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Christchurch trembled and shook

September 3, 2010

It surprised me when I heard that Christchurch was struck by an earthquake today. Given that the Southern Alps (and associated faultlines) are within striking distance to this small but packed city, I never felt the earth tremble in Christchurch.

But it did and in the early hours the morning (NZ time). Earthquakes have lousy timing and strike in the most unusual places — to the layperson that it. Ask a scientist and they invariably hold a different view.

Living in an earthquake prone country makes a person blasé about the likelihood of the big one ever occurring. Living in a town that seldom gets to see the action can make you forget you actually live on shaky ground.

To the residents of Christchurch, here’s hoping your beautiful town is standing, it was a big one 7.2. Big enough to cut power and topple things from shelves, big enough to cut phone lines so family and friends can’t connect, and big enough to frighten.

Tourists shouldn’t feel overwhelmed, civil defence are prepared and organised and if you are thinking about a trip to Christchurch, unless you are told to stay away by officials, then you shouldn’t cancel your journey. Aftershocks will happen some scary and others not. A lot of the damage done from earthquakes comes from slack building codes, which NZ doesn’t have.

by Cate

Caffeinated Traveller

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7 Comments
  1. September 3, 2010 4:30 pm

    Wow. I just dodged a hurricane and an earthquake is plagueing the other side of the world? It almost makes you hesitate about traveling but it hasn’t stopped me yet.

    • September 6, 2010 11:32 am

      There are those who won’t travel because of these kinds of porblems but if you relied on nature, you wouldn’t go anywhere. Hope your trip went well.

  2. Catherine permalink
    September 3, 2010 8:18 pm

    I too was really surprised to hear about this NZ earthquake – hope all is ok in Christchurch a beautiful city – I am very used to my flat shaking here in Mexico City,,, and as you observed it can be a little too easy to get blase…

    • September 6, 2010 11:33 am

      Mexico would get a few tremors I suspect. Christchurch actually, doesn’t.

  3. September 18, 2010 3:04 pm

    Hi Cate,
    I returned from NZ about a week ago and was there when the quake hit, although not in Christchurch. My partner is still there and only told me yesterday that there are still many aftershocks being felt during the night.

    • September 19, 2010 11:15 am

      Thanks for the update Jen. Aftershocks are probably likely for sometime, it was a big shake. Lucky no one was killed. Glad you didn’t experience it.

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