Huge Buyout Planned for Homes Damaged by Earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ

Coat of arms of the City of Christchurch

Image via Wikipedia

Here are two news accounts of the planned buyout — probably the largest ever done after earthquakes.  The first one is from the Daily Mail (UK): Thousands to be paid to leave homes hit by New Zealand earthquake as total cost of catastrophe hits £9.4bn

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announces the government will pay homeowners to leave . New Zealand’s government has offered to pay thousands of homeowners to leave areas of the country’s second-largest city hardest hit by recent earthquakes.

Christchurch was struck by a magnitude-7.1 earthquake in September and a devastating magnitude-6.3 quake in February that killed 181 people and crippled much of the city. The government said it has offered to pay about 5,000 Christchurch homeowners to leave and have their homes razed, with certain swathes of land remaining too unstable for rebuilding.

The future of an additional 10,000 homes, many of which may also need to be destroyed, is still being assessed. The government estimated the cost of moving the first 5,000 homeowners at up to £312 million

The second source is ABC News in Australia:  NZ govt to buy back homes in earthquake zone

Here was some relief today for residents of the earthquake shattered city of Christchurch in New Zealand. The government announced that it would buy back thousands of homes on land too unstable for rebuilding.

It’s part of a plan to move residents and bulldoze homes in areas hardest hit by recent earthquakes.  The government says it’s assessing the future of another 10,000 homes, many of which may also be too costly and time consuming to repair.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Christchurch in September and a devastating 6.3 quake in February.  One-hundred-and-eighty-one people died and large aftershocks have continued to rattle the city.

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2 Responses to Huge Buyout Planned for Homes Damaged by Earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ

  1. recoverydiva says:

    I agree — it is a sensible mitigation measure. And I think the US should pay attention to this precedent.

  2. This is necessary mitigation to reduce future disaster outlays. A tough but sound decision that the USA will and should mimic rather than pay out repetitively for the 500 counties in the USA that garner most of the disaster relief of the 3400 total county geographic areas. FEMA usually decides the kind of disaster outlays required and makes its recommendation to the President based on counties not cities.

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