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News 7.0 earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand

  1. Sep 3, 2010 #1

    jtbell

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  3. Sep 3, 2010 #2
    Interesting. A natural disaster is instantly a political issue... or we're in the wrong forum.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2010 #3

    Office_Shredder

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    Eh, it could qualify as a world affair, but I'm not sure what kind of debate there could be unless we have some Westboro Baptist type people on the forum
     
  5. Sep 3, 2010 #4

    Math Is Hard

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    God hates penguins?
     
  6. Sep 3, 2010 #5

    Gokul43201

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    No one died ... so they (the WBs) won't bother showing up.
     
  7. Sep 3, 2010 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am opposed to large earthquakes. Just the thought makes me shudder.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2010 #7

    Astronuc

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    It would qualify as a world affair (WA in P&WA), not a political issue.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2010 #8
    I see. I was expecting some dialog to go with the OP. Some point of discussion anyway.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2010 #9

    Math Is Hard

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    OK, I'll give it a try..


    So, who felt it? :smile:
     
  11. Sep 3, 2010 #10

    lisab

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    I thought that's what we were doing. I, too, am anti-quake.
     
  12. Sep 3, 2010 #11

    lisab

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    We have to have at least a few Kiwis here!
     
  13. Sep 3, 2010 #12

    Astronuc

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    There was major infrastructure damage in Christchurch the closest city to the quake.

    Mayor: Quake hit city 'like an iceberg'

    Apparently there was a fair amount of looting going on.

    The municipal water system has been compromised. Many people will be without drinking water or water for bathing.
     
  14. Sep 3, 2010 #13

    apeiron

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    Yes, I was knocked out of my bed this morning. Really quite hard to believe the house is standing, let alone there is no damage visible, just one mirror knocked off the wall.

    One cat still unaccounted for - a nervous cat at the best of times, so could have ended up anywhere.

    The creepy thing is all the aftershocks, every 10 minutes, most of them in their selves in the 5s and worse than any other earthquake I've experienced.

    Quake appears to happened in an unsuspected fault nearer to town and is not the "big one" of the trans-alpine fault which we have all been waiting for.

    Quite fun now that the power is back on to watch the TV news of town (where we are not allowed in) and seeing the rubble that appears to have been the studio where my daughter does art (a few paintings are probably in the wreckage) and other very familiar landmarks.

    In world disaster terms, this of course rates as a stubbed toe. Just $$$ for buildings and roads, but locally there will be cleaning up and disruption for weeks.

    If you want a political dimension, it is the mayoral elections here next month and the incumbent was on the ropes. A good crisis might save him yet!
     
  15. Sep 3, 2010 #14

    lisab

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    Wow, so glad to hear you're OK, apeiron! I'm curious, is your house made of wood? That's what most buildings are made of here in the quake-prone Seattle area. It's soooo flexible in an earthquake, yet remains structurally sound.

    And no deaths that I've heard, that's really fantastic. A moment of grateful silence for Civil Engineers :approve:.
     
  16. Sep 3, 2010 #15

    apeiron

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    My house is concrete mostly - particularly strong by local standards, though you are right that there is a lot of wood housing here which just sways happily.

    The damage is all in central town where there is a lot of old (100 year old is old here) brick offices and stores. And in the east side of the suburbs where it is all built on sandy soils that liquify.
     
  17. Sep 4, 2010 #16
    Impressive that nobody seems to have died in such a destructive event. looting and the rest is unfortunate, but no deaths is fantastic. Glad you're well (and still connected to the net) Apeiron!

    Given NZ, it's really too bad that this occurred in the second most populated city in the country. :frown:
     
  18. Sep 4, 2010 #17

    apeiron

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    Looting? That was about two people pulling some stuff out of a broken shop window. In fact the response here has been remarkably disciplined. The general feeling so far is that it is surprising how level-headed the public have been. When people were told not to come into the inner city and rubberneck, they did as advised.

    This was an earthquake to match Haiti's. But seismologists are reminding us rather too gleefully that it was only a 7, not the 8 which we should get every 300 years, and which we haven't had for 300 years.

    No part of NZ is safe. The whole place is a faultline between two plates. Our biggest lake was one of the world's most recent super-volcanoes. Christchurch, like any town with a deep harbour, is formed around a not too old crater rim.

    Because of this, the town is quite well prepared for an earthquake disaster. Over the past few years, there has even been quite a bit of building strengthening going on as a result of new bylaws - and those who had been dragging their feet will now probably be collecting on their national earthquake insurance.

    Our national museum has an earthquake simulation "ride" where you get bumped about by a quake modelled on a Japanese event. This itself turned out to be useful preparation. It really did feel like that, if a little more wild.

    Anyway, the civil defence response has proved pretty effective so far. The bill is going to be huge, but the preparation has paid.

    The tremors are still continuing. It is a little like being on a ship, getting little bumps all the time.
     
  19. Sep 4, 2010 #18

    Evo

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    The concrete construcyion is interesting. My ex-fiance lived in Sicily, where they get many earthquakes and all housing must be concrete, apparently enginered to withstand earthquakes?
     
  20. Sep 4, 2010 #19
    Heh, two people pulling stuff out of a window. :biggrin: I like that image. Yeah, it goes to show that decent construction, social order, and general preparedness goes a LOOOOONG way. You should give some feedback to the company that makes that simulator and tell them they have a pretty good lock on the experience; it isn't everyone who rides out a 7.0.

    I have to say, you analogy of the ship is incredibly apt when you consider the nature of plate tectonics, you know? Anyway, you're well, nobody died, and property can be rebuilt... and who knows, it may be that energy releases such as this go a long way towards alleviating an "8.0" event. There is a similar theory about the "BIG ONE" in California, that sometimes there is a single massive release, and in other times it's a series of smaller (7.0's and such) quakes. Here's to hoping!
     
  21. Sep 4, 2010 #20
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