Christchurch in ruins

Lars Alfredson
Fri 27 Jun 2014 08:45

Pos  43:32S 172:40E


When we visited Christchurch we were expecting some work going
on but not a complete Central part of Christchurch like a Ghost town.
The buildings were all closed down and abandoned, every single one.
The only one opened was a shopping Mall where the Tram ran right
through the middle of the building.  There wasn't one person in the
Mall and on the Tram there was one person from The Netherlands
sitting behind the driver getting the story of "The Earthquake's of
September 4th 2010 and  February 22 2011."
The Earthquake of 2010 had over 2500 aftershock's in 1 year and the
Earthquake on February 22 2011 killed 185 people and left buildings
badly damaged or destroyed  in the Cathedral Square which was the
heart of the city. It was terrible. It looked like there had been a war. 
Many companies never recovered and alot moved out of
Christchurch even though building has started.  We saw around a
dozen men working and it is 3 years later.  Walls of old buildings are
being kept but the rest of the building is missing.  The landmark Cathedral
was damaged very badly, loosing windows and an old part of the Church
is in ruins.

                              The Tram with it's one passanger.                                                                                                       The Mall, shops are open but no people.

                        The Government Building, abandoned.                                                                                                      High rise buildings, abandoned

                                  The Cathedral badly damaged.                                                                                 Trying to hold the Cathedral up with scaffolding.

Some parts like the Art pieces and trees survived the Earthquakes. One piece that
we liked is the "Chalice sculpture" which celebrates the new millenium and the
150th Anniversary of the founding of Christchurch.

                                     The Front doors of the Cathedral                                                                       The "Chalice sculpture" 

                                              One building left, the others gone.                                         Buildings that had underground parking are now filled with water

                              A Wall of Historic meaning, kept upright with containers.

                A smaller church kept together with scaffolding                                                        Cardboard fronts to show what is missing.

The Botanical Gardens also suffered damage in the Greenhouse where
many of the plants are held in other make shift buildings until the Greenhouse
is repaired.  Most of the trees surrounding the Gardens were not
damaged at all or only lost a few branches.

                 The Entrance to the Botanical Gardens                                                               Flowering Cabbages make a lovely arrangement.

                                        A Rododendrum Tree.                                                                                                          This tree had no damage at all

It will take an awful lot of work to bring Cathedral Square back to
what it was.  Most of those that lost their lives are remembered.
Most died while working and in the High rise buildings.  Lessons
have been learned and hopefully in 5 years Christchurch will
once again be great.

Love Caroline and Lars x