This afternoon, 23rd December 2011, Christchurch was hit by yet another significant aftershock. And to be frank, we’re pretty bloody over it by now.
Like much of the city, I was at work when it happened and it was definitely another one that required getting under the desks. It was a 5.8 that hit us, 8km deep and approximately 20km NE of Lyttelton.
Driving home, it was obvious that liquefaction was going to be a problem again as the roads were just starting to flood in a few patches. Traffic lights were also out along Travis Road and Anzac Drive, making the drive home that bit more interesting.
Orion say that power has been out for over 26,000 people but hopefully will be back within hours rather that weeks and days like last time, thanks to their new set up. So long as the aftershocks start dying down – we’ve had 3 decent ones since I started writing this so that’s about 1 per paragraph!
Back in Aranui, liquefaction was apparent on the roads but didn’t really look like it was going to give us too many problems. Until the second big aftershock hit – a 6.0 about 80 minutes after the first, 6km deep and 10km north of Lyttelton. This one was big enough to break whatever barriers were holding the liquefaction back and the streets started to fill with that far too familiar grey silt.
Back in Sept 2010 (was it that long ago??) and both February and June of 2011, I’d taken a few casual photos of the liquefaction but no video. The photos drew the attention of the National Geographic (they’re making a documentary right now which includes some of my pics) and a professor of geo-activity (or something) in the US. He was keen to use the photos in a paper he was writing and said (and I more-or-less quote) “I’ve been to substantial earthquakes all over the world for the past 30 years and I haven’t seen liquefaction anywhere near as bad as it is in Christchurch. You guys are pretty interesting right now!”
In conversation with him, he was pretty keen to see if I had any video footage and seemed very disappointed to hear that I didn’t. So, just for that guy and all of the other non-Christchurch residents that aren’t yet sick of the sight of it, here’s some exciting footage of the new mess that’s being created in my street right now!
Stay safe Christchurch … and Merry Christmas!
Update 23-12-11 plus an hour or two:
Earthquake call centre line is now live: 03 941 8999. Further update on the news at 10:30pm tonight.
It’s the morning of the 24th. Christmas Eve. I’m tired! We’ve had approximately a zillion aftershocks since god-knows-when-o-clock. Check out the Twitter feed below from @nz_quake to view the latest 20 aftershocks.