Some News from Down Under re Earthquake Planning

Blog reader John Coleman in NZ wrote:

“I am currently working on emergency plans for the health system of the West Coast of the South Island. My personal thinking was that the entire population could be cut odd from all land access for many months and it is heartening to see tht his study suggests that there may be one road which could remain open. It follows the Buller Gorge and is the really long way around. URL for more info.

In addition we have recently had a series of presentations from the researchers at GNS and several universities. * * * The full package is about 14MB, so those who want the full details of the  video presentations please contact John directly at the location noted below.

We also have video recordings of the talks: 
In 2013, Dr Robinson developed a scenario for a South Island Civil Defence exercise based on a major earthquake on the South Island fault and we have found the casualty estimates informative.

While all of this focusses on the South Island fault, the way things are looking in Christchurch, that big fault sould rupture before we have fully recovered from out local ones. I note that the temporary container mall in Christchurch could now be around a lot longer.  We do have a fondness for temporary things.

The shaking intensity may be similar, but the duration could be several times longer. No-one has tried to predict the effects of that yet.

For more information about John’s organization, go to this web site:

Update on Earthquake Recovery in Christchurch, NZ

Greater Christchurch Recovery report ( 12 pp.) from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. The report is insightful about the transition from short- to long-term recovery and candid about unresolved issues.

Thanks to Ian McLean for the link. As he noted to me “the briefings have rather more life than run-of-the-mill bureaucratic reports. And some of the data is a useful record.”


NOTE: Earlier reports and articles re the earthquake events are stored in the NZ page of this blog.

“Supporting the Supporters in Disaster Recovery”

Supporting the Supporters in Disaster Recovery by Jodie Wills of the NZ Red Cross.  This 82 page document fills a gap by addressing an important topic that has received far too little attention. It is very well written, quite readable, and should be required reading for all responders, Reservists, FEMA Corps staff, Red Cross volunteers etc……..

Many thanks to the author who reads this blog and was gracious enough to send me the link to her new report and website. Note that the website provides some additional information as well as access to the full report.

NOTE: The Diva will be publishing some comments from U.S. responders on this topic in the coming days.

Additional Updates on Recovery in Christchurch, NZ

The population of Christchurch’s richest areas has grown by more than 13,000 people as a “new breed of wealth” transforms the city’s economic landscape.

 New research by the University of Otago maps different levels of poverty across New Zealand and shows that Christchurch is better off than it was in 2006.

The number of people living in the least-deprived parts of Christchurch has grown by about 13,000, while the number in the most deprived areas has fallen by about the same number, the latest deprivation index by the University of Otago reveals.

The second article deals with infrastructure restoration in CHCH.

News from Christchurch, NZ on Recovery Process

Christchurch, NZ is a major city in a first-world nation. And NZ has mandated earthquake insurance. We in the U.S. have a lot to learn from the recovery from two major earthquakes, which devastated the city’s central business district just a few years ago. Here are two current articles about their recovery experience:

For details on a novel way to gain reconstruction workers and benefit the unemployed see: New Zealand offers unemployed cash to move to quake ravaged city. Some details from the article:

Unemployed New Zealanders are being offered cash by the government to move to the earthquake-damaged city of Christchurch and join in the rebuilding effort. The government announced Tuesday it would pay welfare recipients 3,000 New Zealand dollars to move to the city if they found any kind of full-time work there.

Christchurch has been slowly rebuilding after a 2011 quake killed 185 people and destroyed much of the city’s downtown. * * *  Minister Paula Bennett said the city’s reconstruction is creating thousands of jobs but some unemployed people don’t have the resources to move to Christchurch. She said the money will help pay for moving expenses, accommodation, tools and other equipment. “There is demand not only in construction, but in hospitality, retail and many other industries too,” she said in a statement.

Thanks to Pierre Picard for the URL.


Recovery Outcomes in Christchurch, NZ

Christchurch has been recovering from a massive earthquake in 2011.  Here are a couple of articles about how victims and those working to help them have been faring in the nearly four years since then.

Thanks to Ian McLean for providing the citation.

Report Is Critical of Role of Fire Service in Christchurch Quake Response in 2011

It is not often that you see a detailed and candid account of the failings of the response effort to an earthquake. Sadly, the death toll and the law suits that followed the Feb. 2011 earthquake and aftershocks in Christchurch led to this inquiry. The final report was recently released.

Thanks to Ian McLean and John Coleman for the links.

Update on the Recovery Process in Christchurch, NZ

As was noted in the articles about the H. Sandy recovery proceeding far more slowly than most would like, the same thing is true in Christchurch.

Thanks to Ian McLean of New Zealand for this link to an updated account of the recovery process in Christchurch. Although the article is based heavily on an interview with the former mayor, Bob Parker, Ian noted that much of what Parker had recommended to city officials was not mentioned and that 10 of  his recommendations were never acted upon.