Friday, January 25, 2013

Cardboard Cathedral

We arrived in Christchurch last night at the start of our annual 3-month migration to New Zealand. It is always a long journey but this time it seemed especially arduous with delays to both ferry and air trips. This morning we walked into the city centre, or at least as near to the centre as one can go, which is a bit nearer than last year. The forbidden zone has shrunk a little as more dangerous buildings have been removed. Reconstruction of some of the major buildings is well under way and removal of others continues. The pictures below show work in progress, including construction of the famous "Cardboard Cathedral" and also the chair memorial - each chair representing one of the many fatalities in the earthquake nearly two years ago. Seismic activity has slowed. Last week Christchurch suffered its 11,000th earthquake since it all began about two and a half years ago. Last year when we were here in January the 10,000th shock was clocked up so things are definitely improving. He said, ironically. It is a terrible shame to see this poor stricken city. And the damage is not confined to the city cenre. Thousands of homes are damaged and there is a time-consuming programme of inspection and insurance decision before repair or demolition takes place. One family of our acquaintance has just been able to start repair work. Another has just been told that their house has to come down and be rebuilty. As always, clicking on any one picture will give you a gallery of all the pictures enlarged.

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