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Joined: Mar 2005
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It headed the BBC TV News today, NZ is very much cared about by us Brits. Looks like a lot of damage but fortuously no serious casualties.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Mike! cheers


Wood work but can't!
Joined: Oct 2000
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Mike,

As Randy ("Lostazhell") said, from one fellow Seismic Zone inhabitant to another, keep alert for when the Aftershocks roll!
The Building Materials loosened by the Main Event get knocked over by the Aftershocks. Also the Gas lines ruptured by the Main Event have leaked greatly, filling enclosed areas. Aftershocks tend to ignite the volatile Gas via Sparks from faulting Circuitry.

As an Emergency Services Person, I am sure you are completely aware of this, which makes it kind of redundant for me to describe!
wink

I wish you the best of luck and safety, as you assist in the Search & Rescue efforts.

May all victims be found, and no fatalities.

Scott

p.s.: Happy Birthday!!! cheers


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Jun 2004
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I live in suburban Christchurch.
It was a nasty wee jolt, felt like someone repeatedly picked up the house and slammed it back into the ground about half-a-dozen times. No time to react, I woke up and grabbed the nearest large object (my wife) and hung on for dear life until the shaking stopped.
Rode across town on my motorbike soon after first light to check on parents, siblings. What struck me immediately was that the older double-brick houses had copped plenty of visible damage, but most modern buildings seemed to have escaped with little or none. Many brick chimneys were piles of brick beside their houses, or worse had gone through the roof. Many churches are badly damaged.
My own house seems completely intact, the only damage being a PC that fell off the workstation and now no longer boots up. At the other end of the spectrum, three of the people that I work with no longer have houses, just piles of rubble.
The very weird thing to me is that if you had asked anyone in Canterbury ahead of this quake where they thought the next quake would come from, most would have pointed to the alpine fault that bisects NZ. But I'd say no-one, geologists included, would ever have picked the middle of the Canterbury plains as anything at all to worry about. It just goes to show how little we know about the ground under our feet.


Mark aka Paulus
Joined: Jul 2004
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I just heard back from our friend Garry at the North Avon Pharmacy. He had a similar experience to you.
This was what he wrote to us.

Quote
For me, the staggering thing is the patchy damage effects we're seeing. This earthquake has similar headline numbers to the Haiti earthquake ( 7.1 vs 7.0 there, both about 30 kms out from the main city centre, both about 10 to 16 k deep) - but no loss of life ( ( put that down to a 4.35 am timing - midday on a weekday would have been so very very different), lower population density, higher building standards)

Damage appears to be older brick facade style buildings where the facade has taken out verandahs, or fallen into the building. Plus LOTS of liquefaction issues - many houses will have mud and silt damage. One friend close to here tells of her husband heading out the bedroom door during the shake to attend to their daughter, but by the time she got to the door, it had closed and jammed. After the quake settled, they wrenched the door open and decided to step outside - but their front and back lawns were under silty water and mud, forced bu through the ground. A gate that used to shut flat against their house now doesn't - it has a 4 inch overlap. After a few minutes they determined they had no water services, so decided to get some buckets of water from the river, just across the road, to fill the toilet cistern. NO water in the river - took 15 minutes to return. Their house is probably a writeoff

Within a 5 block circle of here, which includes the riverisde area, many many damaged commercial premises and many homes that have moved on foundations, or settled or cracked. The local state of emergency has been extended by another 2 days, no schools, preschools etc are open and commercial businesses are been warned not to to open until building safety checks have been carried out. I expect to see and hear from many of our distressed pharmacy clients today ; some will be in unlivable homes

We live semi-rurally and have no damage in the surrounding area, but the township of Kaiapoi, a riverside town , is a mess. Our local church there has about 150 - 200 people there, and our informal partial gathering for thankfulness and support yesterday counted up 11 homes with damage, many likely to be unlivable.

So all in all, although the entire city has definitely dodged a biggy, it would be fair to say the impact, both now in terms of anxieties and long term in terms of people's livelihoods or home rebuilding challenges, are and will be significant



Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2007
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Glad to hear everyone is ok. Happy belated Trumpy. bet you weren't planning to spend your birthday dealing with this


"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Jul 2002
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I can't help but think that we haven't seen the last of the earthquakes.
Although I hate to say that, I think something is about to give, in the Alpine fault-line.

Mark, I have to agree with you on the way that damage has occured across the earthquakes area, damage to buildings was almost selective (if you can use a term like that in this situation).

Greg's friend Garry has it right though, had this quake happened at 4:35PM, the outcome in Christchurch would have unfortunately been a heck of a lot worse.

I think this is what scares a lot of people about earthquakes, in that you can't predict them with any great certainty, they just happen un-expectedly.
When I lived in Blenheim for a couple of years, earthquakes were almost a daily occurence, albeit small ones, but you just got used to them.

One thing has to be said about brick construction though, under the forces of an earthquake, typical brick and mortar joints can't handle the twisting and heaving caused by movements in the earth below, add to the fact that a lot of these buildings have been standing for many years and the structural integrity of the mortar seems to get worse as time goes by.
At least a timber-framed house has a bit of "give" in it's construction, this isn't the case with brick or concrete where the re-bar has since rusted away.

All in all, I'm just glad that there were very few casualties, one person died from a heart attack and two people are in Intensive care after being struck by the brick chimney falling into the house below.

It's going to be some time before things are really back to normal here.
The people I really feel for are those that have lost everything and their houses are little more than a pile of rubble.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
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Mike and Paul as well { I know he is in the area as well }

Do you have any rough idea the number of buildings are damaged at the moment ??

I was getting conflect reports so I decided to ask direct to ya due you are in the area.

Merci.
Marc


Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Joined: Jan 2005
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As luck would have it .....

I'm living dead center over America's largest fault, and one that waqs the scene of what was (by far) America's biggest quake. Most folks don't think of Blytheville, Arkansas, though, since the fault has been essentially silent for nearly 200 years.

This is perhaps one of the reasons that local building practices are completely lacking in any sort of seismic considerations. For that matter, they ignore the frequent hurricaines that come here to die. Also, a great deal of the construction predates the Great Depression. Add the rampant termites .... well, you gert the picture.

I recently viewed one house that was faced on both levels with a stone and brick veneer. This 25 ft. stack of masonry had NO footing, simply stacked atop the 4" foundation slab. There were but a handful of brick ties, at the very top, and these were nailed into the plywood sheathing (you could pull them out with your bare hand). The mortar used was a 'home mix' that had little cement yet plenty of sand in it (think tile grout). I 'know' all of this as a section about 6 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide had fellen free from the second story.

Care to guess what will be the result of even a modest shake here? Perhaps it's no accident that a neighboring town is named "Haiti."

While we can't re-write the past, we can learn from it. There's not a job I've done where I didn't learn something - sometimes months later! Rather than focus on the crowded emergency rooms, I do wish the media would focus on what worked, and what failed, in every catastrophe. There are solid reasons why one house will burn, or fail, while another survives. There are also solid reasons why one place becomes a scene of looting and chaos, while another place recovers in an orderly manner.

As design and building professionals, we are in a position to actually make a difference.

Joined: Jul 2004
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I am not sure rebar with the proper "cover" really rusts away but I agree with the sentiment. Bad things can happen in old buildings. We build for uplift and wind pressure but I wonder how a southern building code building would hold up to a seismic event.
I have heard the same thing you say, about old stick built buildings in hurricanes. It seems a chickee hut (thatched roof pole barn) seems to do as well as block and steel. Maybe those indians were on to something wink


Greg Fretwell
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Member
Originally Posted by Paulusgnome
I live in suburban Christchurch.
It was a nasty wee jolt, felt like someone repeatedly picked up the house and slammed it back into the ground about half-a-dozen times. No time to react, I woke up and grabbed the nearest large object (my wife) and hung on for dear life until the shaking stopped.
Rode across town on my motorbike soon after first light to check on parents, siblings. What struck me immediately was that the older double-brick houses had copped plenty of visible damage, but most modern buildings seemed to have escaped with little or none. Many brick chimneys were piles of brick beside their houses, or worse had gone through the roof. Many churches are badly damaged.
My own house seems completely intact, the only damage being a PC that fell off the workstation and now no longer boots up. At the other end of the spectrum, three of the people that I work with no longer have houses, just piles of rubble.
The very weird thing to me is that if you had asked anyone in Canterbury ahead of this quake where they thought the next quake would come from, most would have pointed to the alpine fault that bisects NZ. But I'd say no-one, geologists included, would ever have picked the middle of the Canterbury plains as anything at all to worry about. It just goes to show how little we know about the ground under our feet.


Oops sorry, I forgot that you lived there too

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