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why did so many buildings survive the christchurch earthquake 2011

This provides a reminder that the Christchurch earthquake really was a local event: short, sharp and vicious. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Even the underground fuel tanks at my local service station, filled with fuel just the day before, were thrust upwards by this force. Some places that escaped liquefaction last time have received it this time, and vice versa. It was the middle of a working day and many people were at school or work, having lunch or running errands. Over half of the deaths occurred in the six-storey Canterbury Television (CTV) Building, which collapsed and caught fire in the earthquake. There is a somewhat historical  (probably about 1999) but generally informative assessment of the liquefaction risks in Christchurch at http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/solid-facts-christchurch-liquefaction.pdf  However, I think that if they were to write this document again it would say some things differently. Part of the answer is that the Japanese had become complacent about tsunamis and over-confident about the measures supposedly in place to protect them. The Christchurch building inspectors made multiple visits at key times to our New Zealand home, particularly when the foundations were being laid. Advance Publishing Ltd, Pingback: » Blog Archive » Christchurch earthquake aftermath. Ha, fatty. The original building codes go back to 1935, but earthquake design really only started in 1965. This time it was often colleagues, classmates or complete strangers who comforted and hel… The severity of the damage appears to be due to a combination of the earthquake coming from a previously unknown fault that runs beneath the city from the nearby Alpine fault, and the violence of the shaking because the city rests on damp sediments. As the plates move they cause earthquakes and causing a lot of damage. On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch shortly before 12:50pm at a shallow depth of four kilometres. It failed to attract tenants as I recall and was retro fitted as an hotel in the early 1990s. "But even if they'd known about the fault, they wouldn't have been sure it would produce such strong shaking, so they might have still underestimated what actually occurred. "It's clear that the New Zealanders rather underestimated the shaking that Christchurch could sustain," said Roger Musson, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey. The real truth will never be revealed it’s just too embarrasing, but speak to any builder that was not involved in the Grand Chancellor and if they are willing they will tell you that it was always a disaster waiting to happen. Christchurch Earthquake The reason Christchurch suffers so much damage from liquefaction is because of the soil type and soil arrangement in the region. Christchurch earthquake: collapsed building was 'poorly designed and constructed' A six-story office building that collapsed and killed 115 people in New Zealand's devastating earthquake … Is the Mycoplasma bovis eradication campaign on track? On 22 February 2011, at 12:51 pm, Christchurch was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. Why did so many buildings survive the earthquake? the frequency can be so low that you cant hear it, but your dog or your cat may hear it and freak out before the earthquake hits. I do not know who the architects were for the original construction but the engineers were Holmes Wood Poole and Johnstone. A M w 6.2 (M L 6.3) earthquake occurred in Christchurch on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time (23:51 UTC, 21 February). Hi, with regard to the Grand Chancellor building it should never have been built. ( Log Out /  Hopefully in future Christchurch will see a much better standard of design, something with more creative flare, and a big step away from brutalism. Many old, historic buildings have been earthquake strengthened in the last 20 years. Having planned the building of a new house both in Australia (in the 1980s) and in New Zealand ( in 2001), I know that the building code is a lot stronger here in  New Zealand than in Australia. It is the stringent New Zealand building codes that make house building so expensive in this country. Over on the eastern hills of Sumner, Redcliffs, and Mt Pleasant ,  it seems the shaking of the ground was so extreme that no practical building code could have saved many of the houses. Because the ground loses its rigidity, buildings can be shaken far more violently. Earthquake resistance can and is, in many cases, built into the design of the building. [Update: By early March some 180,000 tonnes had been trucked out.] Also, both  in September 2010 and again in February 2011, there has been some liquefaction in areas previously identified as low risk. 0 1 2 … John Clague, an expert in natural hazards at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, said it was unclear what caused such serious damage to modern buildings, but said the answer could be the "liquefaction" of the ground when the shaking began. The September quake had occurred in the early hours of the morning with family generally close at hand. Water pipes, roads, bridges, power lines, cell phone towers and ordinary phone lines were broken or damaged. Developers, councils and engineers do some great work, no argument there, but when you see something like the Grand Chancellor and the Ferrymead towers go ahead you really do wonder how they (the designer) can even think it looks good, surely they cannot be proud of those buildings, they are just damn ugly. Where the shaking or ground movement was severe, then houses on piles seemed to fare  somewhat better than those on concrete pads. Damage to buried pipes allowed sewage to enter the water so people had to boil their tap water. "You can't protect against everything, because it's simply too expensive. Officials will now inspect buildings and draw up an inventory of damage. The December 2011 and February 2016 earthquakes were off the coast, in Pegasus Bay, but the movement on the earthquake … Before and after shots of  the PGC building (see below) tell a story of a modern-looking building, although built in about 1963. Pingback: Rebuilding Christchurch | PHSGeogBlog. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. A reason to why there was so much damage done was because that the land, infrastructure and roads were still either damaged or weak due to the 2010 Christchurch earthquake which had a magnitude of 7.1. many building which Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hi there, I was wondering if I could use your picture for a poster I am presenting at the NZ Society of Earthquake Engineers conference. Our Queensland house was built on a hill-top and had a special cyclone rating, but I doubt very much whether it would have withstood the shaking that our New Zealand house has withstood. 185 people from more than 20 countries died in the earthquake. Whether or not PGC were actually the building owners in 2011, or simply the major tenants with naming rights, is not clear to me. Buildings have collapsed around Cathedral Square in downtown Christchurch. The conventional view on liquefaction seems to be that the damage is caused by subsidence of the buildings into the soil, but I don’t think it has to be this way. Some buildings will be written off and torn down, while others will be repairable or declared safe for immediate occupation. The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, often referred to as the Blueprint, is the plan developed by the Fifth National Government of New Zealand for the recovery of the Christchurch Central City from a series of earthquakes, in particular the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.. "When shaken, these sediments transform into a liquid, causing irregular settlement of the ground, which is extremely damaging to buildings and buried structures, like water lines.". Debbie Jarvis The Grand Chancellor hotel was originally constructed in the mid 1980s as an office tower. But the 2011 Christchurch quake, … The earthquake damage to modern buildings in Christchurch caught many experts by surprise and suggests the city was more prone to destructive tremors than local planners realised. It was originally a carpark building. In any case, the Uni itself is being used as a base for rescue personnel. And in the days after the earthquake, it was the Japanese media who were the most persistent in asking why the building failed as it did and killed so many… ", Damp sediments under Christchurch made tremor more violent, Survivors are taken from a modern building damaged by Tuesday's earthquake in Christchurch. The rest of the building was in effect suspended from this core with only light support in the corners.] The story behind the failure of the 26 (some reports say 27) level Grand Chancellor Hotel, constructed in 1995, will take some time to emerge. Each day over the last five months, as I have driven to work, I have looked with wonder at a multi-million-dollar modern home owned by a well-known sporting identity, which looks normal from the road but is going to be pulled down for exactly this reason. Clearly it suffered immediate damage, but it was only some hours later that it began to tilt. I liken it to an undergound tsunami, that travelled through the aquifer from the epicentre, and then burst upwards as it hit the underlying rocks of the Port Hills. ( Log Out /  In other words , they were built for strength, but with rigidity rather than the flexibility needed to  absorb the energy of a huge quake. That means it pre-dated the first earthquake design requirements of the 1965 code. ( Log Out /  Christchurch 22nd Feburary Earthquake New Zealand is prone to earthquakes because its situated between two major plates. [Update of 1 March: there are conflicting reports as to the date of construction. The cathedral and many other old brick buildings were known to be vulnerable to shaking and some had been weakened by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck more than 25 miles outside the city six months ago. Government’s food and fibre reset report lacks a core, Quantitative easing floods capital markets, The ongoing search for new markets – India and beyond, Rugby’s role in a greater South Pacific strategic reset, A1 milk predisposes to asthma and lung inflammation, COVID-19 scenarios are becoming increasingly evident, COVID-19 is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability, North-East Asian markets as alternatives to China. Maybe the wonder is that more modern buildings have not collapsed, and perhaps we should give due credit for that. The government declared a state of national emergency, which stayed in force until 30 April 2011. Meagan Jones A significant amount of drilling of holes both in the concrete walls and floors was done. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. But whereas plaster cladding has survived, some of the brick veneer homes are looking a little naked, with timber and building paper now visible. Anywhere adjacent to a current or former spring was at risk. (Photo credits: The first three photos in this post come from Asher Trafford. Liquefaction on Kilmore St ( Asher Trafford), Liquefaction in park off Colombo St (Asher Trafford). Not only are the codes stringent, but they are enforced. The liquefaction on these soils is much greater than  in September, and initial reports are of up to 150,000 tonnes of sand and silt needing to be removed, compared to about 30,000 tonnes last September. It may have been 1979.] The Christchurch Earthquake: tectonic plates and fault lines, Understanding the Christchurch earthquake: building damage, http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/solid-facts-christchurch-liquefaction.pdf, » Blog Archive » Christchurch earthquake aftermath, YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT-FINAL | YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT, Regenerative agriculture is not redundant but can be misguided, It’s time for Fonterra to define the new path ahead, Agriculture will change but pastoral agriculture will survive and prosper, Green-lipped mussels are becoming heavy lifters, Composting mootels can transform dairy, but only if we get things right, Fonterra stabilises finances with back to basics model, selling assets and retaining profits, Coronavirus border policies need a deeper rethink, Green vegetables grow at the feet of big mountains, Big win for Fonterra from latest DIRA amendments, A resource-based perspective on immigration, Is regenerative agriculture the real deal. It was built nearly ten years after the 1976 regulations [see update above] which  introduced the principles of  ‘controlled failure’ and may also have been subject to the 1984 regulations. What is clear is that people on the upper floors had the best chance of escape, with many of those on the lower floors being crushed by the collapse of heavy concrete floors. At 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand. Although Lincoln Uni does remain closed, that is because many staff and students live in the city. Change ). Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Liquefaction happens when underground water in the soil comes to the surfac… Same conditions – credit to photographer/website. But newer buildings were constructed in line with recently improved regulations that were expected to protect them from the worst shaking the city might encounter. If you have an earthquake that has a 90% chance of not being exceeded in 50 years, the authorities might say that's an acceptable risk, we can live with that. One of the key messages from the September quake seemed to be that as long as a building was away from the streams, rivers, or low-lying land with a high water table, then it could withstand the shock as long as it was of modern construction. The collapse of the cathedral is less surprising. It would seem that some were killed by the ensuing fire after being trapped. It is of the liquefaction on Kilmore St, and am planning to use it as the background. Perhaps the ground acceleration went beyond the design capacity, as there is no doubt the ground acceleration was extreme. [Update of 1 March: There are reports that the structural strength was supposed to come from the ‘core’ built into the rear of the building. [Update: The buildng was sold to private investors in 2009.] The quake was centred 10km south-east of the city at a depth of 5km. It seems that we do indeed have very stringent building codes in New Zealand. ( Log Out /  The codes focus on the standards that have to be met, rather than specifying precise building procedures. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch this morning was considerably less powerful than the 7.1 magnitude shake that hit last September, and yet it … Other earthquakes have resulted in far bigger death tolls, not least the Japanese earthquake and tsunami just 20 days later. The earthquake occurred on New Zealand’s South Island, 10km west of Christchurch, at 12.51pm on 22nd February 2011 and lasted just 10 seconds. The codes were further strengthened in 1976 with the concept of ‘controlled failure’, and strengthened again in 1984 and 1992. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. So one has to ask the question, how could the tsunami have killed so many people in a country that was supposed to be the most tsunami-aware nation on Earth? So there are many potential ways to create safer buildings that will ride out an earthquake and remain fit for use – and Geoff says many of these will be visible in new buildings around Christchurch, especially those on Cambridge Grand Chancellor Hotel with earthquake damage and tilting at 2 degrees. Case study: Christchurch 2011 (HIC) Causes The earthquake struck the city of Christchurch in New Zealand on 22 February 2011. I am preparing a report on the Christchurch earthquake for Rotary Down Under magazine and I’m wondering if I might have permission to publish your image of Liquefaction on Kilmore St? Semi official reports coming through are suggesting more than  500 buildings in the CBD will have to go. Most Cantabrians were away from their homes when the 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck at 12.51 p.m. on 22 February 2011. This building looks heavy but with light structural support in the corners. Monday’s COVID-19 decision will be a defining moment for New Zealand, Contact-tracing will be the Achilles heel of the COVID-19 program at LEVEL 3. Some buildings caught fire after the February earthquake. Eventually the Drainage Board morphed into Environment Canterbury. Pingback: YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT-FINAL | YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT. Originally this was known as the ‘Drainage Board Building’. This was the second major earthquake to hit the city; the previous quake occurred on 4 September 2010 and registered at a 7.1 magnitude. 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December 3rd, 2020

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