Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good View Of The Mess, Christchurch Quake

Fri 25.03.11. It was well into the fifth week of the national state of emergency, after the 6.3 magnitude, Feb 22 Christchurch quake. After dropping off Luke at Sullivan Ave tech, I turned off Bealey Ave & parked in Springfield Rd to view a Durham St Nth modern bldg, which had collapsed in the Feb 22 quake. The open garage floor at the bottom had collapsed, crushing a car, the upper two storeys tilted, cracked & rested on the pancaked garage floor. It wasn't the first modern bldg, with empty space on the bottom floor, I'd seen trashed by the Feb 22 quake. The bldg was demolished.

Images, quake damaged Durham St Nth & Springfield Rd:


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed bldg, Durham St Nth, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished



Recently in Salisbury St, I'd seen a modern block of flats wildly tilted over liquefaction silted, open garages.

As for the Hotel Grand Chancellor - same thing: A road passed under one end of the Hotel Grand Chancellor leaving a weak space with the cantilevered, several storey hotel above. When the Feb 22 quake struck, hotel columns opposite the road space cracked, thus tilting Hotel Grand Chancellor - soon to be demolished. I wondered what modern designers, architects, engineers & builders were taught? Any kid could tell them, "Bend a stick at both ends & you'll know where it cracks!"


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged bldg, cnr Springfield Rd / Durham St Nth, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


I did a circuit walk from Springfield Rd along Derby St, Papanui Rd, Bealey Ave, back to my car, to see quake damage near the CBD cordon, some of which I'd already seen.


Corner Springfield Rd / Durham St Nth: Quake damaged, old, double storey, brick bldg, with bus route passing by. Many old, brick, corner bldgs were damaged by Christchurch quakes - all that pre-quake weakening by rumbling vehicle & bus traffic.

Images, quake damaged Derby St:


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, Springfield Rd view down Derby St, national state of emergency

Derby St: Roadside brick rubble heaps; heritage brick, garden wall collapsed on the pavement, sign on a tree forbade brick looting; some quake damaged houses, old & modern. One quake trashed, red stickered, yellow, wooden house had boarded windows, with a spray-painted warning: STAY OUT! Since the quakes, I'd seen many KEEP OUT signs on quake trashed bldgs & roads.

Despite media hype about citizens' resilience & heroic emergency services, Christchurch had become unfriendly & fearful since the quakes. Thousands had fled their quake trashed homes & left Christchurch.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed brick wall, Derby St, national state of emergency


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, red stickered house, Derby St, national state of emergency



Corner Derby St / Papanui Rd: One News still camped in porta-cabins opposite quake trashed Carlton Hotel.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, One News porta-cabin camp, cnr Derby St / Papanui Rd, with sensational, quake trashed, Carlton Hotel backdrop. Carlton Hotel was demolished.

Images, quake damaged Papanui Rd & Bealey Ave:


25.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Carlton Hotel (demolished) cnr Papanui Rd / Bealey Ave, national state of emergency


Papanui Rd: Sophie's Cafe next to One News camp. There were 2 rows of pics in Sophie's Cafe window, of smiling news readers with smiling Sophie. Quake trashed Carlton Hotel was opposite. Neighbouring eating establishments -  some were open, some closed.

Carlton Courts, corner Papanui Rd / Bealey Ave, including Sophie's Cafe, was closed in 2012, was fence cordoned & obstructed traffic for months. In 2013 the fence cordon was removed, but Carlton Courts stayed abandoned.

The irony was that Sophie's Cafe was green stickered, yet the bldg was later abandoned. It was another case of faulty / confusing stickering by Council inspectors. Never mind woeful EQC inspectors.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, celeb pics in Sophie's Cafe window, opp quake trashed Carlton Hotel, Papanui Rd, national state of emergency


Corner Bealey Ave / Victoria St: Bare demolition site where old, brick Saggio di vino & other quake damaged, old, brick bldgs recently expired. Saggio di vino was demolished.


25.03.11. Saggio di vino demolition site, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency


25.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Knox Presbyterian Church & cordon checkpoint hut, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency. Knox Church was restored with copper clad walls in 2014


25.03.11. Cop on a bicycle, cordon checkpoint by quake trashed Knox Presbyterian Church, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St, national state of emergency


Bealey Ave: A yellow, Hi Vis vested cop on a bike checked NZDF soldiers at Victoria St cordon, by Sept 4 & Feb 22 quaked trashed Knox Church. On other wanders, I'd seen NZDF soldiers cycling CBD cordons too. It was better than endangering lives & bldgs with blundering cop cars & heavy military vehicles. Checkpoint huts were still makeshift, metal constructions with blue tarp roofs.

A USAR / TF team had spray-painted NO GO on Knox Church's quake gapped, brick walls. On a cordon fence banner, a cross was superimposed on a heart, with the words:

BROKEN BUT STILL
BEATING

the heart of Christchurch
is People like Us!

Knox Church was restored with copper clad walls in 2014.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, red ribboned, memorial, olive tree, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency

Bealey Ave: Two upright, potted memorial trees, with goodwill messages on red ribbons & cards tied to trees. Days ago when I'd passed, the nor'wester had blown those trees down on the pavement.

Stoneyhurst St corner: Quake damaged, garden, brick wall.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed brick wall, cnr Stoneyhurst St / Bealey Ave, national state of emergency


By Bealey Ave / Montreal St crossing, Temporary Bus Exchange: Five buses were parked on Bealey Ave, awaiting few passengers for free rides. Gotta wonder why buses were still used, as few people used the bus service at the best of times?

Pre-quakes, those heavy buses obstructed traffic & damaged Christchurch narrow roads & their rumbling would've caused pre-quake damage to old brick & stone bldgs.


A sign on a white bus on Bealey Ave read: EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE REQUIRES USE OF THIS TEMPORARY BUS. COMING SOON 32 BRAND NEW BIO FUEL BUSES. Why was bio fuel so important post quakes?


25.03.11. Post Feb 22 quake, Temp Bus Exchange, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency

I had mixed feelings about Christchurch buses. Luke was bussing by Hagley Park when the Feb 22 quake struck & watched all hell break loose from a bus seat along Moorhouse Ave, until the bus driver ordered all passengers off, near what later was known as the CBD, red zone cordon. I wondered how many of those bus passengers wandered deadly CBD during Feb 22 quake aftershocks?


It was a miracle shaken & shocked Luke was picked up on Moorhouse Ave during heavy aftershocks & stayed with the girlfriend's family in quake ravaged South New Brighton for 3 days. Otherwise Luke would've wandered home to Burnside through the quake shattered CBD & I dreaded to think of the consequences.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, portaloo by temp bus exchange, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency

On the other hand, buses did great post quake service taking school students to & from NO GO schools, which during the national state of emergency had to double-shift with safer schools, like Avonside Girls High students bussing to Burnside HS & Shirley Boys High students bussing to Papanui HS. All those students were disrupted by the Feb 22 quake, with students & teachers from NO GO schools unable to retrieve books & personal possessions.

Cops ended up foot-patrolling near shared schools at change over times, to stop fighting students, or mobs of students intimidating public at Northlands mall.


25.03.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed, brick house, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency. The house was demolished


Bealey Ave: Several old, brick bldgs, quake damaged or demolished, like the Deanery & Springfield Rd corner Marae.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, portaloo by the Deanery demolition site, Bealey Ave, national state of emergency.

Springfield Rd again: Two posties untied their bikes from a van & cycled away, delivering mail.


Two Maori women sat on their first floor balcony, smoking. They stared at the demolished Marae opposite their flat. NO GO was orange spray-painted on the Marae brick wall

I called up to them, "You have a good view of the mess?" They smiled.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, Marae sign, cnr Springfield Rd / Bealey Ave, national state of emergency


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake trashed & demolished Marae, cnr Bealey Ave / Springfield Rd, national state of emergency


I drove back to Burnside via Bealey Ave & Carlton Mill Rd. En route, Bealey Ave cordon cops & NZDF soldiers had a natty, wooden hut at Dublin St junction. With a concrete block cordon, a blue tarp hut & military checkpoint at Park Tce crossing, NZDF soldiers continued strangling CBD businesses & homes.

During the national state of emergency, Cantabrians accepted their civil liberties curtailed by a military occupation - cordons, cops & NZDF soldiers. The military cordon around Christchurch CBD would continue till July 2013, a military occupation of 28 months. In 2011, there was hardly a whimper from citizens. Public protests evolved in 2012.


25.03.11. Feb 22 quake, national state of emergency cordon checkpoint, cnr Bealey Ave / Park Tce

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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