christchurch case study seismic hazard

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  • Christchurch 2011, New Zealand. (seismic hazard in a HIC).
    • Location
      • 6.3 on the richter scale.
      • Part of the Pacific ring of fire.
      • On the Southern island of New Zealand, on the East coast.
      • Some seismologists believe the event was an aftershock of the 2010 earthquake.
      • The depth of the focus was 5km.
    • Geographical context
      • Susceptible to earthquakes the country experiences around 20,000 earthquakes a year, however, only 200 of them are felt.
      • Inhabitants did not see themselves as vulnerable,
      • Stringent building regulations were in place.
      • The city had a low housing density and many of the houses were single storied, therefore, the majority of the damage was in the central building district.
      • The shaking was east-west horizontal, therefore, it was essential pointing at Christchurch.
    • Impacts
      • Secondary
        • Businesses were put out of action for a prolonged period of time.
          • This caused a loss of income and jobs.
        • Schools had to share classrooms due to damage of school buildings.
        • Damage to infrastructure meant people and emergency services could not get around easily.
        • The earthquake had an affect on people mentally and required support.
        • They could no longer host the rugby world cup due to the damage
          • They missed out on benefits such as tourism.
      • Primary
        • 181 people died.
        • around 2,000 people were injured.
        • hundreds of kilometres of water and sewage pipes were damaged.
        • over half the buildings in the CBD were severely damaged.
          • the cathedral lost its spire.
        • 80% of the city was without electricity.
        • Liquefaction caused damage to roads and houses.
        • Part of the country's largest glacier was broken off.
    • Responses
      • Long-Term
        • Water and sewage was restored for all residents by August.
        • The government provided temporary housing and ensured all damaged housing was kept water tight.
        • By August 80% of roads and 50% of footpaths were repaired.
        • Many NGO's such as Save the Children helped with long-term recovery efforts.
      • Short-Term
        • 25% of the buildings in the CBD were deemed unsafe to enter.
        • Rescue crews from all over the world came to help including: Japan, USA, and UK.
        • Australia donated $5 milllion AUD.
        • Chemical toilets were provided to 80,000 people.
        • A state of national emergency was declared until 30th April.


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