I spent a day while in Christchurch with my friend Bev.
We have known each other for about 25 years.
We enjoy a day out together whenever I am in Christchurch.
This photo is taken at the end of our day at Spagalimis...
Where we went for dinner... A delicious pizza.
We spent the day sightseeing on the Christchurch Metro buses.
We both have 'Gold Cards' so it's all free... Yay!
First we went along Colombo Street, Sydenham...
I was amazed at how and where people have re-opened their businesses.
Creatively painted container shops everywhere...
We went back to the bus exchange and got on another bus to Lyttelton.
I was shocked as we drove out of the city at the
continuing earthquake destruction...
More empty lots where familiar buildings have been pulled down...
This is Manchester Street, just past the containers is Lichfield Street...
The building in the middle of the photo...
Majestic House is to be demolished.
I don't know where this is. I took these photos looking out the bus window.
The sleepy little town of Lyttelton was the epicentre
of the February 22, 2010 earthquake...
To read about and understand the ground acceleration that caused
such tremendous damage... Read here...
The bus went through the Lyttelton Road tunnel...
The longest road tunnel in NZ.
It took four years to build and opened in 1964 and in 2011 had 11,000 vehicles through it daily.
It was damaged in the quakes by rockfalls
falling on the tunnel entrance canopy
and badly damaging the control building,
which is to be demolished. The tunnel was opened
after a week to essential traffic,
but there are 2000 vehicles less a day using it as people fear
it will collapse. I can understand that as I felt quite
scared driving through it
and the smell of fumes is very strong...
I don't think the ventilation is working properly.
The Summit Road between Christchurch and Lyttelton
was badly damaged and is still, nearly two years later, closed.
Although there is other road access.
Houses, shops and buildings of all descriptions...
And crumbled into piles of rubble.
The historic Lyttleton Timeball that daily from 1876 - 1934
dropped the timeball signalling Greenwich time to shipping in the harbour,
was significantly damaged in the 4 September 2010 earthquake and
damaged beyond repair in the 22 February 2011 quake.
It has now been dismantled but there are plans
to rebuild this historic place.
And the iconic Volcano Cafe... Is no more.
It moved more than 15 centimeters on its foundations...
So was way beyond repair.
After the sad sights of Lyttelton we hopped on another bus...
Out to a suburb called Queenspark.
This is on the east side of Christchurch
where the most damage and liquifacation
occurred from both the two major
earthquakes and the many subsequent aftershocks.
We drove through more streets of damage and now vacant land...
I felt very sad at the utter destuction of the city I grew up in.
This is the old Crichton Cobbers buildings...
Now all gone or in the process of going.
We drove round the Heathcote and Avon rivers.
All areas round any river were more damaged than other areas.
The enormous ground acceleration caused rivers to overflow and
underground liquifacation to rise up...
A total disaster for the suburbs on this side of town that
had been built on marshland and wetland areas.
Buildings fenced off because they are dangerous...
Piles of fallen bricks and concrete blocks lying all around them.
and the wild lupins and weeds have taken over.
I read in the paper that some suburbs have major rat problems.
The people in the surrounding houses...
Continue to live there... Little choice to do otherwise really.
I was amazed at how they continue to do that with such
depressing sights around them.
One of the major problems is the arguments between the EQC and the Insurance companies
both don't really want to pay out for damages that people paid their insurance policies for.
I met one person who has needed to employ a mediator to try and resolve the issues...
Meanwhile he is repairing nothing and going nowhere.
The government seems to have lost interest.
And road works like these are in most of the streets we drove along.
The state of the roads is so appalling that I had to hold on with both hands
not to be tipped off my bus seat.
Some houses still do not have fully functioning sewage and drains.
Christchurch is in a terrible state and I wonder, despite the
councils and governments plans... Just what will become of it.