Many fatalities, hundreds injured, devastated buildings with trapped people in Christchurch, New Zealand (part 2)

This is the second part of our extensive reporting which started only a couple of minutes after the earth below Christchurch started to shake. Click here for the first part (pictures, videos and the full movie (story) of this earthquake) - Click here to go directly to part 3

For an overview of all the articles we have written - Click here

Twitpic picture from the earthquake damage in Christchurch New Zealand

UPDATE 13:16 UTC : Orion CEO Roger Sutton says it could be a few days before the whole of Christchurch gets its power back on

UPDATE 12:33 UTC : 120 people have been rescued out of the rubble.
Approx. 100 still missing.
Official fatalities number still on 65.

UPDATE 12:15 UTC : 10 victims have been transferred to Auckland as Christchurch Hospital intensive care unit makes space for an expected number of seriously injured people arriving in the coming days.

Police urged people to:
¢ Stay out of the central city

¢ Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel

¢ Check the welfare of your neighbours - especially the elderly

¢ Conserve water

¢ People with urgent medical needs are advised to go to the 24-hour surgery on Bealey Avenue.

UPDATE 12:00 UTC : Just repeating that the shaking in the city was much greater for this earthquake than the magnitude 7.1 earthquake from last September, or any of the aftershocks.

According to Geonet in New Zealand, the highest shaking was recorded at Pages Road Pumping Station at a value of 1.88*g, (this means 1.88 times the acceleration due to gravity, which you can imagine feels like being thrown with twice your weight across a room). There were also readings of 1.27*g at Heathcote Valley Primary School and 1.07*g at Hulverstone Road Pumping Station. If ever you do not understand a word we are saying, there is an extensive glossary here.

UPDATE 11:52 UTC : Australia doubles rescue team : Attorney-General Robert McClelland said today a total of 148 Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) specialists are now being sent to Christchurch at the New Zealand government's request.

The first 40 from NSW, left from the RAAF base at Richmond, in Sydney's northwest, about 10am UTC today aboard a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft along with rescue equipment and supplies.

34 more specialists from NSW will leave from Richmond overnight, and the 74 Queensland specialists are due to leave from RAAF Amberley, southwest of Brisbane, aboard a C-17 Globemaster aircraft tomorrow.

UPDATE 11:47 UTC : No new news from Christchurch. Civil Defence and other sources have no new reports.

UPDATE 11:22 UTC : Unfortunately more aftershocks are continuing during the night, with a M4.4 earthquake recorded at a depth of 5km, just minutes ago.

UPDATE 11:20 UTC : From earlier, reasons why the damage and casualties are higher in this earthquake as opposed to the Sep 4 earthquake:-

1) Ground shaking higher (shallower hypocenter) and closer to higher population.

2) Midday earthquake where many workers and shoppers were in the city center with many verandahs and other masonry failed and hit large numbers of people. Many people were getting lunch at the time.

3) Office buildings were most affected, and being the middle of the day many workers were in these buildings.

4) Structures previously weakened by the mainshock (M7.1), were now affected greatly by this aftershock (M6.3).

UPDATE 11:12 UTC : Much damage actually occurred from a 2nd aftershock, after the M6.3 earthquake. Many masonry buildings have collapsed (those with minor damage in the September Earthquake). At least 100 people remained trapped.  120 people have been pulled alive from the wreckage however. Unfortunately, at least 1 police officer is missing in Christchurch.

From 14:00 UTC, 280 pay phones will be made free in Christchurch to allow people to contact loved ones.

UPDATE 10:42 UTC :Daylight will bring much more information as more disaster specialists from Australia and New Zealand bring more information from the region.

UPDATE 10:34 UTC : Construction workers and search and rescue specialists are working under floodlights on a cold and wet night to dig out survivors and the dead from buildings flattened by today's earthquake. This  unfortunately will reduce the time that survivors will be able to live under the wreckage.

UPDATE 10:24 UTC : A P-3K Orion aircraft is also currently taking aerial surveillance images of affected areas. Not much to report otherwise. I hope that there are fewer aftershocks for the night, so some members of Christchurch can get a bit of sleep.

UPDATE 09:57 UTC : More relief troops continue to flood in with an aircraft of rescue staff landing in Christchurch. 200 army personnel are also helping with proceedings.

 

UPDATE 09:30 UTC : Summarising the Lifeline update of the Civil Defence:-

Airport :- Christchurch International Airport is open for emergency flights.
Port :- The harbour will be closed for at least 24 hours. Some wharves and other structures have sustained serious damage.
Roads:- All highways are open apart from Lyttelton Tunnel, State Highway 74 and Anzac Avenue Bridge (Detours are in place). There are reports of major damage to local roads in the city and liquefaction and surface flooding. There are also some road closures in the Selwyn District. Please do not travel if it is unnecessary.
Electricity:-Transpower reports that all supply is back in service. Orion is restoring power where possible and continuing to assess damage
Telecommunications:-Vodafone and Telecom are advising customers to limit their calls or to use text (SMS) only.
Water Supply:- There are reports of broken water pipes and associated flooding. Water supplies have been disrupted throughout most of the city. If it rains, residents are asked to collect water in buckets if possible. Continue to boil water.
Waste water (sewerage):- There are reports of broken water pipes and associated flooding.

UPDATE 09:15 UTC : With not much new information:- Emergency triage centres for the injured are operating at Latimer Square, Canterbury University and the Sanitarium Building in Papanui.

UPDATE 09:10 UTC : Lyttleton Harbour still is one of the most affected regions. Understandably much of the relief is centered in the CBD, but also there is much relief going everywhere.

For a local incident viewer please click here.

UPDATE 09:08 UTC : Continued information is being updated by Civil Defence stating that the following welfare centers are open:

  • Burnside School,
  • Papanui High School,
  • Lyttelton Recreation Centre,
  • Brooklands Community Centre,
  • Akaroa Senior School is open.

Addington Raceway is now full!

UPDATE 09:03 UTC : Mayor Parker said up to 25 buildings of significant size in the city were probably damaged beyond repair (reinstating from earlier).

UPDATE 09:01 UTC : Police helpline to report missing people, 0800 779 997

UPDATE 09:00 UTC : Japanese media are reporting that 23 Japanese students from a foreign-language school were trapped in buildings in the city.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun's online  (Japanese link-click here), responses have been heard from ten of the students. The fate of the other 13 is unknown.

The students, from Toyama city, were eating lunch when the earthquake struck. There are reports three of the students have been taken to hospital, one in a serious condition with a broken leg.

UPDATE 08:46 UTC : The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, was at the health conference attended by more than 600 delegates from around the world, including 439 Australians, at Christchurch's Crowne Plaza Hotel when the quake struck. This report for more info:-

UPDATE 08:43 UTC : Again, it must be said that the main Christchurch hospital is fully functional, with only one ward evacuated.

UPDATE 08:38 UTC : At Redcliff, massive amounts of landslides have occurred, some engulfing houses. Some rocks have smashed on to cars.

In other news, there are 23 people still trapped in the Forsyth Barr Building.

UPDATE 08:30 UTC : Just an interesting comment looking through the CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database, probably the largest socio-economic information database for historic earthquakes in the world, the Christchurch earthquake was of the same magnitude as the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake (Mw6.3) in Italy at similar depths (5km for NZ vs. 8km for IT). In the L'Aquila earthquake 307 people were killed, USD11.37billion (2011-dollars) damage done.

UPDATE 08:21 UTC : Unfortunately it is raining in Christchurch, but on the other hand, since Christchurch reservoirs have been shut down with no toilets, people should "put pots out for rain tonight" to collect rainwater.

UPDATE 08:09 UTC : The bulk store of one of the major chains is undamaged and the New Zealanders are showing their mateship once again by helping with food supplies and also other supplies. There will also be much psychological damage.

UPDATE 08:07 UTC : Power is off at the moment in much of Christchurch, and the whereabouts of people is required. It is estimated that about 1200 people are in the Addington Raceway shelter, and about 2000 people are in shelter currently.

UPDATE 08:04 UTC : Many earthquake engineers and seismologists from Australia (AEES - www.aees.org.au) and New Zealand are commenting on many news services around the world. They all reinstate the comments that have been made below.

UPDATE 07:50 UTC : Later in the night, missing numbers will then become more apparent, so please stay tuned.

UPDATE 07:48 UTC : There are a significant amount of sites with trapped people.

UPDATE 07:45 UTC : Emergency Services have asked people only to drive if really necessary - as emergency services need to get through uncluttered streets. People also have been asked to get out of the CBD.

UPDATE 07:43 UTC : Welfare centers have been at Hagley Park (now at full capacity so please go elsewhere), Burnside High School, Papanui High School and Addington Raceway.

UPDATE 07:39 UTC : Initial indication of 65 dead but that this WILL rise. By the morning, 250 specialist search and rescue personnel will be on hand thanks to much help from Australia and within New Zealand. European Union, United Nations, Israel, Japan (earthquake recovery), United States and the Australian State Governments have also been in contact to provide help (via Bill English).

UPDATE 07:35 UTC : Just to reinstate that most of the tower of the cathedral was destroyed, and this was during an aftershock where people were working/helping in the tower.

UPDATE 07:35 UTC : Thankyou Justin Arroyo for the notice, that there is now enough blood donated, and Christchurch Blood Donation Centre has now closed. They will let people know if more blood is required.

UPDATE 07:31 UTC : Assuming a death toll around 130, this will rank as the 2nd most deadly New Zealand earthquake in history - after the 256 people killed in the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

UPDATE 07:30 UTC : Sunset has now descended upon Christchurch. Rescue workers will now work under floodlight to help those trapped persons.

UPDATE 07:26 UTC : While there are more aftershocks of the M6.3 earthquake, please note that the central city business district has been cordoned off and police are warning people to stay away from the areas within Madras, St Asaph, Montreal and Kilmore Streets.

UPDATE 07:22 UTC : Another function of SOS Earthquakes is to provide reputable and useful information  where people can donate:-

Within New Zealand, Anyone wanting to donate to the The Salvation Army appeal can call 0800 53 00 00 or do it online at www.salvationarmy.org.nz

Donations can also be made at ANZ branches or online to 01-1839-0188939-00, or at National Bank branches or online to 06-0869-0548507-00.

UPDATE 07:14 UTC : Reasons why the damage and casualties are higher in this earthquake as opposed to the Sep 4 earthquake:-

1) Ground shaking higher (shallower hypocenter) and closer to higher population.

2) Midday earthquake where many workers and shoppers were in the city center with many verandahs and other masonry failed and hit large numbers of people. Many people were getting lunch at the time.

3) Office buildings were most affected, and being the middle of the day many workers were in these buildings.

4) Structures previously weakened by the mainshock (M7.1), were now affected greatly by this aftershock (M6.3).

UPDATE 07:11 UTC : The economic losses associated with this shock will be huge:- the previous NZ earthquake on Sep. 4 2010 caused USD6 billion+. It must be assumed that the damage will exceed this.

UPDATE 07:10 UTC : Another large aftershock of M5.0 has occurred. Please go here for full details.

UPDATE 07:05 UTC : Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia has extended the sympathies of the nation and has stated that they will provide WHATEVER New Zealand requires. She also stated that highly trained USAR teams have been deployed. In addition, she said that no Australians have been reported dead at this time of the 8000+ Australian residents in the epicentral Canterbury area and there are 433 tourists from Aust. in Christchurch.

UPDATE 07:03 UTC : Wellington Airport has put out a Facebook plea for people in Wellington who have accommodation to please help Christchurch travellers stuck in the capital.

UPDATE 06:55 UTC : Let us reinstate the fact that the ground shaking in Christchurch was in many places greater than that of the M7.1 Christchurch Earthquake of 4 September 2010. This is for two reasons:- a) the hypocentre was closer to Christchurch (shallower depth), b) the epicenter was closer to Christchurch.

UPDATE 06:52 UTC :

Most of Christchurch's power should be back on within 24 to 36 hours but the worst affected areas could take one to two weeks, Orion New Zealand chief executive Roger Sutton stated.

Power has been restored to Banks Peninsula and parts of Christchurch to the west of the city.

UPDATE 06:50 UTC :

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, has told people to prepare for a doubled death toll.

UPDATE 06:37 UTC : It is now 13 hours later than UTC time : 19:37. Another hour and the darkness will fall over the city.

UPDATE 06:35 UTC : As said in the early hours, Lyttleton and Brighton are declared "unliveable"

UPDATE 06:32 UTC : 500 people have set up for the night in Hagley Park, where they will be spending the night (Luckily it is summer in New Zealand)

UPDATE 06:18 UTC : New Zealand Blood Service states that it has enough blood in stock in Christchurch and has more blood to bring to the area if need be. Christchurch Donor Center closed until further notice. http://www.nzblood.co.nz/

UPDATE 06:15 UTC : Nearly 1 million Australians are having their vacation in New Zealand every year and a lot of them are passing in Christchurch.

UPDATE 06:14 UTC : An specialized Australian Search and Rescue team is on their way to Christchurch.

UPDATE 06:13 UTC : National Australian Womans Cricket team has been reported SAFE in Christchurch

UPDATE 06:11 UTC : Water mains did burst in the city and the streets are flooding with water and mud

UPDATE 06:05 UTC : 60 troops are on their way to Christchurch to help the police forming a cordon around the hard hit city.

UPDATE 06:02 UTC : Many roads are damaged and some local roads are severely damaged.

UPDATE 05:59 UTC : Australians wanting to know more about family members can call 1300 555 135

UPDATE 05:54 UTC : Video footage shot just after the earthquake did strike. The damage is very big as you can see. The video comes from TV New Zealand

UPDATE 05:46 UTC : Australia is providing FULL  assistance.....all measures possible.

UPDATE 05:39 UTC : In between 100 and 200 people are trapped in various buildings in Christchurch. All means and efforts are used to get them out, but rescue missions after a strong earthquake are extremely dangerous because of aftershocks and unstable constructions.

UPDATE 05:37 UTC : Today's earthquake was a very strong earthquake NOT a massive earthquake. The shallow depth makes it killing. Christchurch is a city constructed with buildings of a limited number of storeys. If the same earthquake would happen in Istanbul, Tokyo, etc. it would have been even more damaging than todays earthquake in Christchurch. Click here to view our article on the potential damage an earthquake would generate in Tokyo.

UPDATE 05:32 UTC : Repeatedly Earthquake-Report is hammering on the fact that tourists should be earthquake-prepared if they are visiting seismic active areas. Here is the link to the article we wrote about it.

UPDATE 05:29 UTC : The injured toll will exceed the theoretical models considerably.

UPDATE 05:23 UTC : The DEATH TOLL HAS RISEN TO 65 PEOPLE

UPDATE 05:11 UTC : 17 people have been reported killed so far (official statement by the Christchurch police)

UPDATE 05:00 UTC : State of Emergency has been called for at least the next 5 days. This not for eventual looting but to give all possible freedom for emergency services.

UPDATE 04:57 UTC : Pyne Gould Corporation has confirmed that staff from the building are missing, but would not say how many.

UPDATE 04:53 UTC : We repeat that the destruction is NOT widespread and residential areas at the outskirts of town have not been damaged severely. Most of the damage is located in the city center and in Lyttelton which was the epicenter of the earthquake.

Also Brighton got the full shaking load.

UPDATE 04:49 UTC : It is currently summer in New Zealand and the weather is good.

UPDATE 04:48 UTC : No numbers on fatalities yet. Theoretical models predict a maximum of 100 fatalities and max. 400 wounded. These are theoretical prediction models. Other theoretical models show between 50 and 150 killed, and 500+ injured.

UPDATE 04:44 UTC : New Zealand blood service appeals for urgent blood donations

UPDATE 04:43 UTC : 30 people are still trapped in the collapsed Pine Gould building

UPDATE 04:42 UTC : Hospitals all around New Zealand South Island are being cleared to take hundreds of injured people from Christchurch.

This article is the second part of our extensive reporting which started only a couple of minutes after the earth below Christchurch started to shake. Click here for the first part (pictures, videos and the full movie (story) of this earthquake)

Initial information

Very strong Magnitude 6.3 earthquake (aftershock) in New Zealand South Island

Following USGS the epicenter (extremely shallow) is right under Christchurch (5 km)

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.3

UTC time : Monday, February 21, 2011 at 23:51:42 UTC

Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:51:42 PM at epicenter

Depth (Hypocenter) : 4 km

Quake-maps.com satellite map + I Did Feel It form

Geo-location(s) :

Links to important maps

USGS Did You Feel It Map

Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place (error margin possible)

3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (USGS epicenter location)

USGS Shaking map

USGS historic earthquakes map

USGS impact on population map

USGS Seismic hazard map

LIVE SEISMOGRAM (nearest Seismograph station)

GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)

QuakeSOS+ is an iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with œEarthquake Report news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS+ will be your closest earthquake friend. Buying QuakeSOS+ will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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Quake-Maps.com was also created by SOS Earthquakes. Quake-Maps.com makes it easy to let the world know which shaking people have experienced during the earthquake. Quake-Maps.com gives also the opportunity to write some additional text. Filling up the form takes only 1 minute. Quake-Maps.com gives an overview of all the resent earthquakes and let you even go back in time and retrieve earthquakes of a certain date in the past.

Earthquake-Report.com headlines on twitter

@OnlyQuakeNews : Get all the headlines of our earthquake-report.com articles + regular updates on ongoing events

@QuakeSOS : earthquake-report.com news + automatic earthquake notifications of USGS earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in the America's and the Pacific Ocean sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was created for our QuakeSOS and QuakeSOS+ iPhone applications

@ShakingEarth : earthquake-report.com news + automatic earthquake notifications of EMSC earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in European and Asian / Middle East sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was originally created to stimulate our Facebook account

@QuakeMaps : earthquake-report.com news with mapping notifications of ALL earthquakes M 3.0 and higher from all over the world via EMSC and USGS. This account was created for our http://www.quake-maps.com website

Comments

  1. hang in there guys. lots of love, we're here to support you guys. this is a really rough time, but we know you guys are strong enough to get through this. you guys can get through anything. xoxo

  2. Justin Arroyo says:

    New Zealand Blood Service give phone number and email to call if you wish to be contacted in the event they need more blood.

    Christchurch Donor Centre closed until further notice

    We are aware Christchurch has been hit by a 6.3 earthquake at 12:51pm this afternoon (Tues 22nd Feb 2011). The Christchurch Blood Donor Centre will be closed until further notice. We have good supplies of blood in Christchurch and have supplies we can bring in from other centres. At this stage we are fine for blood stocks, but if the situation changes we will let people know through Facebook and our website. If you are not already a donor (e.g. not on our database) and would like to sign up to be contacted when we do need your donations, please call 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) or email donors.national@nzblood.co.nz with your name, phone number, email and town/city. Thanks for your support.

    http://www.nzblood.co.nz/

  3. Looks terrible 🙁 Lets hope aftershock won't be very strong.

  4. I want to volunteer to help with the rescue in CHCH I am capable of understanding the situation and will do what it takes for how long ever might be to assist in any help needed in any way possible. I am situated In North-Island Matamata

  5. Justin Arroyo says:

    New Zealand Blood Service states that it has enough blood in stock in Christchurch and has more blood to bring to the area if need be.

    http://www.nzblood.co.nz/

    Christchurch Donor Centre closed until further notice

    "We are aware Christchurch has been hit by a 6.3 earthquake at 12:51pm this afternoon (Tues 22nd Feb 2011). The Christchurch Blood Donor Centre will be closed until further notice. We have good supplies of blood in Christchurch and have supplies we can bring in from other centres. At this stage we are fine for blood stocks, but if the situation changes we will let people know through Facebook and our website."

    • glenn McCarthy says:

      I just want to registrar to be a volunteer,I live in CHCH,and I am physicall, and mentally fit to work,any time day or place and for as long as it takes to help others that are hurting from this earthquake.