Sunday, January 15, 2012

EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE, Burwood, Post 23.12.11 Quake Swarm

Sun 15.01.12. That hot, nor'wester afternoon, between Travis Wetland & Avon River, I drove some Burwood roads. Dried liquefaction silt swirled in the wind, making Burwood a dust bowl.

Months after quakes, no matter how much silt clearing was done by manual digging or mechanical diggers, there was always dry silt on roads. Although roads & pavements I wandered were cleared of liquefaction mud, they were grey with liquefaction dust - like dry, gritty cement poured on roads. Never mind the ongoing quake swarm which began on 23.12.11.

The contrast between grey, dusty, liquefactioned roads & quake broken, posh housing was Third World / First World. I developed a skin infection, after 16 months of wandering dirty, liquefactioned streets. The last time I had such an infection was when I worked in Third World, QwaQwa township, in 1987 apartheid SA - long drop toilets, dusty, muddy, shitty streets - similar to post quake Christchurch.

Mon 16.01.12. I wanted to see Burwood quake damage, west side of Anzac Dr, between Travis Rd, by Travis Wetland in the north & New Brighton Rd, by Avon River in the south. The developed swampland was almost surrounded by waterways, Avon River & swamp.

Wetlands were on both sides of quake-lumpy & patch-repaired Anzac Dr to Anzac Bridge: an eastern creek, a western swamp. Both waterways had new houses close by. Why did Council allow houses to be built on swampland, liquefaction prone land?

I did a circular walk along cleaned liquefactioned roads with a couple of detours to check out swampland housing & liquefaction damages.

CERA Landcheck website gave post quake, land status of roads I wandered, as follows:

Brooker Ave: 72 properties, 69 red zone, 3 green zone.
Norcross St: 4 properties, all red zone.
Corserland St: 38 properties, all red zone.
Longview Pl: 20 properties, all red zone.
Kingsbridge Dr: 67 properties, 36 red zone, 31 green zone.
Kingsbridge West: 39 properties (no housing), all green zone.
Schumacher Pl: 8 properties, 3 red zone, 5 green zone.
Rebecca Ave: 33 properties, all red zone.

Red zone land / housing was deemed by govt / CERA to be too expensive to fix & people had to leave. Green zone land / housing was deemed to be fixable & liveable. But no one checked or moderated tardy Tonkin & Taylor engineers who investigated & reported on quake damaged land.

Kingsbridge West was zoned by Council for development before the 2010-2011 quakes, with infrastructure in place. And CERA / Tonkin & Taylor deemed Kingsbridge West green zone. Post quakes, Kingsbridge West was chock full of liquefaction silt boils & volcanoes. Behind Kingsbridge West wooden fence, across Travis Rd was Travis Wetland.

The fact that most land / housing on roads I wandered was red zoned, made green zoning of adjacent Kingsbridge West stark raving bonkers!

All the houses I wandered past were relatively new, many were abandoned, some were quake tilted & sunk into liquefaction silt. Excluding Kingsbridge West green zone anomaly, given that the rest of the roads I wandered were 84% red zoned, that meant Council building consents were pre-quake cockups with little or no reference to liquefaction prone land.

In Christchurch red zones, there would be 1 000s of red zoners annoyed at being ripped off by Council consents & developers' greed. It was Council's & developers' business to know about liquefaction prone land & liquefaction hazards long before building consents & building developments happened.

I parked my car on Brooker Ave, near New Brighton Rd & snapped a couple of liquefaction sunk houses, abandoned gardens overgrown. Orange road cones guarded road damage.

Images, quake damaged Brooker Ave:


16.01.12. Liquefactioned, red zone housing, Brooker Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm






Norcross St, opposite Brooker Reserve: Couple of quake damaged houses. Orange road cones guarded road damage.


16.01.12. Liquefactioned Brooker Reserve, viewed from cnr Brooker Ave / Norcross St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


A memorial plaque by BROOKER RESERVE read:

                STEPHEN AND REBECCA
                             BROOKER
SETTLED ON 40 ACRES OF LAND BETWEEN
BARKERS ROAD AND BOWER AVENUE IN 1860
BEING ONE OF THE FIRST FOUR FAMILIES
        HERE. STEPHEN NAMED THE AREA
"NEW BRIGHTON" AFTER BRIGHTON ENGLAND



Corserland St: I wandered round the bend, then parallel to Anzac Dr by swampland. Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, most were abandoned, gardens overgrown. I watched a woman sweeping liquefaction silt off her driveway with a brush & pan.

Images, quake damaged Corserland St:


16.01.12. Liquefactioned Corserland St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm







Longview Pl: Big sink hole with orange road cones on corner. Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, most were abandoned, gardens overgrown.

Images, quake damaged Longview Pl:


16.01.12. Plastic, sewage tank, liquefactioned cnr Corserland St / Longview Pl, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned Longview Pl, post 23.12.11 quake swarm








16.01.12. Liquefaction sink hole, cnr Longview Pl / Corserland St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

I wandered Corserland St some more & watched a woman & her barking Doberman vanish into the swamp behind houses. Canada geese & other waterfowl, floating in the swamp, were unfazed by noisy Anzac Dr nearby.

Images, quake damaged Corserland St:


16.01.12. Swampland between Anzac Dr left & Corserland St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. Mt Evans & Port Hills back drop


16.01.12. Red zone, quake damaged Corserland St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm






Kingsbridge Dr: Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, some were abandoned, gardens overgrown. I watched a digger on top of a rubble pile scoop the remains of a double storey house into a truck. CERA would demolish many red zone houses over the next year.

Images, quake damaged Kingsbridge Dr:


16.01.12. Plastic sewage tank, cnr Corserland St / Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned house, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Demolition of quake damaged, double storey house, red zone, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned house, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Schumacher Pl: Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, some were abandoned, gardens overgrown. I looked across busy Travis Rd to Travis Wetland & wondered how many quake messed houses were there? Travis Rd was lumpy, bumpy & patch-repaired, a mess.

Images, quake damaged Schumaker Pl:


16.01.12. Red zone, plastic sewage tank, cnr Kingsbridge Dr / Schumacher Pl, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Earlier that morn, on my drive to Anzac Dr, along Travis Rd by Bassett St, I'd passed a digital road sign: EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE. Round the traffic circle, on Anzac Dr I'd passed a road sign: EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE.


16.01.12. EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE road sign, Anzac Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. Port Hills back drop

I detoured round the back of Schumacher Pl, along a swampland path, going parallel to Schumacher Pl & Kingsbridge Dr. A new house was quake tilted towards the swamp, split in two - split up an end wall & straight across the roof. Moral: Don't build on swampland in a quake zone.


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefaction damaged house by swamp, Schumacher Pl, post 23.12.11 quake swarm






















I passed the digger demolition site again & saw an old woman peering through a fence at the demolition. She wore a day pack & toted a camera.

Images, quake damaged Kingsbridge Dr:


16.01.12. Red zone, demolition of quake damaged, double storey house, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



Back on Kingsbridge Dr, I wandered westwards towards Kingsbridge West. The further from Anzac Dr swamp I wandered, the less obvious quake damaged housing & the road was cleaner.


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned house, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




16.01.12. Waterway footbridge between Kingsbridge Dr & Travis Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Liquefactioned Donnell Sports Park, Kingsbridge Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


I wandered past Donnell Sports Park & a waterway going to Travis Rd. At a Kingsbridge Dr bend, I snapped an abandoned, quake sunk house. Weeds & dry liquefaction silt were in the garden.


16.01.12. Quake sunk, liquefactioned house, cnr Kingsbridge Dr / Kingsbridge West, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Kingsbridge West: As mentioned above, road & infrastructure were already built, but liquefaction silt polluted neatly mown grass, as if Council & developers still wanted to flog housing there, on liquefactioned swampland after 10 000 quakes.

Later on, councillor Livingstone touted Kingsbridge West as cheap land to sell for affordable housing. Livingstone was making the same mistake Councillors before him had made. Only morons would buy such liquefactioned swampland.

Images, quake damaged Kingsbridge West:


16.01.12. Liquefactioned Kingsbridge West, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. This green zone anomaly was amidst red zone swampland. Travis Rd & Travis Wetland behind fencing




Rebecca Ave: Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, some were abandoned, with overgrown gardens. I passed a house demolition site occupied by a dry, dusty liquefaction boil. Demolition trucks rumbled by, spewing dust. A pile of dead carpets mouldered in a dusty driveway.

Since the quakes I'd seen many roadside piles of muddy carpets, sure signs that housing was flooded by liquefaction mud & filthy water. I'd seen quake flooding in Jake's Waltham Rd flat, Feb 22 quake, where all the carpets were flooded by a quake burst well.

Images, quake damaged Rebecca Ave:


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned house demolition site, Rebecca Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


16.01.12. Quake damaged house, Rebecca Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm







16.01.12. Quake damaged carpets, Rebecca Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm







Brooker Ave, back to my car: Liquefaction dusty, some houses were inhabited, some were abandoned, with overgrown gardens. A CANTERBURY MOVERS truck was parked in a yard, while red zoners relocated. I'd seen many mover trucks over the last year.

All the streets I walked that shiny morn were grey, grey & more grey dust. New houses were damaged by many quakes. On roadsides were an epidemic of silt turds & green, plastic, sewage tanks, full of crap.

Images, quake damaged Brooker Ave:


16.01.12. Red zone, liquefactioned housing, cnr Rebecca Ave / Brooker Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



16.01.12. Quake damaged housing, Brooker Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



















Tues 17.01.12. Quake recovery minister Brownlee TV announced that orange zone properties on Southshore between the Pacific & Avon-Heathcote Estuary & white zone properties in the Port Hills may get a zoning decision by the end of February.

For months post quakes, those home owners were left in limbo by CERA & tardy Tonkin & Taylor land reporting since quake zoning began. While red zoners & green zoners could get on with their broken lives & do battle with CERA / NZ govt, EQC & insurers, orange zoners & white zoners, so far, had to suck it up & wait.

Who or what was causing PM Key's "psychological damage" post 23.12.11 quake swarm? CERA / NZ govt? EQC? Insurers? Fletchers? Quakes?

NZ govt land-grab: NZ govt wanted to sell public assets, yet NZ govt was forcing red zoners from their land with Crown offers at pre-quake 2007 RV. NZ govt didn't say what it would do with the acquired red zone land.

Whether red zoners accepted either govt buyout option or insurance pay out option, red zoners were forced by govt decree to leave Tonkin & Taylor deemed, unfixable, quake ravaged land.

TC3 green / blue zoners had no such govt buyout offer & had to suck on the dry, liquefaction paps of EQC & / or insurer pay outs. The 28 000 TC3 green / blue zoners' long term prospects were grimmer than 7 000+ red zoners', who could take govt buyout cash & run.

TC3 green / blue zoners were doomed to liquefaction mud digging, quake after quake & should they stay on quake ravaged land, were doomed to spending a fortune on reinforced house foundations, with no guarantees foundations would withstand future quakes.

NZ govt speculated on red zoners' land, either using red zoners' insurance money to pay out red zoners for house & land (red zoners ceded their land / house insurance policies to the Crown) or using taxpayers' money to buy red zoners' land & leaving red zoners to sort out house pay outs with insurers. Either option, red zoners lost their land to NZ govt. Thus red zoners were forced off their land by NZ govt. In future, how would NZ govt profit from its new public asset, former red zone land?

Thurs 21 Mar 2013. Fourteen months later, NZ govt was still mum about what it would do with its newly acquired, red zone river lands. CERA minister Brownlee was non-committal. Mainland Press reported a Brownlee spokesman: "The Crown will recover some costs from insurers following the purchase of the red zone residential properties, but decisions on the future use for this land and whether the Crown will gain from these are yet to be made."

Nov 2013. Ditto Mar 2013. Many of the red zone houses had been demolished by CERA.

Jan 2016. NZ govt still stayed mum about what it would do with red zone land it had taken.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Red zoners 'bullied' in Govt buyout (The Press / Stuff Co).


See CERA / govt offer to red zone residents for insured properties.


See Council is tearing itself apart - Sue Wells (The Press / Stuff Co).


See Liquefaction During Historical Earthquakes in NZ. (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Canterbury).

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