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February 19, 2016

Christchurch: Then and Now #travel #NewZealand

On 4th September 2010 an earthquake struck Christchurch in New Zealand. A second struck on 22 February 2011 with loss of life and property damage.

I visited Christchurch in 2006 and this year was the first time I’d returned. It was sobering, even now almost five years later. The center of Christchurch remains empty with ruined buildings and lots of vacant lots.

Christchurch Cathedral

This is a photo of the cathedral and the square, taken prior to the Earthquake.

Christchurch Cathedral

A second view of the cathedral.

Cathedral Ruins 1

Cathedral Ruins

Cathedral Ruins

Cathedral Ruins

As I said, sobering. The cathedral is one of the many buildings in the city center that is still damaged. There are also many empty lots where the buildings have been removed. There is talk of restoring the cathedral, but the cost is phenomenal. I would like them to reinforce the shell enough to make it safe and to use it as a memorial. It’s certainly an emotional topic for the Christchurch locals.

Update: A 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred on Valentine’s day (14 Feb 2016)–the first big quake for some time. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.


  1. Maria Zannini

    What a shame about the cathedral. I like your idea of reinforcing it and using it as a memorial. They shouldn’t give up on it.

  2. A. Catherine Noon

    I’m so very sorry for the people of Christchurch. How heartbreaking.

  3. Mary Kirkland

    Wow, that is a shame. It’s sobering just how much damage can be done after an earthquake or other natural disaster.

  4. Nancy Henderson

    So sad. It was such a beautiful church.

  5. Shelley Munro

    Maria – I think that is a great idea, but most people want to raise funds/use taxpayer funds to repair it. Personally, I don’t think this is practical. It is going to cost millions.

    Noony – It’s almost the anniversary. It used to be such a pretty city and very English in flavor. It was heartbreaking seeing it post quake.

  6. Shelley Munro

    Mary – it was very sobering, and for them to have another quake a few weeks ago was scary. I think the people of Christchurch have suffered enough.

    Nancy – yes, the cathedral was beautiful and added to the city’s English flavor.

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