July 5, 2011

Christchurch Hospital Chimney

During the June 13th 6.4 earthquake, when we got two large ones in quick succession in one afternoon, I was in my car, at the cordon fence, driving down St Asaph St towards the hospital.  One of the main things that worried me after I checked a parapet wasn't going to crash down on us all, was the violent sideways swaying of the hospital chimney further ahead down the road... belching out smoke and flexing in the waves.

So tonight I wasn't really surprised to read this...
Christchurch Hospital staff working near the site's chimney stack have been evacuated after an engineer found a problem in the structure's reinforcement.
Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates said staff were moved from their offices and workshops as a precautionary measure after a problem was found in the steel reinforcing inside the chimney stack.
The problem was found during a routine check by an engineer today.
Further tests were due to be carried out tomorrow to determine whether the chimney's stability had been affected, said Meates.
"Until that time, the area has been cordoned, and St Asaph and Antigua streets are closed in the vicinity of the chimney stack," he said.
Traffic diversions were in place.
The 44-year-old chimney, which services the hospital's coal-fired boiler, was damaged in the September quake and needed extensive repairs.
The boiler is still operating.
Those staff affected included security, site redevelopment, clinical engineering and maintenance and engineering, he said.
Christchurch police warned the public to avoid the area, with traffic delays likely.

One of the main fears we all have is the earthquake life of our buildings... and we rely heavily on a busy band of engineers to check buildings, repeatedly.  I am pleased they have checked this chimney - it is huge and would cause a lot of damage if it toppled.

The only picture I can find of it is at Mark from Wozawanderer's Site..

Hospital Chimney

This picture is from this entry

Mark is doing a fantastic job of capturing the city post-quake - do visit him and have a look at his painstaking recordings of the suburbs. He usually writes his notes first, then goes back to add pictures, so I pop in regularly.

They had a 6.5 earthquake in Taupo tonight.... 150km deep but felt over a large area.
We have been remarkably quiet - which makes us edgy as we feel it means another big one :(
Small and regular is bearable really - sudden and large not nearly so much fun!

PS - found a better picture of the view I had from the car...


  1. I can't imagine what you all are going through. That is scary to see how tall that chimney is.

  2. It must have been frightening as all hell to see something like that swaying back and forth! God bless you all!

  3. that's certainly a big stack! the damage would be terrible
    I do continue to pray every day for you Kiwis, as well as for Japan and Haiti.

  4. We felt the 3.7 at 6.30pm tonight - not so quiet now. It's been good to have St Asaph Street open even if only one lane. This will slow traffic down again, but we're all used to that..


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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