Series Of Earthquakes Rock New Zealand

December 24, 2011 by staff 

Series Of Earthquakes Rock New ZealandSeries Of Earthquakes Rock New Zealand, EARTHQUAKES continued unrelentingly in Christchurch today, including one measuring 5.l at 6.37am (0437 AEDT), as residents of the city prepared for a Christmas overshadowed by an ongoing natural disaster. Quakes measuring 5.8 and 6.0 yesterday left dozens of people with minor injuries, while damage echoed previous quakes that had rattled the city since September last year.

This morning’s quake was located 10km east of Akaroa at a depth of 9km, GNS Science said. There were also two magnitude 4.2 quakes and two magnitude 4.3 quakes overnight and many other smaller shakes.

There are still about 400 residents without power on the eastern side of the city and aftershocks have cut water supply to the suburbs of Sumner, Redcliffs, Moncks Bay, Balmoral Hill, Richmond Hill, Clifton and Scarborough, parts of St Andrews Hill and Mt Pleasant.

The Palms Shopping mall, which serves the eastern suburbs, is not opening today.

However, public transport is operating and a carols by candlelight concert is going ahead at Hagley Park North tonight.

“Liquefaction, rockfalls and water supply are the main areas of concern following yesterday’s cluster of aftershocks in Christchurch,” the ministry of civil defence and emergency management said today.

Yesterday belongings fell from shelves in homes, others were swamped by liquefaction, windows smashed and once again stock was destroyed in stores where business as usual had only just resumed for the pre-Christmas rush.

Malls were evacuated, as was Christchurch Airport, disrupting travel for holidaymakers and those heading home for the festive season.

Power was knocked out to 26,000 customers and phone lines became jammed, but key infrastructure, including water and sewerage, were largely unaffected.

Some quake-weary residents once again left their homes.

Denise and Max Ferris, who live in the eastern hill suburb of Mt Pleasant, packed up their young daughter, her new kitten and their car and headed to Leeston, 40 minutes drive southwest of Christchurch, for a reprieve.

Their home was too damaged again to stay in overnight.

“We would be lucky if there are six people left in our street,” Mrs Ferris said.

The family plan to return home for Christmas Day but expect to have a picnic outdoors, not trusting it will be safe indoors.

“Like most people, we have to try and make it as normal as possible under very trying conditions,” she told NZ Newswire.

Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button was adamant the quakes would not set back the city’s recovery.

:We believe that this event will pass quickly and that we’ll all be able to enjoy Christmas on Sunday.”

GeoNet project director Ken Gledhill told AAP the quakes were part of a pattern that had been seen repeatedly since September 2010, with aftershocks petering off ahead of quakes last Boxing Day, and in February and June.

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