Tag Archives: photo

The remnants of a quake

Yesterday after I posted my #NZpicoftheday Dan Slee sent me a message:

Which actually should have been a challenge as New Zealand is land of beautiful scenery, but mainly comprising of the mountains and the sea, so not a lot of red…. until recently.

Post quake Christchurch is awash with red, but this is no good thing. If you’ve seen todays #NZpicoftheday you’ll know why but it meant my choice of image was already there for the taking.

I’ve been trying to avoid posting “the damage” pictures as much as possible, it felt really voyeuristic walking around the remains of people lives and snapping away. I was very aware that as a tourist I would escape the ruin but for the people who lived there, there can be no escape, this is now their new reality.  In fact taking pictures of the quake damage was one thing I didn’t do for the first 2 weeks we were there. It wasn’t until until I met “locals” with cameras, discussing where they were when the quake hit I felt confident enough to take my camera out it, seeing them made me feel less intrusive about walking around taking pictures but I still shyed away from shooting peoples homes.

Just like seeing those locals in Christchurch who changed my mind about taking the photos, Today’s picture and subsequent conversation with someone who still believed the earthquake damage was isolated to the city centre has made me rethink about posting images of the damage.

The CBD (city centre) is still cordoned off and inaccessible with buildings visibly leaning awaiting deconstruction, rubble is piled everywhere broken glass and detritus still littering every corner.

Every street in every suburb in the east of the city has damage, Houses, roads, businesses, felled trees, burst water mains munted sewerage pipes, collapsed river banks, subsidence and liquifaction is wide spread, and as you head further out into the port hills, to Sumner and Redcliffs, closer to Lyttleton and the epicentre you have to contend with all this and the added devastation rock falls and land slides.

As one New Zealander pointed out to me, this is history as it happens and someone has to record it before it all changes.

300km of sewerage pipes are in need of repairing or replacing, as a result waste is being pumped into the rivers and polluting the sea.

Sumner & Redcliffs RSA building, destroyed in a rock slide during the Feb quake, a boulder the size of my living room crashed through the rear of it.

This could be a photograph of any street corner in the city centre.

The CBD is still cordoned off, navigating the city centre is nightmare when every every second street is inaccessible and the cordons move based on risk analysis, work being undertaken and the constant threat of aftershocks.

Another street, another dead end.

3 months after the quake and glass still litters the streets, the human rescue and recovery tasks taking priority over clean up operations,

Every street is effected, this is Sumner, every household is in upheaval but from a distance it looks like nothing’s wrong, until you look closer and spot the remains of where a house once stood.

Even the footpaths in places are now impassable

When cracks appear in the road wider then your foot where do you start fixing them? – The answer – they didn’t they started with the ones big enough for someone to stand in

Whole sections of the road just shifted, this is right on the coast near Spencer Park easily and hour away from the CBD

The raw power of a quake, twisted and mangled foot bridge across the river Avon, thankfully this was damaged in the September quake which hit in the early hours of the morning so no one was on it.

Whole sections of ground have dropped by more than a metre – I wish I could say this was unique to the river banks but this subsidence is evident across the city and suburbs…

….Damage is everywhere,

Red Stickered

Red Stickered by Steph Jennings
Red Stickered, a photo by Steph Jennings on Flickr.

In the aftermath of the Feb quake all buildings had to be assessed for damage – this was a long process as even buildings without obvious damage had to be looked at.

The EQC (Earthquake commission) sent a team of insurers and structural engineers to every home, business and building in the city and rated them placing placards in the windows.

Red placards are issued for seriously damaged homes and commercial buildings. You MUST NOT ENTER a red-stickered building because it has been deemed UNSAFE.

Yellow placards indicate limited access to the building and further structural assessment is needed by the owner’s consultants.

Green placards mean that the home has received a brief inspection only. While no apparent structural or other safety hazards have been found, it is the home-owner’s responsibility to set up further evaluation.

At present s in the CBD alone 755 are red stickered 909 yellow stickered and a further 1266 Green stickered.

The stickers are only for imminent instruction only, many of the yellow and green stickered buildings while structurally sound are not economically viable to repair and will also need pulling down – My uncles house is one of them.

Akaroa Bay from 699m

Akaroa Bay from 699m by Steph Jennings
Akaroa Bay from 699m, a photo by Steph Jennings on Flickr.

Looking back into Akaroa Bay from the highest point on the Banks Peninsula Tramp.

The Banks Peninsula Track is privately co-owned and co-run 35km track passing through several small holdings on the Banks Peninsula.

We completed the 4 day tramp which involved traversing the headlands and down into bays, sleeping in stargazers and huts, bathing under the stars, walking on beaches with seals and up hills with penguins and some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen – oh and sheep, lots and lots of sheep!

The numbers are limited on the track to 2500 per year, with a maximum group size of 12, this is so the path is never crowded and minimise impact on this beautiful landscape!

New Brighton Pier, New Zealand

300m pier which struts out into Pegasus Bay.

4 Rivers flow into the bay from north to south they are:

Waipara River
Ashley River
Waimakariri River
Avon River and Heathcote River via the Avon Heathcote Estuary.

The pier was built originally in 1894 and was demolished in 1964.

$4 million was raised by the council and community funds to build a new pier, and in 1987 it was opened. You can get good views of the ocean at the end.

There is a library at the beginning of the pier and a cafe underneath.