Thursday, March 10, 2011

Christchurch Quake, Zone 1 Cordon, Best View In Town

National State of Emergency, Thurs 10.03.11. For want of CBD parking I parked my car in Selwyn St, as I wanted to do a circular walk in recently opened zone 1 cordon, in shattered Christchurch CBD, after the 22.02.11, magnitude 6.3 quake.

Civil Defence boss Hamilton militarized the CBD cordon, dividing it into zones, manned by NZDF checkpoints. We would endure NZDF cordoned zones for 28 months. When CERA took over from Civil Defence, military jargon & NZDF soldier checkpoints continued.

Media gave many individual's stories, but not a realistic view of what was happening in the CBD cordon & zones. I found what I saw in CBD cordons & what newspapers & TV showed didn't always match. I saw quake hardened cameramen & walkers like me wandering CBD cordon zones, but no TV cameras in the cordon, they scavenged the perimeter, or waited for media passes from cops to do guided tours of CBD ruins.

Images, quake damaged Hagley Ave & Rolleston Ave:


10.03.11. Portaloo, Hagley Ave, national state of emergency

People sat on grass in Hagley Park opposite Hagley College, Hagley Ave. I passed a portaloo on Hagley Ave pavement & two tourist buses disgorging tourists & their luggage. They had wary looks on their faces. Where they'd stay was moot, as any available accommodation was used by out of town quake workers: USAR / TF, bldg inspectors, cops, Civil Defence, media.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged footbridge over Avon River, Antigua Boat Sheds, YMCA backdrop, national state of emergency

I couldn't cross the Avon River by Antigua Boat Shed, as the footbridge was buckled & plastic taped. I wandered down liquefaction cleared Christchurch Hospital car park & crossed the Avon by the hospital bridge.

I wandered along plastic tape & fence cordoned Rolleston Ave in zone 1 cordon. Botanic Gardens gates were locked. Cars were allowed along that section of Rolleston Ave, but there were few vehicles. Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, usually teemed with tourists, tourist buses, foot & vehicle traffic, office workers, school boys, people going about business & pleasure.


10.03.11. Feb 22 liquefactioned car park, Christchurch Hospital, Rolleston Ave, national state of emergency

It was deserted when I walked zone 1 cordon, except for more NZDF soldiers at cordon points than citizens like me. There were plenty of Civil Defence workers, bldg inspectors & workmen repairing some bldgs. The closer I got to Central Police bldg, there were lots of foot cops & cop cars drifting by.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Arts Centre (bldgs also damaged by the Sept 4 quake) cnr Rolleston Ave / Hereford St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, cordoned Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Arts Centre (bldgs also damaged in Sept 4 quake) cnr Rolleston Ave & Worcester Blvd, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


Plastic tape formed an avenue on Rolleston Ave pavement by Botanic Gdns, for walkers & joggers to use. I passed the YMCA & quake damaged, fence cordoned Arts Centre, stone rubble on the fence cordoned pavement. Stone bldgs were damaged in the Sept 4 quake & were more damaged by the Feb 22 quake.

Canterbury Museum, stone bldg, was fence cordoned, but looked undamaged from the exterior. I stopped to coolpix fence cordoned Worcester Blvd, which had cranes by the quake damaged Arts Centre. I zoomed a pic of Christchurch Cathedral, toppled tower unseen.


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Rolleston Ave view down no access, red zone cordoned Worcester Blvd, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Rolleston Ave zoom view down no access, red zone cordoned Worcester Blvd towards Christchurch Cathedral, collapsed tower unseen, national state of emergency. The rose window facade collapsed in the 13.06.11 quake

A Maori woman in orange, Hi Vis vest leaned on the stone plinth of the Godley statue, which had fallen during the Feb 22 quake. She stared down deserted Worcester Blvd. "You've got the best view in town," I said. She laughed.

Some Christ's College windows were broken, with stone work sheared off above some windows. When I looked in the school gate, I saw damage to a stone gable & slate roof across Christ's College grassy courtyard, a danger sign on the school gate & two Hi Vis vested workmen lounging by the school office, a truck parked inside the gate.


10.03.11. Crane hoisted workman inspecting Feb 22 quake damaged parapet, Christ's College, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake broken windows, Christ's College, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Danger after Feb 22 quake, Christ's College entrance, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged bldgs, Christ's College, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


A God Squad of 4 minced past wearing yellow, Hi Vis jackets, each labelled: CHAPLAIN. Given the collapse of so many churches, they resembled soliciting, Manchester St pimps.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake jumbled music stands, Christ's College, Rolleston Ave, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency

Further along Rolleston Ave, I coolpixed scattered music stands on a glassy air bridge between Christ's College bldgs. By Armagh St corner at the join of zone 1 & still verboten, fence cordoned Zone 4 along Park Tce, NZDF soldiers & a Singapore soldier stood guard by a beige Unimog.

Days ago, I'd seen slack NZDF soldiers seated by a table, chatting up girls at that checkpoint beside the Avon.

Images, quake damaged Armagh St:


10.03.11. NZDF soldiers at cordon, cnr zone 1 & zone 4 cordons, cnr Park Tce / Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Singapore soldier at cordon, cnr zone 1 & zone 4 cordons, cnr Rolleston Ave / Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. NZDF Unimog behind zone 4 cordon fence, cnr Rolleston Ave / Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake toppled brick wall, Armagh St, zone 4 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed brick walls, Armagh St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency





10.03.11. Feb 22 liquefaction silt, zone 1 cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed, brick parapet, zone 1 cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency

Thursday's zone 1, NZDF & Singapore cordon soldiers looked smarter & alert. I coolpixed broken garden walls & silted Armagh St. I veered round a fence cordoned bldg. Cranmer Sq was fence cordoned & had a portaloo.

After quake damage in the Sept 4 quake, brick Cranmer Centre was trashed in the Feb 22 quake, two bldg inspectors checking it in the fence cordon while I passed: scaffolded; gables ripped off; walls peeled off Montreal St side; rubble on the pavement & roads. Cranmer Centre was soon demolished.


10.03.11. Portaloo, Cranmer Sq, between zone 1 & zone 4 cordons, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Cranmer Centre, cnr Armagh St / Montreal St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency. Cranmer Centre was demolished





Montreal St was fence cordoned & across the road, wood & brick Windsor Hotel was trashed, like Cranmer Centre. The only reason why scaffolding by Windsor Hotel had not completely collapsed was that a new tilt slab bldg alongside held Windsor Hotel scaffolding up. Cranmer Centre & Windsor Hotel were both demolished.


10.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Windsor Hotel, cnr Armagh St / Montreal St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency. Windsor Hotel was demolished



10.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed, tape cordoned Windsor Hotel, Armagh St. CLEAR is USAR / TF graffito meaning no bodies. Windsor Hotel was demolished


10.03.11. NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier, cnr zone 1 & zone 4 cordons, cnr Cranmer Sq / Armagh St, national state of emergency

Across the road, paired NZDF & Singapore soldiers guarded fence cordoned Armagh St / Cranmer Sq corner. Beyond Cranmer Sq, I saw stony, Cranmer Court bldg, Kilmore St, completely trashed. Cranmer Court was badly damaged by the Sept 4 quake too.

Bldg inspectors would have much explaining to do once Feb 22 quake dust settled. Heritage fanatics needed to shut up & take a hard look at all the old, stone & brick bldgs they vouched for & see they were advocating death traps.

Post 2011 Xmas quake swarm, Cranmer Court was demolished in 2012, after public protests.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed B & B's, zone 1 cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency


Further down Armagh St, I coolpixed old, wood & brick, B & B's, one being evacuated by owners, the front door taken off, pavement thickly silted by liquefaction mud. Surrounding modern bldgs had stood up well to the Feb 22 quake.

Given media apocalyptic scenes over the last couple of weeks, I saw many modern bldgs in the CBD cordon which had well withstood the Feb 22 quake, high rises too. I expected quake hype was to milk international cash donations for rebuild, helped by sensational reporting.

The Japanese quake, tsunami & Fukushima nuclear radiation soon stopped that.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake liquefactioned B & B, Armagh St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency



10.03.11. The Devon B & B, red stickered, liquefactioned & collapsed old, brick wall, Armagh St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


On Armagh St / Durham St Nth corner, zone 1 fence cordon turned at right angles along Durham St Nth towards Avon River. In the opposite direction along Durham St North, the right angled fence cordon joined zone 4, with 3 yellow, Hi Vis vested cops relaxing on chairs in the cordon, near the casino.

Up Durham St Nth, 3 people were killed when the stony Methodist Church collapsed in the Feb 22 quake. The Methodist Church was already badly damaged by the Sept 4 quake & fence cordoned. Wonder what idiot allowed those 3 people into the Methodist Church?

Down Armagh St just beyond the fence cordoned, red zone, I saw a rubble heap by the Feb 22 quake trashed, old, stone Provincial Chambers.


10.03.11. Bldg inspectors, zone 1 cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Fire engines & Feb 22 liquefaction dust, zone 1 cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency


10.03.11. NZDF soldier, Singapore soldier, rubberneckers, zone 1 & zone 4 crossing, Armagh St / Durham St Nth crossing, national state of emergency. Methodist Church left, collapsed in the Feb 22 quake, killing 3 people


10.03.11. Rubbernecker, Singapore soldier, no access, red zone cordon, cnr Armagh St / Durham St Nth, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Durham St Nth cnr view into no access, red zone cordon, Armagh St, national state of emergency. PWC right was demolished


 10.03.11. Armagh St / Durham St Nth crossing view of abandoned, red zone CBD. PWC middle & Victoria Square flats & Craigs House right were demolished 






Images, quake damaged Durham St Nth, Gloucester St & Cambridge Tce:


10.03.11. Quake trashed Provincial Chambers, cnr Armagh St / Durham St Nth, was restored

A NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier stood guard. Three male photographers took pics, while two female rubberneckers, one dressed in skimpy running gear, got in my way while I coolpixed. I had that creepy feeling again amongst dangerous, abandoned bldgs, akin to a spooked cemetery, but malevolent too.

A gaggle of Civil Defence bods, dressed in orange overalls & hard hats & two girls with yellow, Hi Vis vests & hard hats passed, two fire engines too, wheels whipping up liquefaction dust.


10.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Provincial Chambers, cnr Durham St Nth / Gloucester St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency. Abandoned Rydges Hotel & Clarendon Tower beyond. Clarendon Tower was demolished


10.03.11. Amuri Courts, closed post Feb 22 quake, opp Provincial Chambers. Amuri Courts was demolished in 2012


10.03.12. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Provincial Chambers, cnr Durham St Nth / Gloucester St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency. Provincial Chambers was restored. 








The stone Provincial Chambers, 1853, having withstood Victorian horse & carriage days & a century of motor traffic, was Feb 22 quake trashed, roof collapsed, stone walls collapsed, scaffolding which was erected since the Sept 4 quake, trashed.

Provincial Chambers remains stood covered in tarps for over a year, awaiting restoration. Amuri Courts car park opposite was demolished in 2012.


10.03.11. 3 NZDF soldiers, Singapore soldier & blonde, zone 1 cordon, cnr Gloucester St / Cambridge Tce, national state of emergency


Three NZDF soldiers & a Singapore soldier on Gloucester St corner chatted to a blonde. Beyond, CBD high rises looked OK around Central Library. Lift shaft glass was gone on Brannigans mod bldg, corner Gloucester St & Oxford Tce. Next door the brick parapet of an old bldg was gone too.

Brannigans was demolished, showing that although a bldg may have looked OK on the outside, it was stuffed inside - walls cracked, floor connections gone, foundations gone.


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce eastern view down Gloucester St in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Post 2011 quakes, most bdgs in this pic were demolished, incl Christchurch Library & Farmers left


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed Brannigans, demolished months later, Cambridge Tce, no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view across Avon River to Oxford Tce in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Brannigans left & grant Thornton middle were demolished


Wandering along Cambridge Tce, then Durham St South with no access, red zone, fence cordons at crossings, guarded by NZDF & Singapore soldiers, I saw many modern bldgs OK in the CBD, high rises too, both sides of Avon River. A NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier guarded Worcester St Bridge fence, at the no access, red zone cordon.


10.03.11. Workmen boarding Feb 22 quake broken, Harley windows, zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce, national state of emergency. Harley window panes were replaced post Sept 4 quake too


10.03.11. Cambridge Tce, zone 1 cordon view of unused punt on Avon River, post Feb 22 quake, to Oxford Tce in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency

The old brick bldg, Our City on Oxford Tce corner, was more damaged by the Feb 22 quake. Beside Our City, near the women's suffrage bronze statue, a wooden punt floated on the Avon, unused post Feb 22 quake. Tourism was kaput as CBD hotels were closed.

Two cranes stood beyond Worcester St Bridge. Christchurch Cathedral collapsed tower was obscured by a leafy tree in Cathedral Sq.

Images, Worcester St Bridge, quake checkpoint:


10.03.11. Singapore soldier at Worcester St Bridge cordon, between zone 1 cordon & no access red zone cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. View from Worcester St Bridge, zone 1 cordon, up Worcester Blvd towards the no access, red zone enclave by the Art Gallery, Civil Defence HQ, national state of emergency


10.03.11. NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier, Worcester St Bridge, zone 1 cordon by no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon view over Worcester St Bridge to the no access, red zone cordon & Cathedral Sq, national state of emergency. Clarendon Tower right was demolished


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon view over Worcester St Bridge to the Feb 22 quake damaged dome of Southern Encounter Aquarium / Regent Theatre, Cathedral Sq, in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. The dome was removed & lay on the street for months. Regent Theatre was demolished


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon view over Worcester St Bridge towards Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake damaged Clarendon Tower, Oxford Tce, no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Clarendon Tower right was demolished

In the no access red zone, the red dome of Southern Encounter Aquarium / Regent Theatre, Cathedral Sq, was Feb 22 quake damaged. Clarendon Tower's white painted, stone facade, Oxford Tce / Cathedral Sq corner, was damaged in the Sept 4 quake & was more damaged, on the parapet, by the Feb 22 quake. USAR / TF pink graffito, CLEAR was sprayed on Clarendon Tower facade, Oxford Tce. Clear meant no bodies. Regent Theatre & Clarendon Tower were demolished.

White marble, Sir Robert Scott, Antarctic explorer statute was toppled on the grass beside Avon River.


10.03.11. Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake damaged Our City by Worcester St Bridge, Oxford Tce in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake toppled Sir Robert Scott statue, Oxford Tce, no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. USAR / TF graffiti on Clarendon Tower facade, CLEAR meant no bodies

Looking up Worcester Blvd I saw the glassy Art Gallery, doubling as quake Civil Defence HQ, in an enclave of the no access red zone cordon. People wandered past, Civil Defence workers too.

Opposite, the glass side of the new Council high rise had stood up well to the Feb 22 quake. No glass walls on the new Art Gallery nor new Council bldg were broken by the Feb 22 quake. Both new bldgs had internal damages needing repairs.

Images, quake damaged Cambridge Tce:


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon view of liquefaction dusty Cambridge Tce, national state of emergency. Abandoned Harley left


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view of Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake damaged, old, brick bldg below new, quake damaged Christchurch Council bldg.

Below the new Council bldg, brick gables had fallen off an old brick bldg. On Hereford St side, I watched two orange, Hi Vis vested abseilers checking beneath the roof of the new Council bldg.

Two cops stood by the door of Central Police, other cops came & went along Cambridge Tce, resembling a beach road, liquefaction sand underfoot & silt dust whisking in the wind. Central Police was later abandoned & cops moved to a temporary Central Police, corner St Asaph St / Antigua St. Cambridge Tce, Central Police was imploded, 31.05.15.


10.03.11. Cop & Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view of shipping containers bracing a Sept 4 quake & Feb 22 quake damaged, brick bldg below the new, quake damaged Christchurch Council bldg, national state of emergency

The Press reported that cops were reluctant to work in Central Police post Feb 22 quake, as they feared their high rise could collapse, like the CTV bldg did. I didn't blame them, as I was wary of going into tall bldgs post quakes too.

Opposite Central Police, from Hereford St Bridge cordon, I coolpixed 1873 Library Chambers, brick & stone bldg, badly damaged by the Feb 22 quake & parapet strapped. Library Chambers was demolished.


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view of Feb 22 quake damaged, old, brick Library Chambers below Central Police left & Christchurch Council right, national state of emergency. Library Chambers was demolished.


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view of Feb 22 quake damaged Library Chambers, below Christchurch Council, national state of emergency. Library Chambers was demolished. New Christchurch Council behind was quake damaged & repaired




10.03.11. Abseilers checking back of new, quake damaged Christchurch Council bldg, Hereford St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency

From Hereford St Bridge fence cordon I coolpixed Hereford St bldgs in the no access red zone, damaged by the Sept 4 quake & Boxing Day aftershock, more damaged by the Feb 22 quake. Surrounding high rises were abandoned, many were later demolished


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view of Feb 22 liquefaction silt, Hereford St Bridge, no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Singapore soldier by cordon fence. Many abandoned Hereford St bldgs in the pic were demolished


10.03.11. Singapore soldier by no access, red zone cordon fence, Hereford St Bridge, national state of emergency. It took 8+ months, post Feb 22 quake, for a Hereford St niche to be opened to the public, when Cashel Mall was part reopened with shipping container shops. Most Hereford St bldgs in the pic were demolished


10.03.11. Hereford St Bridge cordon fence by no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. The abandoned bldgs were demolished


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Cambridge Tce view over Avon River into no access, red zone, Oxford Tce, by Hereford St Bridge, national state of emergency

I wandered beside Avon River beneath shady trees. I looked at a 2007 erected, bronze statue of Henry Nicholas, VC, WW1 hero.

Two old guys on wheelchairs, beside the Avon, beneath the trees, looked over the river at quake damage to Oxford Tce cafes & high rises beyond. They chatted to an orange, Hi Vis vested male cyclist, while a young couple wandered past, looking into the no access red zone. Most of the red zone, CBD bldgs they viewed would be demolished.


10.03.11. Henry Nicholas, VC, WW1 statue, Avon River bank, Cambridge Tce, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency



10.03.11. Cambridge Tce, zone 1 cordon rubberneckers viewing Oxford Tce cafes in no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. Abandoned cafes were demolished & rebuilt as The Terrace. Abandoned Hotel Grand Chancellor right was demolished too


Cashel St Bridge of Remembrance brick steps were Feb 22 quake cracked. Bridge abutments below Memorial Arch were quake damaged. I coolpixed hard-hatted cops going up the steps into the no access red zone. The Memorial Arch made it hard for me to see Feb 22 quake damage in Cashel Mall, baldly damaged in the Boxing Day aftershock. Bridge of Remembrance was restored in 2014-15.

I coolpixed a NZDF soldier leaning over the bridge wall, gazing into sewage polluted Avon River.

Many Cashel Mall bldgs were demolished, but 6 months later, public were still banned entry to Cashel Mall.


10.03.11. Cops entering no access, red zone cordon at Cashel St, Bridge of Remembrance, national state of emergency. DTZ behind was demolished


10.03.11. NZDF soldier on Cashel St Bridge of Remembrance, between zone 1 cordon & no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. DTZ behind was demolished

I wandered to Lichfield St & Tuam St fence cordons by the red zone, no access, guarded by NZDF & Singapore soldiers, a troop vehicle beyond a flower bed by Lichfield St corner. Opposite South City car park next to Warehouse Stationery, St John ambulances were parked in a line awaiting action.

Although it was mid Thursday afternoon, few business were open in CBD zone 1 cordon, those that were open did no business, as customers were scared off by the quake & CBD cordon. Liquefaction sand & cordon fences were everywhere. I wandered past St Aspah St cordon where a NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier looked bored.

Images, quake damaged Durham St Sth:


10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, alongside no access, red zone cordon, cnr Lichfield St / Durham St South, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Durham St South, zone 1 cordon view down Lichfield St into the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. It took 6 months for this cordon niche to be opened to the public


10.03.11. NZDF vehicle, Lichfield St in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. It took 6 months for this cordon niche to be opened to the public


10.03.11. Durham St South, zone 1 cordon view of Singapore & NZDF soldiers at Tuam St, no access, red zone cordon fence, national state of emergency. It took 6 months for this cordon niche to be opened to the public


10.03.11. Durham St Sth view of Feb 22 quake damaged bldgs in the no access, red zone cordon, Tuam St, national state of emergency. During the Feb 22 quake, 8 red bus passengers were killed by falling masonry near Tuam St / Colombo St cnr



10.03.11. Zone 1 cordon, Durham St South view down Mollett St, national state of emergency. During the Feb 22 quake, 4 pedestrians were killed by falling masonry near Colombo St / Mollett St junction


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged avon bridal, Durham St South, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. St John ambulances by South City mall, Durham St South, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. NZDF soldier & Singapore soldier, cnr Durham St South / St Asaph St, zone 1 cordon / no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Durham St South, zone 1 cordon view down St Asaph St in the no access, red zone cordon, national state of emergency. St John HQ bldg right was badly damage by the Feb 22 quake

I looked down cordoned, silt dusty Mollett St, with distant shipping containers obscuring Colombo St side. Four pedestrians were killed there, by falling masonry in the Feb 22 quake. A cloud of demolition dust swirled beyond the containers, obscuring what went on in the no access, red zone cordon.

I thought many old engineering & more recent Sept 4 bldg inspection mistakes were being buried in clouds of demolition dust in the CBD cordon. The sooner authorities completed bldg demolitions in the CBD, no access, red zone, the better, or Christchurch CBD would die a death by strangling cordons. (Post 22.02.11 quake, it would be 28 months before red zone cordons were part removed & occupying soldiers departed).

Six months later, public were still banned access to the CBD cordoned red zone. By that time, weathered CBD bldgs were dead, rotten, kaput! Authorities had dithered too long.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, brick bldg, Durham St South, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, old brick parapet, Durham St South, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


10.03.11. Mod bldg, undamaged by the Feb 22 quake, Durham St South, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency

After wandering along busy Moorhouse Ave, I wandered down Montreal St. Along the way I looked at mostly closed & some open businesses in zone 1 cordon. I coolpixed a couple of quake damaged bldgs, one where a digger removed roadside rubble, while workmen boarded up the bldg frontage, where the brick wall was ripped off, exposing rooms.

Images, quake damaged Montreal St & Wilmer St:


10.03.11. Digger removing rubble by Feb 22 quake damaged bldg, Montreal St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency. This bldg wall was boarded for years post quake


An old, white, brick bldg in Wilmer St had crumpled, casting bricks & roofing on adjoining bldgs. I saw that pattern of quake damage all over Christchurch - crappy, old, brick or stone bldgs trashed by quakes & damaging neighbouring bldgs. I looked into the window of green stickered, Canterbury Ballet. Two inch thick silt lay on carpets. Silt lay on the liquefaction mounded pavement too.


10.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, brick bldg, Wilmer St, zone 1 cordon, national state of emergency


Along Montreal St, going back to my car, car sale businesses looked stagnant, a whiff of sewage in the air. I turned into St Asaph St & warily wandered past DB Brewery, with red & black, high brick walls, fence cordoned, & the hospital's tall, concrete chimney, opposite. I thought if those bldgs fell in an aftershock I was squashed. DB Brewery was demolished in 2013. 


That night, TV news featured a blind, WW2 navy veteran, in his eighties, who'd waited for help in his flat for 2 days post Feb 22 quake, power off, surviving on fruit & crisps. When he wandered the quake-ruined CBD, with his blind man stick, a cop found him, gave him food & later TV interviewed him in his flat.

Cop hype, using a blind, old war vet as TV fodder, proudly showing off his war medals & reminiscing. When I did our family shopping, I often saw that navy man wandering Northlands Mall, with his stick & Merivale McDonald's, without his stick.


There were several aftershocks that Thursday, including a 4.5 magnitude at 8.07 pm (Geonet) which bounced me in my car, while I waited for Leah doing shopping at Fendalton Mall.

We'd got used to 1 000s of aftershocks over the last 6 months. A man seated at an Indian restaurant table on the verandah sipped his chardonnay in the twilight, while 3 ladies in the beauty salon next door didn't budge while the aftershock shook us all. Leah shopped & returned wide-eyed.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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