cafe & other shops in Carlton Court bldg were closed & fence cordoned, obstructing Papanui Rd traffic for months. Carlton Court survived the 2010-13 quakes.
That Mon night, One News featured film star, Russel Crowe, who 3 weeks post Feb 22 quake rediscovered his Christchurch roots, still used his NZ passport, he said, although he'd lived mostly in Australia. After a conducted tour of CBD ruins, banned to most citizens who'd survived 6 months of Christchurch quakes, Crowe preached to Christchurch citizens what to do with themselves post quake. Thereafter we never heard from Crowe again.
Civil Defence continued allowing tourist celebrities into the cordoned CBD for happy snaps, while citizens were banned access to the cordoned CBD. What was Civil Defence boss Hamilton thinking?
9 images, Montreal St, Victoria St, Conference St:
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged house, Montreal St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Quake damaged, fallen window glass, Montreal St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. USAR / TF graffito, CLEAR meant no bodies
14.03.11. Montreal St, zone 3 cordon view of Sept 4 quake demolition sites in zone 4 cordon. Caxton Press demolition site across Victoria St, national state of emergency
CBD zone 3 cordon: I walked down deserted Montreal St & at the fence cordoned red zone, no access, I coolpixed a Sept 4 quake demolition site & beyond - demolished Caxton Press demolition site, Victoria St. Closer I coolpixed a big chunk of glass which had fallen off a modern, several storey bldg.
Seated in nearby undercover parking were 2 NZDF soldiers, indifferent to my greeting, that hot, humid afternoon.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Jubilee Clock Tower, zone 4 cordon, Victoria St / Salisbury St / Montreal St crossing, national state of emergency
Through the fence cordon, I coolpixed the iron, Jubilee Clock Tower, Victoria St, its iron finial skewed by the Feb 22 quake.
Down Victoria St, I saw high rise hotels in the red zone: Crowne Plaza Hotel & Copthorne Hotel were Feb 22 quake trashed & later demolished.
In addition to red, yellow, green, no access / access stickers, there were more confusing Council stickers on damaged bldgs:
An orange sign.
DO NOT ENTER...
A green sign.
POWER HAS BEEN REMOVED...
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged house, zone 3 cordon, Conference St, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, boarded, state flats, zone 3 cordon, Conference St, national state of emergency
Parallel to Bealey Ave, I wandered deserted, leafy Conference St, & coolpixed several quake damaged houses, mostly old, brick or wooden houses. A modern 3 storey block of state flats was boarded on the ground floor & abandoned.
As people were evacuating quake trashed housing & people were expelled from quake damaged, state & Council housing, a housing / rental crisis would evolve in Christchurch.
Wandering down Durham St North towards the red zone, no access cordon, by another 2 NZDF soldiers, I came across Laycock's Collision Repairs being demolished by a yellow digger. Laycock's was back dropped by Christchurch Casino, Crowne Plaza Hotel & Copthorne Hotel in the red zone. The Casino survived the 2010-2013 quakes, the hotels not.
14 images, Durham St Nth, Salisbury St:
14.03.11. View down Durham St Nth, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Copthorne Hotel & Casino backdrop. The hotels were demolished
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake, Laycock's demolition, cnr Durham St Nth / Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
I coolpixed some of Laycock's demolition, while the yellow digger lunged, grabbed & bashed chunks of concrete beams & roofing, soon chewing a huge hole, Laycock's in clouds of dust.
The 2 NZDF soldiers had a makeshift, cordon fence hut, covered with a blue tarp for weather-proofing & dust-proofing. One wore a dust mask. They sauntered out every now & then, check-pointing vehicles accessing the CBD red zone. Bystanders witnessed the demolition. As I was wary of asbestos dust & cement dust, I didn't stay long.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged house, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 Quake trashed house & garage, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. USAR / TF graffito CLEAR meant no bodies
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed house, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
As the cordon had shrunk from Bealey Ave to parallel Salisbury St, I wandered east along Salisbury St in quest of Jakes' old flatting house in Ely St, to see if it had survived the Feb 22 quake. En route at Colombo St crossing, a friendly NZDF soldier beckoned me past his orange road cones & invited me to take quake pics. What a different attitude to the spiteful media cops I'd encountered on Moorhouse Ave / Montreal St cnr 10 days ago. They'd deleted my coolpix memory card.
14.03.11. NZDF soldiers at cordon, cnr Colombo St / Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
53 images, Colombo St, Salisbury St:
14.03.11. Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake damaged house, Colombo St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. The house was demolished. The turret stood grounded on site for years afterwards
14.03.11. Seated NZDF soldier guarding Zone 3 cordon. Southern view down Colombo St from zone 3 cordon into the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Feb 22 quake damaged construction site left had Sept 4 quake trashed / demolished bldgs. Stairwell steps had collapsed in blue Forsyth Barr right, trapping people. Some escaped by rope-climbing out of windows. Brown, PWC high rise left was demolished
14.03.11. Southern view down abandoned Colombo St from Salisbury St cordon. Quake trashed, blue, Forsyth Barr behind & Christ Church Cathedral, collapsed tower rubble below. Bldgs left & right were demolished, incl Copthorne Hotel mid left
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged construction site, Colombo St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. The site had had Sept 4 quake trashed / demolished bldgs on it.
14.03.11. Red zone no access, Feb 22 quake trashed brick bldgs, Colombo St, national state of emergency. Old bldgs right were demolished. Christchurch Town Hall, also badly quake damaged, behind trees.
14.03.11. Zone 3 cordon, zoom view down Colombo St into the red zone no access cordon, with a heap of collapsed tower rubble, Christ Church Cathedral & a yellow diggrer
A NZDF soldier was seated in midday shade by a nearby bldg. I told the soldiers, that where they guarded I'd seen several Colombo St bldgs damaged by the Sept 4 quake, which became demolition sites.
Later on during NZDF soldiers' 28 month occupation of Christchurch CBD, soldiers' cordon huts would upgrade from makeshift cordon fence & tarp constructions to natty, wooden huts, $10 000 a pop. Tough NZDF soldiers couldn't melt in the midday sun, nor freeze in winter.
Christchurch citizens in quake trashed houses were expected to be "resilient" & endure boarded walls & windows & tarped roofs for years, awaiting tardy EQC & insurers settling claims. Whenever authorities uttered the word "resilient" about Christchurch citizens, I wanted to puke.
A concrete bldg already going up post Sept 4 quake was damaged by the Feb 22 quake, with concrete bricks fallen from the top of a new wall & steel reinforcement rods bent like spaghetti.
I took a zoom shot down Colombo St of Christ Church Cathedral's tower rubble heap. A yellow digger stood over the rubble. Otherwise, quake trashed Colombo St was deserted with orange, plastic, cone cordons down the street. Most of the old Colombo St bldgs would be demolished.
14.03.11. NZDF soldier, Zone 3 cordon, cnr Colombo St / Salisbury St, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed house wall, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed house, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. USAR's CLEAR meant no bodies
14.03.11. USAR / TF graffiti & rent sign, "Excellent standard of presentation," by Feb 22 quake trashed house, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed, concrete & iron chimney, Salisbury St pavement, zone 3 fence cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Zone 3 fence cordon, Salisbury St view down Manchester St into the no access, red zone, national state of emergency. Roof of quake damaged St Lukes Anglican Church behind trees. St Lukes was demolished
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged house, Manchester St, no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency
Salisbury St: Old rental bldg with a rent advert: "Excellent standard of presentation... From $145 per week..." Side wall of the bldg had collapsed onto a car park, exposing rooms. Two concrete & iron fireplaces & chimneys lay on the pavement.
I wandered past quake damaged Asian food warehouse where Leah had shopped. Next door Briscoes car park was liquefaction silted like the Asian food warehouse's. Asian food warehouse & Briscoes were demolished. Briscoes was soon rebuilt on site.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Asian food warehouse, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. Asian food warehouse was demolished
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake snapped concrete curb, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. USAR / TF graffiti on brick wall by liquefaction silt, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake liquefactioned Briscoes car park, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. Briscoes was demolished & rebuilt
14.03.11. Deserted, cone cordoned Salisbury St near Briscoes, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Concrete block, chain & cone cordoned Salisbury St near Briscoes, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
Continuing east along Salisbury St, while wandering past Manchester St & Madras St crossings, I looked up & down mostly deserted streets, usually very busy. The CBD no access, red zone side had fence cordons & 2 NZDF soldiers at each crossing. In the no access red zone, CBD high rises were abandoned post Feb 22 quake. Over the next 2 years, demolishers would change the CBD sky line forever.
In the red zone I glimpsed serial quake damaged churches: St Lukes Anglican Church, Manchester St & Oxford Tce Baptist Church. Both churches were demolished. Many CBD churches were trashed in the Feb 22 quake & demolished.
Damage I saw outside the red zone was a lot of liquefactioned streets, driveways, pavements & car parks & some old, brick & wooden bldgs severely damaged. Some survived OK, but there were many with red or yellow stickers, restricting entry. A red sticker meant entry was forbidden. Modern bldgs had survived better with green or yellow stickers, the yellow sticker showing restricted entry, the green sticker allowed bldg entry. A smaller green sticker showed power was switched off. Council's big & small green stickers were confusing.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake tilted house (green stickered, entry OK) Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Sept 4 quake demolition site, cnr Salisbury St / Madras St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
On Madras St near the no access, red zone fence cordon, by 2 NZDF soldiers in a cordon hut, I coolpixed 2 severely damaged, wood & brick houses, with collapsed side walls & liquefaction damaged street in front of the houses. The houses were demolished.
A flooded sink hole about 1 m diameter was in the middle of the deserted road & the gutter on the far side was filled with noxious, brown water.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged house, Madras St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged houses, Madras St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. House on right was demolished
14.03.11. NZDF soldiers' cordon hut at end of zone 3 cordon, looking into no access, red zone cordon, Madras St, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Deserted, liquefactioned Madras St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Madras St sink hole, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Madras St liquefaction silt, flooding & rubble truck, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency, looking south towards no access, red zone cordon. Serial quake trashed Oxford Tce Baptist Church, soon demolished, distant left
By Salisbury St / Madras St cnr again, I coolpixed more quake damage: A Sept 4 quake demolition site. An old, double storey, quake tilted house, green stickered. Yep a tilted house, green stickered, safe. Nutty bldg inspector! Piles of silt along Salisbury St.
More quake damaged bldgs, houses & flats, with USAR/ TF spray-painted graffiti on bldgs & pavements: CLEAR or C indicated no bodies; NO GO or NG showed a forbidden area. The graffiti was seen all over Christchurch, repeated 1 000s of times, as USAR / TF & bldg inspectors filtered across town.
14.03.11. USAR / TF graffiti on quake damaged house, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
More Salisbury St: A sign by an automatic gate read: "Do not allow gates to slam closed. Please close by hand only." The mod bldg's gatepost, concrete bricks were quake shattered, disabling the gate. The tar seal pavement had quake holes next to the wall.
Salisbury Lane flats on the other side of the street were warped & tilted by the Feb 22 quake, liquefaction silt in open garages below the bldg. The roadside block of Salisbury Lane flats was later demolished.
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake tilted & warped Salisbury Lane flats, Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency. The roadside block of Salisbury Lane flats was demolished
Off Salisbury St, water poured from Ely St where a water pipe had burst in a garden causing flooding. Beyond flooding, Jake's old flatting house had survived the Feb 22 quake.
All along Salisbury St, I'd seen USAR / TF graffiti, orange & pink spray-painted on bldgs & pavements, some had NSW & UK USAR / TF markings. Throughout the CBD in 3 zones I'd walked so far, I'd seen 1 000s of spray-paint markings, as bldg inspectors hurried through their work, checking bldg safety. Leah's London St school had needed a bldg inspection, safety check before people could enter again.
Similar USAR / TF graffiti was spray-painted on bldgs post Sept 4 quake too.
14.03.11. Grey portaloo by Ely St flooding into Salisbury St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Ely St rental house, undamaged by Feb 22 quake, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake liquefactioned Ely St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
As I approached Barbadoes St crossing the number of orange road cones & warning signs increased. I didn't walk zone 3 tail, beside severely quake damaged Avon Loop, along Oxford Tce, as I'd walked that way days ago. I turned left into Barbadoes St towards Bealey Ave again.
Having swigged nearly 1.5 litres Coke, to cool off I wandered below trees, amongst broken gravestones in the old settler, Barbadoes Street Cemetery. My walk along Salisbury St & a bit of Barbadoes St had little traffic, but more pedestrians in the afternoon heat.
7 images, Barbadoes St:
14.03.11. Road cordon, cnr Salisbury St / Barbadoes St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged grave, Barbadoes Street Cemetery, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
Avoiding busy Bealey Ave for a while, I wandered parallel Melrose St & coolpixed more quake damage.
3 images, Melrose St:
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, brick house, Melrose St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake spalled, concrete columns, red stickered house, Melrose St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
Back on busy Bealey Ave, I coolpixed quake damage & wandered down top ends of side streets towards the red zone to see more damage:
Red car on top of Bealey Pharmacy demolition rubble, Colombo St cnr; Leaky, smelly portaloos; Two little girls not yet back in school cycling the pavement past a toppled, brick gate post; Two demolition sites of 2 old, brick & wood bldgs; Durham St North synagogue, steel & concrete block braced; Old, double storey, wooden house which had blue & green tarps on it for months post Sept 4 quake - a rubble pile.
20 images, Bealey Ave:
14.03.11. Red stickered bldg, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Quake crushed, red car on demo rubble, Feb 22 quake, Bealey Pharmacy demolition site, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency. Tilt slab shops were rebuilt on the site.
14.03.11. Red portaloo & gridlock traffic, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake toppled, brick, gate post & unschooled girls, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake braced synagogue, Durham St Nth, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Orange digger, Feb 22 quake demolished house, damaged in Sept 4 quake, Durham St Nth, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed, red stickered house, 212 Bealey Ave, national state of emergency. House was demolished
16.11.11. Demolition site where Feb 22 quake trashed, red stickered, 212 Bealey Ave house once stood
4 images, Manchester St, Bealey Ave:
14.03.11. HireQuip loo in garden, Manchester St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Sept 4 quake cordoned, Feb 22 quake trashed brick wall, Manchester St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
14.03.11. Demolished Council bldg, damaged by Sept 4 quake, trashed by Feb 22 quake, Manchester St, zone 3 cordon, national state of emergency
I coolpixed more quake damage:
Two Bealey Ave neighbouring houses, tilted forwards & towards each other, trashed; Manchester St cnr dairy - broken, blue chimney lying behind the dairy; (Survived the 2010-13 quakes); A garden, brick wall, fence cordoned post Sept 4 quake, flattened by the Feb 22 quake, bricks & fence obstructing Manchester St pavement; Council bldg across the road, damaged by the Sept 4 quake, demolished post Feb 22 quake - another rubble heap.
14.03.11. Civvie & orange, Hi Vis vested, NZDF cordon soldiers, zone 3, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency
6 images, Papanui Rd:
14.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed house, Papanui Rd, national state of emergency. House was demolished
I drove up Papanui Rd & coolpixed an old, brick, faux Tudor, double storey house, a brick wall ripped off by the Feb 22 quake, rubble heap in the garden. Two anorexic women sauntered past, in jogging gear, their trainers looked too big for their feet.
* Wandered Papanui Rd, Bealey Ave, Montreal St, Victoria St, Conference St, Durham St Nth, Salisbury St, Colombo St, Barbadoes St, Melrose St, Manchester St.
Averil (RSA): Hope things are starting to feel better. Japan hectic! Cant help you guys to watch that on telly. Mar 12 at 4:13 am.
Mark: Still OK Averil. Leah starts teaching on Monday. Jake is still waiting for work to restart. I walked a couple of CBD cordons this week.
Japan asked NZ to send USAR / TF teams to Japan as NZ had recent experience. UK, USA international USAR / TF teams were requested too. Mar 12 at 11:00 am.
Mark: Death toll 180. [Final toll 185].
National state of emergency is into its 4th week now. Hope trashed bldgs will go fast. Chch mayor Bob Parker says 1/3 or more of CBD bldgs may be demolished. Walked 2 cordon zones this week. Outside views - I saw lots of high rises still OK. Dunno condition of interiors. Mar 13 at 11:42 pm.
Alan (RSA): And now Japan. The Pacific Ring Of Fire must be stressing at the moment. In my whole life I think I have felt one tiny tremor - in East London. It cracked my pool a bit. I would not enjoy living in the PROF. But of course it so beautiful. Mar 14 at 2:29 am.
Mark: Agree Alan, beauty outweighs danger eventually. Japan's triple whammied - monster quake, tsunami, nuclear radiation. We felt more unsafe in SA all those decades. We now avoid tall bldgs & brick & stone bldgs & drive carefully over road bumps & pot holes.
I think PROF is like elastic, twang it one side & the vibes cause another twang elsewhere. Although experts say there's no connection. We watch out for tsunamis in NZ, if there's an offshore quake. My guess is as good as experts', as they really don't know, saying, "We can't predict quakes." Mar 16 at 8:15 am. [Later experts talked of a network of undiscovered faults below Canterbury].
Alan (RSA): I am now concerned about Japan and the nuclear threat. The place is so small. A series of strange wind patterns and the whole country will be trashed. What will they do with a whole nation of displaced people? Create another Israel? I hope this signals the end of nuclear power throughout the world. Cheap but so dangerous. Mar 16 at 6:27 pm.
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.