On September 4 2010 a massive 7.1 earthquake (same size as the Haiti quake) hits Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island. No one was killed due to most people being asleep coupled with the city's strict building codes and good infrastructure. Approximately 4000 aftershocks occurred in the next 5 months, then on 22 February 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the city causing widespread damage and hundreds of deaths. Although less in magnitude from the first quake this one was closer to Christchurch's CBD resulting in the destruction of the city's CBD. The February earthquake was one of the world's most expensive disasters in history (US$18 billion (NZ$22b) according to one of the world's biggest reinsurers.
Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)
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