At least up until the mid 1980s, the designs were non-ductile. I have also looked with wonder at the simplicity of house construction in Uruguay, where earthquakes are essentially unknown. "It's clear that the New Zealanders rather underestimated the shaking that Christchurch could sustain," said Roger Musson, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey. As the plates move they cause earthquakes and causing a lot of damage. Either way, there are questions to be answered as to why the failure was so catastrophic. A M6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand on 22 February (21 Feb in UTC), leaving at least 75 people dead and hundreds injured or missing. Hundreds of houses were destroyed, including the Christchurch Cathedral, and damages will probably sum up to some billion dollars. Hopefully in future Christchurch will see a much better standard of design, something with more creative flare, and a big step away from brutalism. "But even if they'd known about the fault, they wouldn't have been sure it would produce such strong shaking, so they might have still underestimated what actually occurred. The codes focus on the standards that have to be met, rather than specifying precise building procedures. There are many puzzles as to why some of Christchurch's buildings have survived the 6.3 earthquake of February 2011, and others have not. What caused the Christchurch earthquake? It seems to me that we still have much to learn about liquefaction. The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, often referred to as the Blueprint, is the plan developed by the Fifth National Government of New Zealand for the recovery of the Christchurch Central City from a series of earthquakes, in particular the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.. Many old, historic buildings have been earthquake strengthened in the last 20 years. Most of these buildings had no damage or only a little. Asked by Wiki User 0 1 2 Answer Top Answer Wiki User Answered 2012-05-07 03:09:14 2012-05-07 03:09:14 Because you're fat. Not only are the codes stringent, but they are enforced. Having planned the building of a new house both in Australia (in the 1980s) and in New Zealand ( in 2001), I know that the building code is a lot stronger here in  New Zealand than in Australia. Earlier today I was out at Lincoln Uni, only 20 km from the city centre, and there the damage is minimal. Ha, fatty. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Why buildings are managed for earthquake risk Experience from Christchurch and overseas has shown that the failure of earthquake-prone buildings, or parts, can endanger lives. If you have an earthquake that has a 90% chance of not being exceeded in 50 years, the authorities might say that's an acceptable risk, we can live with that. Christchurch Earthquake The reason Christchurch suffers so much damage from liquefaction is because of the soil type and soil arrangement in the region. Whether or not PGC were actually the building owners in 2011, or simply the major tenants with naming rights, is not clear to me. Most of the houses have timber framing and this has stood up well. "You can't protect against everything, because it's simply too expensive. This is the building where most of the deaths occurred, perhaps as many as a hundred or even more, including most of the foreign deaths at the Kings Language School. Some buildings will be written off and torn down, while others will be repairable or declared safe for immediate occupation. I would credit both you and your website. As for the low-lying eastern suburbs, here too it won’t be until the engineers’ reports are available that the real picture will emerge. However, in Christchurch we also have many old buildings which predate these regulations. Kind regards The December 2011 and February 2016 earthquakes were off the coast, in Pegasus Bay, but the movement on the earthquake … On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch shortly before 12:50pm at a shallow depth of four kilometres. Pingback: YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT-FINAL | YEAR 5 SCIENCE PROJECT. The rest of the building was in effect suspended from this core with only light support in the corners.] Meagan Jones Perhaps the ground acceleration went beyond the design capacity, as there is no doubt the ground acceleration was extreme. This was the second major earthquake to hit the city; the previous quake occurred on 4 September 2010 and registered at a 7.1 magnitude. I had always thought before the quakes, that the columns in the ground floor holding up everything in the floors above above were an inherent weakness. I am preparing a report on the Christchurch earthquake for Rotary Down Under magazine and I’m wondering if I might have permission to publish your image of Liquefaction on Kilmore St? [Update: The buildng was sold to private investors in 2009.] It was originally a carpark building. So there are many potential ways to create safer buildings that will ride out an earthquake and remain fit for use – and Geoff says many of these will be visible in new buildings around Christchurch, especially those on Cambridge ( Log Out /  Though the government supplied money for those who were fired, businesses that needed re … Why did so many buildings survive the earthquake? At least over my side of town (Halswell),  I saw evidence in the 7.1 September earthquake of a powerful wave. In other words , they were built for strength, but with rigidity rather than the flexibility needed to  absorb the energy of a huge quake. In contrast, in parts of the low-lying Eastern suburbs I assume that the liquefaction damage was indeed through subsidence, as I have no evidence to argue otherwise. The critical issue with this earthquake was that the epicentre was at shallow depth under Christchurch, so many people were within 10 to 20 kilometres (6 to 12 miles) of the fault rupture. "Liquefaction is a huge problem in Christchurch because the city is built on an alluvial plain, on sediments that are vulnerable to liquefaction," Clague said. Can low interest rates really stimulate the economy? Some places that escaped liquefaction last time have received it this time, and vice versa. Pingback: Rebuilding Christchurch | PHSGeogBlog. Earthquake resistance can and is, in many cases, built into the design of the building. The conventional view on liquefaction seems to be that the damage is caused by subsidence of the buildings into the soil, but I don’t think it has to be this way. I liken it to an undergound tsunami, that travelled through the aquifer from the epicentre, and then burst upwards as it hit the underlying rocks of the Port Hills. Grand Chancellor Hotel with earthquake damage and tilting at 2 degrees. This provides a reminder that the Christchurch earthquake really was a local event: short, sharp and vicious. Part of the answer is that the Japanese had become complacent about tsunamis and over-confident about the measures supposedly in place to protect them. However, on the western hills, where I live, the form of cladding seems relevant. The quake was centred 10km south-east of the city at a depth of 5km. A significant amount of drilling of holes both in the concrete walls and floors was done. Anywhere adjacent to a current or former spring was at risk. Officials will now inspect buildings and draw up an inventory of damage. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Modern design is not supposed to mean there will be no damage, but it is meant to prevent catastrophic failure that causes death. [Update: By early March some 180,000 tonnes had been trucked out.] As had happened after the 4 September 2010quake, there was a lot of liquefaction. It has treated over 220 serious injuries so far, even though sometimes they were working by torchlight. Commentary on agriculture, rural development, and wider issues. Christchurch 22nd Feburary Earthquake New Zealand is prone to earthquakes because its situated between two major plates. But the 2011 Christchurch quake, … the frequency can be so low that you cant hear it, but your dog or your cat may hear it and freak out before the earthquake hits. Change ). 185 people from more than 20 countries died in the earthquake. One small but perhaps important point is that at least in some places the water and sand continued to bubble up for hours after the earthquake and not just during the earthquake.
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