September 25, 2010

All 1011 aftershocks still dwarfed by the strength of the initial quake

University of Canterbury doctoral student John Holdaway has worked out that the September 4 quake released 2.8 quadrillion joules of energy. A quadrillion is one followed by 15 zeroes.

That dwarfed the 92 trillion joules combined unleashed by the 1011 aftershocks to noon yesterday, which was only 3.2 per cent of the total energy released.

Share your earthquake experience and photos here.

Holdaway estimated the September 4 quake involved enough energy to power Christchurch for two weeks.

Visiting professor Kevin Furlong, of Penn State University, used a different measure.

It was the same as eating about two billion chocolate bars, or about 500 bars for every man, woman and child in New Zealand, eaten in about 25 seconds, he said.

Thats a lot of power, and chocolate.. no wonder the earth moved so much, and for so long.
Next time can we just have the chocolate!

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September 24, 2010

Dog's lick saved my life, says woman - national |

I often wonder if our two dogs would try and wake us if our smoke detectors failed. Their main use at the moment is telling us we have had an earthquake... after another early morning 4.6 shake up today they ran around frantically.

It is daylight saving this weekend for New Zealand anyway...this is a small reminder that it is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors!

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September 23, 2010

And still they come......

Thurs morning 23rd Sept
Three weeks on Saturday since the first quake.... and just in case you think it should be all settled down and is over with, then this snapshot taken of the last 24 hours should show you things are not yet all calm and peaceful. The fat red line at the bottom is the nice 4.5 we just had.
Better - yes. There are fewer quakes overall and far fewer adrenaline moments... but over?... apparently not.

On a very happy note, today is my last day at work before the school holidays - yeah. Phoebe's family are coming down to see us all and escape the current high winds of Auckland for some rock and rolling.
Probably are not a lot of people racing to stay here in Christchurch at the moment, unless they are structural engineers and seismologists - I know some people are here to help from other parts of NZ, and apparently American engineers are over here to study our liquefaction. Nice to be famous for something I guess!


September 22, 2010

Southland's rural community hit hard by storm - National - Video - 3 News

Tens of thousands of lambs have died as a result of this storm.
The emotional impact will hit the farmers as hard as the financial loss.
The worst spring they can remember.

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Tornado, high winds and snow hit New Zealand

Everywhere except Canterbury... just some snow in the outlying areas...
Only fair when we get all the moving and shaking I guess.
I am very sad so many new born lambs have died because the snow has been so heavy down south and that the buildings are collapsing under the weight of it all. Also that there is so much destructive wind and power outages in the North too. We might be busy coping with the destruction of the earthquake here, but we are not immune to the problems in the rest of the country.
Certainly an interesting start to Spring! Can't believe daylight saving starts this weekend!!!!

September 20, 2010

Christchurch Quake Live

An interesting view of the latest quakes - taken a snapshot of this mornings feed - as you can see we had a nice big one last night that woke us up, but overall they have been far less frequent. So good to get more sleep!

Click on this link to get the latest picture.

Snapshot of Monday 20th 
I can't get over how many brick buildings downtown are affected - there are huge fences around most of them - across half the road. Many are places we just take for granted that are just old, not the main stone heritage sites. However, they do add a flavour to the city that will forever be lost.  I am just so glad that there was no one in them when the quake hit - judging by the damage they are showing, the overall injury rate to people would certainly have been much higher.

Most of New Zealand has been hit by a recent storm sitting to the lower part of New Zealand... apparently it is the size of Australia! Everywhere that is except Canterbury; Mother Nature spared us this one... or more accurately, the Southern Alps deflected the gusty Westerly winds.
So, while we had a mild and warm weekend, gardening and waterblasting and sitting in the sun, the far north had high winds and rain and massive power outages... the far south had very heavy snow with buildings collapsing under the weight. Pictures here

At least it is Spring - yes - it is September and the snow is out of season!
Hopefully things will improve soon :)

September 17, 2010

Earthquake aftershock damage continues

Truck weight meets aftershock  ! Fri pm 17th
Says it all really! 

Christchurch from space - so beautiful :)

Interactive Earthquake Map - add your own story :)

You can read many stories about the earthquake here - and add your own pin and story to the map.
Also shows pictures and which areas damaged... or not.

Overnight aftershock swarm for Canterbury

Canterbury is still being subjected to a flurry of seismic activity nearly a fortnight after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck, with a swarm of shallow aftershocks hitting the region overnight.
Nine aftershocks have struck since 9pm, with six hitting the region within a one-hour period from 10.28pm.
Two of the shallowest aftershocks struck at just 3km deep, with one felt in Christchurch at 11.23pm and another in Darfield at 12.08am.
The strongest shocks overnight were recorded at 4.4-magnitude, GNS Science reported.

That flurry of red was how Canterbury tried to sleep last night.
All I can say it that after a long and tiring night I feel quite ill to be honest.  Sleep deprivation and anxiety are great ways to undermine people. The big one right in the middle hit while we were still up with our evening class - tears and shaky hands a typical reaction.

Thankfully, today is the end of term for one of my day classes... we will be winding up what uis usually a fun morning with lunch out - in a local place that was still standing when I checked earlier in the week. Fingers crossed it still is as the relentless shakes are slowly eroding the buildings.... and by the sound of it a few tempers.
I suspect we will be very tired, but glad to get away and spend time together.

I have discovered a new blog...
This post brought tears to my eyes - which in our shaken and exhausted state might be easier than usual, but definitely worth a look :) She can go on my blog roll!

SPCA Cupcake Day - New Zealand

Special Cupcakes for the SPCA baked by Emily Hung... Baked to Differ

Lots more to enjoy at this link.
Somewhere you can even vote for your favourites.

mmmm - look too good to eat :)

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September 16, 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream. Yeah right!

Lets try and sleep... rumble, creak, jolt.
Three adrenaline filled 4.3-4.5 shocks last night. More yesterday. Apparently we have reached 580!
I see from the list that two shakes yesterday affected Kaikoura... we are generous sharing our fun :)

This is a list of the latest thirty New Zealand earthquakes.
Map of New Zealand showing earthquake location.

We get lots of helpful advice...

Possible Psychological Reactions to an Earthquake
Ron Chambers & Lee Kannis, Anxiety Disorders Unit, CDHB.

It is understandable given the recent earthquake and ongoing aftershocks that many people may feel anxious and distressed. It is common following a traumatic event for people to experience a range of psychological responses. These may include:
 · Feeling on edge, nervous, or tense.
· Sleep disturbance and nightmares.
· Being easily startled.
· Tearful.
· Swings in emotion, including irritability and sadness.
· Anxiety symptoms like a racing heart, rapid breathing, and trembling.
· Thoughts and memories about the event continuing to pop into your mind, even days afterwards
The earthquake and ongoing after shocks have been a very frightening experience for everyone. What most people are experiencing now is the minds normal response to this extraordinary event.

The insurance companies and the Earthquake commission are busy!

Claim numbers 

Canterbury Earthquake

Local authorityNo. of claims
Christchurch city46,247

As at: 6pm 15 September 2010

A large part of the damage has been to our brick buildings. However, for many people in the city, the liquefaction has been the main mess to clean up, and the reason many houses have sunk and split. There are lots of good photos on this Earthquake Flickr link.

Sand volcanos cover Rydal Street
Photo by Jon Sullivan, on Flickr

  • For those interested in learning more about liquefaction, this (pre-quake) poster from Environment Canterbury (pdf) gives both general background and a hazard map for the whole region. Certainly explained why some regions have been so much harder hit... 
Really great page here - parts of it are very technical, but good links to many photos and videos. 

Tectonics of the M7 earthquake near Christchurch, New Zealand

Life continues... back at work, tired, but teaching and trying to concentrate. 
Soon, school holidays!

September 14, 2010

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Early Monday this week

Tuesday evening 14th (today)
It has been peaceful today. Or at least this afternoon. A great feeling - but still, the aftershocks continue, catching us unawares.. sometimes noticed, other times not. Depends a lot where it was centred and what you are doing at the time. Most of them are below 4, but the occasional 4-4.5 quivers your nerves all over again as the house creaks and rolls around you. For me, the hardest bit is the waking up, wondering why I am awake, then realising when checking the quake drums in the morning that it was usually after a decent shake. But that is life.

This week, it has been shattering to see usually staunch and capable people so anxious, tired and unfocused.  These are people who have not lost their homes or contents, but are still on edge; concerned about possible outcomes, keeping working when tired, checking for hidden damage to their homes and businesses. As one said, they had trouble stringing a sentence together, let alone work.

Many people feel like this and it is no wonder that the counselling services are overstretched. So many have lost homes and livelihoods: the anxiety and grief are overwhelming them.

At least it is great to see the city returning to life. Meetings about saving heritage buildings are underway, aid is flowing in, schools have returned. Hotels and motels and restaurants are open. Tourists are returning.
Many things have changed forever. But the people are rallying and "one eyed Cantabrians" are supporting each other through it all.

Now I wonder if the snow sweeping the country is going to reach us!

September 12, 2010

Arch 12.9.49 - 14.6.10

Today would have been Arch's birthday.  A day when usually the children would have gone to see him and celebrated it. A day filled with many memories for us all.

The car is still on the mountain; the inquest delayed until it is all sorted. Paper work arrives and nice people call us and lawyers and accountants sort things out... it is a long, slow process.

We are no clearer to knowing what happened than we were at the time; perhaps we never will be, but we would like to particularly thank the Ashburton police, Dave Wilson and the staff from Mt Hutt and the team from Search and Rescue for all they did during the night when it was realised he was missing. Also the great kindness of all those from St Peter's church and Academy Funeral Services.

After a particularly upsetting letter in the paper implying that Arch had not been wearing a seatbelt, we have been reassured by the police and the coroner that he definitely was. It is still done up, in the car, down in the gully. He was thrown clear by the fact that the seat broke and lay flat, allowing him to be later thrown out of the back as the car somersaulted. As we have often found the reaction to the accident started with the presumption it was his fault, we would really like to set the record straight on this.

I have been trying to sort through his papers this week; the earthquake kept me at home and it gave me something to do. So many photos, memories, smiles, tears.... I know that Sharon is missing him terribly and I know today will be hard for her too.

I put a few of my favourite pictures on a slideshow to capture some memories - his past, hobbies and legacies.
You can click on it to see them on Picasa too.

RIP Arch. 61 years young today.

September 11, 2010

Christchurch Quake - the view on Sept 11th, one week later!

Went for a drive around today after the city cordon was lifted.. town was busy and well attended; lots of police and army still around and the engineers still doing their thing checking buildings. Still lots of places being demolished... but happy to see lots still perfectly normal...

Anyway - my friend took photos while I drove... and I have only landed up with half the photos, but she has posted this video, so will link to it. Like the music too :)

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