Used by permission of David Shone - with thanks.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
4th September 2010 - Remembering the 7.1 magnitude Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake - 4th Anniversary, Thursday 4th September, 2014. Ferial Day
The 4th September, 2010, 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake - The Day that Changed Christchurch Forever & The Question of HAARP(Part Two)
I note in my weather diary that a light hail shower around 4:30pm, resulted in a rapid temperature drop from a spring-like 13.0 deg C down to 4.5 deg C. A light dusting of snow was also observed on Mt. Herbert ( Banks Peninsula) about this time, and with a rapid clearance, a promise of a frost seemed most likely for the next day.
I was feeling pretty pleased with my daffodil display by the front gate entrance, after just under two years in our new home in New Brighton Road, New Brighton, which previous owners had had the foresight to plant, and me to enjoy!
I was fortunate to be now living in a city that hosted the Ellesmere Garden Show, and inspired by that knowledge and a love of gardening, my landscaping was taking shape rapidly in less than the two years my family had moved in to the New Brighton Property residence...
Ellerslie Flower Show, Christchurch 2009 - 'A Gentleman's Garden'
Unfortunately, many of my photos have been lost as a result of the 6.3 February, 2011 quake, when both computers were destroyed and to date have been unable to locate them in cyberspace!
Plans of Mice and Men
However, pictures taken before the February Quake show the garden pretty much in their former glory ... enjoy, for they are no longer with us, the property being Red-Zoned in 2012, and so now all you will see is a blank space!!!
Front Garden 523 New Brighton Rd
Back section including vegetable garden and fruit trees developing
Flower Bed alongside Driveway
Developing Back Garden and Landscaping
Starting to look pretty
The 'Plans of Men' - Saturday the 4th September, 2010
As noted the previous day, Saturday promised to be a fine day ... however, nature (?) had other plans for our Saturday morning rising, and the expected frost wasn't one of them!
An Unwelcome 4:35 am Saturday Early Call
Some have described it as a rude awakening, but to both my son and myself, initially it was just a gentle shaking out of our deep sleep, and having experienced earthquakes in the past, tried to simply ignore it, as it wasn't at all violent at least for the first few seconds, and besides the prospect of jumping out of a warm bed on a frosty Saturday morning wasn't on my priority list at the time ... but no, it seemed to be getting worse and the 'gentle shaking' was rapidly turning into a rocking motion and getting more violent by the second! [ the actual quake lasted around 30 - 45 seconds - that's long for a big earthquake] The prospect of the house coming down on me was quickly becoming a reality ... So ...
'Time to vacate the house' I decided, forgetting all about leaving my nice warm cocoon, and I headed down the hallway towards the back door ( the power must have cut off by this time, because I think I tried the lights, but nothing). I met my son heading down the hallway making a beeline for the front door ... He had obviously decided 'discretion was the better part of valour' - and avoiding a collision we both made it safely out the front door into the driveway ( that's where you go when you have earthquakes, isn't it!)
This wasn't a time for standing under the nearest doorway-type of earthquake!
Early Morning Vigil As We Await First Light To Survey Damage
Standing in the driveway, in the early morning frost, I tried to make out objects in the pre-dawn light, and was able to see water across the road outside our front gate reflecting in the street lights. I re-entered the house and found a torch, my shoes and dressing gown and returned outside. The camera would have to wait until the sun came up, which it did to give a mainly fine sunny day [see photos].
Initial Survey of Damage
We soon discovered we had no water besides no power, which would come back on in the afternoon. We were without water for 13 days, but were fortunate to have a neighbour who had a spring supplying fresh artesian unfluoridated/unchlorinated water!
As soon as the sun made it's welcome appearance we were able to quickly assess the damage and it was substantial as the following pictures portray. Although we appeared to have suffered a major hit, a walk a little way down the road towards the New Brighton shopping centre showed little damage, and was a few days later was able to travel westward into the suburbs of Papanui and Fendalton, where my family home was located in the 1950's - it sustaining only an apparent dislodged chimney. [see attached photos]
Family Home of the 1950's - Slight Earthquake Damage Only
These and other suburbs to the west and northwest of Christchurch appeared to have escaped any damage in the September quake.
Northwestern Suburbs of Bryndwr/Fendalton after the September quake - unscathed
Certainly, after the 6.3 February earthquake areas in New Brighton that escaped any significant damage in 4th September quake, had their fortunes reversed in February, so that today many of those Red -Zoned properties on New Brighton Rd have been cleared!
Aftershocks(?) - there were many
We should mention those, and whether they were or simply more earthquakes, maybe we will never know?
But, as I noted in my weather diary for the month of September, 2010 ...'100's of aftershocks with a 5.1 magnitude on the 6th September, with the exception of 1 or 2 days only.'
Reality of the September Quake for Eastern Christchurch Residents in Contrast - Pictorial Display
Here are some of the pictures taken (in chronological order as I can best recall), once daylight permitted us to record damage on Day 1 of the big quake:
First Glimpse of the aftermath of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake
First Light Day 1 - New Brighton Road under water (from burst pipes/ adjacent damaged pump station)
Pump Station - out of commission permanently, as it releases a river of water
Day 1 of the Big Quake- Heralds a nice sunny day with 'water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!'... mainly onto New Brighton Rd ...
Picture taken before the Quakes hit Christchurch showing New Brighton Rd pre-quake
Damaged Road adjacent to damaged pump station with signs of Liquifaction
Severely damaged sidewalk outside front fence on New Brighton Rd - Liquefaction evident
Flooding from Pump Station and tidal surge as land subsidence occurs after the quake
Day 1 - It's only going to get worse!
Lunar Landscape - Liquifaction in front lawn
Bexley Petrol Station showing force of the 7.1 Earthquake
New Brighton Health Shop after the 7.1 Quake
Avon River at the Loop showing river bed upheaval
Man in the Hole attempting to turn off valve from pump station - 'Manhole'
Damaged Presbyterian Church in Merivale - un-inspiring
Home-made seismometer - reassuring handy item in earthquake prone regions
Much improved version of the above - prevents evaporation
People at work and at play a few days after the big quake - New Brighton
Max and Sammi testing the waters on New Brighton Rd
My neighbors doing a bit of gardening - earthquake style
Friendly New Brighton folk just voluntarily turn up and 'muck-in' the clean-up (de-liquefaction!)
End Of Day 1 of the Big Quake
Sunset on New Brighton Road - Not the End of a Perfect Day 1!
Photo from Google map sometime before buildings and land cleared in Red- Zoned 523 New Brighton Rd [approx. 2011 -2012]