Darfield Earthquake

Causes, social, economic and environmental impacts and responses. Check the Lyttleton Earthquake as it is the aftershock.

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  • Created on: 04-06-14 18:15
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Darfield Earthquake Case Study
Type of hazard Earthquake
Plate Boundary Part collisional part conservative IndoAustralian and
Pacific Plates
Date of event September 2010
Location Darfield, New Zealand
Economic development MEDC
Causes 7.1 magnitude
Up to 9 on the Mercalli Scale
6 mile deep focus
Epicentre 25 miles west of Christchurch
Social Impacts No deaths, 1 had a heart attack
2 serious injuries
100 injuries in total
Up to 75% of power to the city was disrupted
Domestic violence increased by 53%
Heart attacks increased from 2/3 a day to 8/10 a day for the
following days
Unusual number of babies born
Economic Impacts £1 billion in insurance costs ­ buildings destroyed, water
pipes broke from liquefaction
Infrastructure damage ­ foot bridges and rail tracks
buckled, historic buildings eg Hororata Anglican Church
Response Short Term
Authorities warned residents to boil water ­ 28 cases of
Power restored in 15 hours
Water supply cleaned in 4 days
The National Crisis Management Centre was activated in
Civil Defence declared a state of emergency for
Christchurch, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District
Selwyn District, Waimakariri District and Timaru District
activated their emergency operation centres
New Zealand Army called in to prevent looting
Curfew established from 19:00 to 07:00
All educational establishments were closed for 9 days for
health and safety checks
Chistchurch International Airport closed until 13:30 on the
day of the quake
Christchurch Hospital had to use emergency generators
New Zealand Transport Agency checked all bridges and
tunnels for damage, all were fine
Other Foreshock of 5.8 five seconds earlier

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Strike slip fault movement of 4m, 55km from the main
collision boundary
4 earthquakes between 1850 and 1922
Underlying geology ­ alluvium deposits which is prone to
Soil compaction in 2005 at Pegasus Town costed $20
million (NZD) and prevented liquefaction
Formal building regulations have been in place since 1931…read more


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