Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Extreme Danger, Zone 4, Christchurch Quake

Thurs, 14.04.11. Post Feb 22, magnitude 6.3 quake & into the seventh week of the national state of emergency, zone 4 of CBD hell zones was opened on Tuesday to the public, albeit guarded by no access, red zone, NZDF cordon soldiers. I parked my car on Derby St & crossed Papanui Rd & Bealey Ave by already demolished Carlton Hotel.

The zone system which divided & strangled Christchurch CBD was military, riddled with NZDF cordon soldiers at checkpoints. Once the national state of emergency was over, central & local govt bureaucrats continued using military jargon for years in their divisions of quake trashed land (CBD & residential land) into various colour coded zones. CBD military checkpoints continued for 28 months.

As I'd already endured a police state in apartheid SA, it was irritating having to endure another police state in Canterbury, under military occupation too. Quaked Cantabrians were occupied by their own govt, in the form of Civil Defence, CERA, EQC bureaucrats, military, cop & Council stooges. As bureaucrats & govt stooges were so inefficient, we endured daily burlesque by overpaid boyars & their contractors. In 2012 the MOE would join the burlesque.

Images, quake damaged Bealey Ave:


Feb 22 quake trashed Carlton Hotel, cnr Papanui Rd / Bealey Ave, national state of emergency. Before demolition, Carlton Hotel was used as a backdrop for One News


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, demolished Carlton Hotel, cnr Papanui Rd / Bealey Ave, national state of emergency. An office block & Burger King was rebuilt on site

Bealey Ave / Victoria St junction: Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed & holed Knox Church was cleared of pavement rubble, but was still fence cordoned. Zone 4, NZDF soldiers' fence cordon was gone. Across Victoria St, Saggio di vino demolition site was empty, as were other adjoining demolition sites post Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes - a hellish wasteland.


Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Knox Church, rubble removed, corner Bealey Ave / Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency. Knox Church stood empty & dilapidated for 3 years. It was restored with copper wall cladding in 2014

Dublin St cop & NZDF soldier cordon was gone. For the last 6 weeks, Park Tce by Avon River was cordon guarded by NZDF soldiers & cops, with occasional flaunting of a parked LAV.

Corner Park Tce / Bealey Ave: NZDF soldiers' blue tarp hut was gone, but the corner was still cordoned by 10 concrete blocks & red, plastic road cones, controlling sparse traffic on the pre-quake busy road. When I walked Park Tce, there were few cars & some pedestrians & joggers. Pre quakes bustling, zone 4 was spooky & empty.

During my wandering through zone 4 & some of zone 1, I saw demolition signs on cordon fences & USAR / TF spray-painted graffiti on pavements & bldgs, reading EXTREME DANGER & similar words.

Like The Press leader column that morning, I reflected on the EXTREME DANGER of allowing Wellington politicians & their new CERA to control rebuild & recovery of Christchurch for the next 5 years. If rebuild was a botch up, interfering politicians like PM Key & CERA minister Brownlee were to blame.

Christchurch was in the shit, with vast Feb 22 quake damage to the sewerage system. Chemical toilets & portaloos were common. Jake after being quake flooded out of his Waltham flat, flatted in a Cranford St garage with a stinking chemical toilet, which he had to empty into a roadside, plastic sewage tank. BEWARE SPLASHBACK warned the tank sign.

Post Sept 4 quake, sewage experts warned about quake damage to Christchurch underground sewage pipes. The Feb 22 quake proved them right. Eastern suburb residents who'd been told by Christchurch Council their plastic wrapped shit would be collected from their red, roadside rubbish bins found that didn't last long. They had to dispose of their own shit, with Council rubbish trucks scrambling to comply. I'd coolpixed a Council sign on a plastic water tank, near Leah's London St school, which recommended such shit disposal.

Liquefaction silt danger was obvious: the Council notice on the water tank at London St, stated gloves, gumboots & mask should be worn, hands washed afterwards, when dealing with silt. A medical doctor misinformed in The Press that silt wasn't a health problem. What a moron!

Shit from broken sewage pipes, mixed with liquefaction water during the Feb 22 quake, was shoved above ground in flood water. On Feb 22 quake afternoon, I'd waded through stinking liquid shit in Westminster St, Madras St & London St, calf high in places, while coolpixing. When silt dried, fecal bacteria formed spores, easily inhaled. For a month post Feb 22 quake, I had a nose skin infection.

Having endured apartheid SA's lengthy states of emergencies, I was leery of NZ's national state of emergency & dictatorial CERA powers. (There was also a short state of emergency post 04.09.10 quake). CERA govt dept would cause endless squabbles between Wellington bureaucrats & Christchurch Council. Over the next few years, there was a huge disconnect between CERA & Council, with CERA continually meddling in Council affairs.

As things stood 7 months post Sept 4 quake & 7 weeks post Feb 22 quake, Christchurch CBD was cordon strangled, demolitions proceeding, & insurers whinging with slow pay outs. Insurers would continue to delay pay outs, repairs & rebuilds for years.

Eight months post Feb 22 quake, the CBD red zone was still strangled with NZDF soldiers at checkpoints. Citizens were still banned from the dead CBD. More demolitions were done. Insurers were still whinging. Recovery? Sick joke.

Ditto 16 months post Feb 22 quake. There were endless squabbles amongst CERA, Council, EQC & insurers, with property owners stuffed around by the lot. CERA was the dept of delays & doublespeak, especially regarding house zoning & the housing crisis.

Ditto more than 2 years post 22.02.11 quake. Doublespeak continued regarding the rebuild. It was common knowledge that govt bureaucracies like EQC & CERA were more disastrous than the quakes.

A question I'd blogged post Sept 4 quake: What recovery Brownlee, Recovery Minister? PM Key? Civil Defence Hamilton?

CERA allowed access to many outsiders, like contractors, into the  red zone, but citizens were banned cordon entry.

At zone 4 crossings, NZDF soldiers were in the red zone, fence cordon by their blue tarp huts. Some soldiers were seated, most wandered about their cordon patch, looking alert.

Notes I made while coolpixing in zone 4 & my exit via bits of zone 1 by Civil Defence HQ / Art Gallery & Montreal St in zone 3, which I'd wandered weeks ago.

Images, quake damaged Park Tce & Dorset St:


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, brick garden wall & portaloo, cnr Bealey Ave / Park Tce, zone 4, national state of emergency

Corner Bealey Ave / Park Tce: Corner brick, garden wall damaged. Few cars, more pedestrians, cyclists & joggers by Avon River. NZDF soldiers' cordon checkpoint & blue tarp hut gone.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed, brick garden wall, Park Tce, zone 4, national state of emergency. Sept 4 damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Knox Church beyond

Brick garden wall collapsed in danger-taped driveway, view of trashed Knox Church beyond. Next door house, boarded windows.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed, concrete brick, garden wall, Dorset St, zone 4, national state of emergency. CLEAR meant no bodies


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, UNSTABLE WALL, Dorset St, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, concrete block & iron braced concrete wall, Dorset St, zone 4, national state of emergency

Dorset St to Victoria St: Concrete garden wall collapsed. Concrete end wall of bldg next to Spags - concrete blocks & metal bracing. USAR / TF graffiti spray-painted on pavements & bldgs.

Images, quake damaged Victoria St:


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Indian Food, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Knox Church beyond, corner Victoria St / Bealey Ave

Victoria St: Indian Food closed, concrete base cracked. Car park liquefaction silted, view to Sept 4 & Feb 22 quake trashed Knox Church, corner Victoria St / Bealey Ave.


14.04.11. Feb 2 quake, Procope closed until further notice, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency

A sign on Procope cordon fence read:

              PROCOPE
        COFFEE HOUSE

        We are currently
               CLOSED
     We'd love to be open and
welcome back all our customers.
However we and our neighbours
@ 167 Victoria St need to make
            some repairs first.
Look for updates on Facebook @
      'Procope Coffee House.'
We look forward to seeing you all
                again soon!

    Jason and the Procope Team.

Procope coffee house closed until further notice. Walked down Victoria St, quiet & ghostly, few cars, more pedestrians. Many businesses closed, just before 9:00. Lots of USAR / TF graffiti spray-painted on pavements & bldgs.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, USAR / TF graffiti on pavement, Minifies, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency. CLEAR meant no bodies

Canterbury College of Natural Medicine & Clinic, wood braced, concrete garden wall.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, wood braced garden wall, Canterbury College of Natural Medicine, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency

The niche coffee shop, tiles fallen off wall. Two young EQC blokes in yellow, Hi Vis vests, wandered down Victoria St with clip boards.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake fallen tiles, The niche, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency

Caxton Press, weedy demolition site post Sept 4 demolition. Weedy Sept 4 demolition site across Victoria St too.


14.04.11. Sept 4 quake demolition site, Caxton Press, Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency

Victoria St / Salisbury St / Montreal St crossing, all corner bldgs quake damaged:

EXTREME DANGER sign on cordon fence by Strategy bldg, crane by quake warped Strategy, workmen on roof chucking loose roofing down. Strategy damaged by Sept 4 quake, trashed by Feb 22 quake - upper storey wall collapsed off two rooms, windows smashed. Behind fence cordon, two diggers laid shingle on Salisbury St by Strategy bldg.


14.04.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Strategy bldg (soon demolished) cnr Montreal St / Salisbury St, zone 4, national state of emergency



14.04.11. Diggers laying shingle on Feb 22 quake damaged Salisbury St, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, red zone cordon soldiers, Montreal St / Victoria St / Salisbury St crossing, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Strategy bldg (soon demolished) cnr Montreal St / Salisbury St, zone 4, national state of emergency

Glass facade corner bldg opposite Strategy, windows smashed, glass on pavement, bldg fence cordoned. The bldg was demolished.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake glass on pavement, cnr Salisbury St / Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged bldg, windows smashed, cnr Salisbury St / Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency. The bldg was demolished


Wooden Ironside House, opposite corner, badly quake damaged. DANGER DO NOT ENTER sign & yellow sticker on gate. A sewage stink wafted from a garden excavation when I wandered past.

Images, quake damaged Montreal St:


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Ironside House, cnr Salisbury St / Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency


Quake damaged, Jubilee Clock Tower, base & top, repairs proceeding, fence cordoned, with 6 shipping containers cordoning collapse, Montreal St. Behind clock tower, old brick Victoria Mansions, wall Feb 22 quake cracked. Rest of Victoria St & Salisbury St in the CBD red zone, still fence cordoned, with NZDF soldiers check-pointing.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged, Jubilee Clock Tower, cnr Montreal St / Victoria St, zone 4, national state of emergency


NZDF soldiers by blue tarp hut in Victoria St / Salisbury St fence cordon by Sept 4 quake demolition site. A Feb 22 quake demolition site in Victoria St cordon. Pile of brick rubble, digger nearby.

In the CBD red zone, behind a fence cordon, a sign read:

REBUILD, BRICK BY BRICK!


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, red zone cordon, NZDF soldiers, cnr Victoria St / Montreal St, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Victoria Mansions, cnr Victoria St / Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Victoria Mansions, Jubilee Clock Tower & Strategy bldg, Montreal St / Victoria St / Salisbury St crossing, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Cnr Montreal St / Peterborough St view of Feb 22 quake damaged bldgs: The Peterborough, Victoria Mansions, Jubilee Clock Tower, Strategy bldg, zone 4, national state of emergency

Montreal St: Open to sparse, one-way traffic, veering past cordon fences & red, plastic road cones. High rise hotel car park view of Victoria St hotel in the red zone, back windows smashed. Next door demolition site, with digger & rubble. The hotel was demolished.


14.04.11. Montreal St view of Feb 22 quake trashed back of a Victoria St hotel (soon demolished) red zone, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Montreal St view of Feb 22 quake, Peterborough St demolition & red zone cordon, NZDF soldier, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, Montreal St view of Peterborough St demolition, suits & NZDF soldiers' hut, red zone, national state of emergency

Corner Peterborough St / Montreal St: NZDF soldiers at blue tarp hut behind fence cordon. Digger demolishing a bldg in Peterborough St.


14.04.11. Jogger & Feb 22 quake damaged arch, The Peterborough, Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged The Peterborough, cnr Peterborough St / Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency


The Peterborough, opposite corner, quake damaged, old, stone facade, fallen stones behind fence cordon. Red sticker on wood door.

Corner Montreal St / Kilmore St: Stone Cranmer Court, badly damaged by Sept 4 quake, trashed by Feb 22 quake, gables collapsed, outer walls stripped off, windows fallen, curtains hanging outside, turrets & turret tower collapsed, roof gone, stone rubble on pavement, fence cordoned, a mess. Kilmore St, red zone, fence cordoned, NZDF soldier hut unoccupied.

Cranmer Court was temporary repaired over many months, but was demolished after protests in 2012.


14.04.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Cranmer Court, cnr Montreal St / Kilmore St, zone 4, national state of emergency. Cranmer Court was demolished in 2012








14.04.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Cranmer Court, cnr Kilmore St / Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency. Cranmer Court was demolished in 2012





Images, quake damaged Cranmer Sq:

14.04.11. Portaloo, zone 4, Cranmer Sq, national state of emergency

Chateau Blanc Suites, opposite corner, looked OK on outside, but damaged inside, red stickered. Chateau Blanc Suites was part demolished post 23.12.11 quake swarm. The rest of the bldg was restored & reopened as 5 star Montreal Hotel in Oct 2014.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged Chateau Blanc Suites, red stickered, corner Kilmore St / Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency. Chateau Blanc Suites was part demolished post 23.12.11 quake swarm. The rest of the bldg was restored & reopened as 5 star Montreal Hotel in Oct 2014


Cranmer Square: Old stone, garden wall collapsed. Cranmer Sq grass, liquefaction silted below London plane trees.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed, old stone, garden wall, Cranmer Sq, zone 4, national state of emergency

Corner Cranmer Sq / Chester St West: Two NZDF soldiers, blue tarp hut, fence cordon. Down Chester St west was Durham St Methodist Church, which collapsed in the 22.20.11 quake, killing 3 people.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, red zone cordon, NZDF checkpoint hut & soldiers, cnr Cranmer Sq / Chester St West, zone 4, national state of emergency

USAR / TF graffiti on yellow, plastic taped, garden wall, yellow, quake cracked, Cranmer Sq house. The house was demolished.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, USAR / TF graffiti, yellow house, Cranmer Sq, zone 4, national state of emergency. The house was demolished



14.04.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed garden wall, Cranmer Sq, zone 4, national state of emergency


Crossing Armagh St to Montreal St, I left zone 4 & entered zone 1. Corner Cranmer Sq / Montreal St: Two diggers demolished old, brick Cranmer Centre, damaged by the Sept 4 quake, trashed by the Feb 22 quake. One digger loaded metal onto a truck. Another digger heaped dusty rubble at the back of Cranmer Centre.

Workman on Cranmer Centre roof chucked roof rubbish down. Demolition sign on cordon fence read: QUAKE REPAIRS KEEP OUT. I didn't stay long, fearing asbestos dust. Cars drove one-way along Montreal St past Cranmer Sq to Kilmore St.

Images, quake damaged Montreal St:


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



14.04.11. Sept 4 quake damaged, Feb 22 quake trashed Cranmer Centre demolition, cnr Montreal St / Armagh St, zone 1, national state of emergency



14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, WMD, Cranmer Centre demolition, Montreal St, zone 1, national state of emergency

Montreal St: Old brick Windsor Hotel, opposite Cranmer Centre, damaged by Sept 4 quake, trashed by Feb 22 quake. New concrete bldg construction next door survived Feb 22 quake OK. Windsor Hotel was demolished.


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



Corner Montreal St / Gloucester St: Civil Defence HQ / Art Gallery, glass facade OK. High rise behind, some glass windows gone, one boarded. The Art Gallery was closed 2013-2015 for repairs


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake Civil Defence HQ / Art Gallery, Montreal St, zone 1, national state of emergency. The Art Gallery was closed 2013-2015 for repairs



Images, quake damaged Gloucester St:

14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, boarded window & USAR / TF graffiti, high rise behind Civil Defence HQ, Gloucester St, zone 1, national state of emergency

Gloucester St: Allan Dingwall House, boarded & USAR / TF graffitied, opposite RSA.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake boarded Allan Dingwall House, Gloucester St, zone 1, national state of emergency


14.04.11. RSA memorial Howitzer, Gloucester St, zone 1, national state of emergency

Corner Durham St North / Gloucester St: Two NZDF soldiers check-pointed cars into the red zone down Gloucester St. Across Avon River, Oxford Tce, Brannigans glass fronted facade was damaged by the Feb 22 quake. Brick bldg behind was quake damaged too. Brannigans was demolished.


14.04.11. Gloucester St view across Avon River to Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes scaffolded, Our City, red zone, Oxford Tce, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Red zone, NZDF soldier check-pointing a car, cnr Gloucester St / Cambridge Tce, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, NZDF soldiers' blue tarp hut & quake damaged Brannigans, red zone, cnr Gloucester St / Oxford Tce, national state of emergency. Brannigans was demolished post 23.12.11 quake swarm


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, red zone cordon & NZDF soldiers' hut, cnr Gloucester St / Cambridge Tce. Quake damaged Brannigans back drop, national state of emergency. Brannigans was demolished post 23.12.11 quake swarm


14.04.11. Gloucester St Bridge, red zone cordon view of Feb 22 quake damaged, Café Roma right, Oxford Tce, national state of emergency

Diagonally opposite corner: URS House, corner wall panels Feb 22 quake fallen. Red sticker on glass door. URS House was demolished.


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake felled wall panels off URS House, zone 1, cnr Gloucester St / Durham St Nth. Quake trashed Provincial Chambers right, national state of emergency


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake trashed Provincial Chambers, cnr Durham St Nth / Gloucester St, zone 1, national state of emergency. Provincial Chambers was restored

From zone 1, I circled back to zone 4, Cranmer Sq via Feb 22 quake collapsed, stone Provincial Chambers, Durham St North & liquefaction silted & red zone cordoned Armagh St / Durham St Nth crossing, which I'd seen on another walk in zone 1.

Images, quake damaged Armagh St & Montreal St:


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, USAR / TF graffiti on door, Armagh St, zone 1, national state of emergency

Montreal St back to Bealey Ave again: EQC man in yellow, Hi Vis vest inspected a house. Considering NZ's low wage economy, EQC inspectors' tardy, dubious inspections done post Sept 4 & Boxing Day quakes & the many deaths in already inspected bldgs during the Feb 22 quake, EQC inspectors' $100 / hour pay was risibly inflated.

Given many subsequent complaints from homeowners about poor EQC inspections, complaints & inspections repeated ad nauseum, we witnessed daylight robbery by EQC inspectors. As a specialist teacher, resolving individual learning difficulties, if breadwinner Leah was paid EQC inspectors' hourly rate, we would've been well off & retired long ago. 


14.04.11. Feb 22 quake, EQC bldg inspector, Montreal St, zone 4, national state of emergency

On my drive back to Burnside, cnr Merivale Ln / Papanui Rd: Old, double storey house with renovations sign, roof tiles gone, brick walls cracked, ceiling collapsed into front room, red stickered, rubbish in plastic tape cordoned garden. The house was demolished. Six shipping container shops were erected on the site.

Images, quake damaged Papanui Rd:


14.04.11. Quake trashed house, cnr Merivale Ln / Papanui Rd, national state of emergency. The house was demolished. Six shipping container shops were erected on the site


That night Leah told me that as Manchester St Red Light area was red zoned closed, many whores & other quake evacuees had moved to Rangiora, booming with new rentals. As most citizens were banned from Christchurch cordoned CBD, red zone, some whores just moved their beats up Manchester St closer to Bealey Ave. Two years later, street whores would become a nuisance polluting Manchester St beyond Bealey Ave.

Sat, 16.04.11. I drove down Colombo St, Sydenham, after the military cordon opened. Many of the quake damaged old, brick bldgs I'd coolpixed post Sept 4 quake were demolished, wastelands along Colombo St, Sydenham.

I did the same zone 4 walk with Leah that drizzly afternoon & some of zone 1. Leah was distressed & shocked at so much CBD quake damage. NZDF soldiers were alert at checkpoints & friendly. There were many Sat afternoon rubberneckers with cameras, parents with kids too. I didn't coolpix for a change. We all had to see to believe & grieve.

Traffic jammed along Montreal St, Sat afternoon drivers rubbernecking. The Victoria St hotel was demolished in the red zone cordon near Jubilee Clock Tower. Demolition continued on Strategy bldg, corner Montreal St / Salisbury St. Few businesses were open, most closed.

We walked along Park Tce, still deserted with red, plastic road cones along the way, a solitary portaloo at Armagh St corner. Five star, The George Hotel solicited trade with a sign on nearby Armagh St Bridge over the Avon, together with BOTANIC GARDENS OPEN signs. That showed how bad the CBD needed business recovery.

Rolleston Ave: Several Porta-classrooms in Christ's College courtyard. Stone gable & roof slate damages behind. One staunch Jap tourist bus was parked by fence cordoned Canterbury Museum, Jap tourists looking for quake pics. No other tourists in sight.

We walked down Worcester Blvd for the first time since the Feb 22 quake. Saw boarded & fence cordoned Arts Centre, clock tower cracked below a clock face, metal & concrete block braced clock tower. Few businesses were open, most closed.

NZDF soldiers & gawpers at Worcester St Bridge cordon: Oxford Tce: Our City - old, brick bldg, metal braced. White facade of opposite Clarendon Tower - cracked. Clarendon Tower was demolished, eventually. Tardy demolition of high rises like Clarendon Tower delayed reopening of the CBD, due to dangerous drop zones.

Sir Robert Falcon Scott statue - gone. Christchurch Cathedral - tower gone.

We walked over wet autumn leaves, beside Avon River, looked into ghost town, red zone: Oxford Tce restaurants were battered, most high rises looked OK externally. Internal damages unknown?

NZDF soldiers' wooden hut, Hereford St Bridge cordon: Bridge wing walls were cracked. Battered bldgs down Hereford St in red zone. Since I'd passed 5 weeks ago, opposite Central Police bldg, old brick Library Chambers bldg - fallen. Oamaru stones on fence cordoned pavement. Library Chambers was soon demolished.

Bridge of Remembrance over Avon River: Steps & bridge cracked, fence cordon across middle. Cashel Mall messed, big rubble pile in middle of mall.

5.49 pm, 5.3 magnitude quake while I typed. Depth 11 km, 10 km NE of Diamond Harbour. (Geonet). Shook my pc monitor, nearly spilt my tea. Lyttelton power cut. Redcliffs rock fall.

Mon, 18.04.11. After Sat's 5.3 magnitude aftershock, The Press reported demolition of the Strategy bldg, corner Victoria St / Salisbury St, front page news & confirmed little business was happening in Victoria St, yet.

FACEBOOK

Mark: Exteme Danger: Drizzly Sat afternoon, Leah & I walked Chch CBD, zone 4 & some of zone 1. Leah shocked & distressed at destruction. Many people viewing the mess. Little business open. 5.3 magnitude aftershock, 5:49 pm near Diamond Harbour. Lyttelton power cut. Redcliffs rock fall. April 17 at 2:58 am.

Averil (RSA): So sorry to hear you going thru this again. Really hoped things had settled and were getting back to normal for you guys. April 17 at 4:37 am.

Mark: Weird, like a war zone, hopefully will quieten soon. Every time we think it's over, another aftershock. Workmen meanwhile trying to "make safe" as much as possible - demolitions, roads, power, sewage, housing. Many NZDF soldiers still guarding CBD cordons. April 17 at 9:03 am.

Janet (NZ): Can't believe this is still continuing so long. April 17 at 12:26 pm.

Andrew (RSA): Aftershocks continuing. Keep well my friend, we are praying for an end to the destruction. April 18 at 5:23 am.

Mark: Read a letter to The Press, speculation that Chch & the Alpine Fault are on the move, past immovable old volcanoes - Banks Peninsula. Maybe we're in for more? [True]. Between rocks & hard places. April 20 at 9:06 am.

[More supportive comments from South Africans.]

Maggie (RSA): When will it all stop? April 21 at 5:08 am.

Mark: Stop? Anyone's guess. Experts are scrambling to explain. April 21 at 11:33 am.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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