It’s hard to think that it’s been well over two months since we’ve seen the centre of Christchurch. Two months since we strolled through Cathedral Square and listened to the buskers. Two months since we stopped for a coffee in Cashel Mall and watched the world go by. Two months since we enjoyed a beer and a plate of those awesome potato-skin wedges in the beer garden outside the Dux de Lux.
Sadly, the truth is that it could still be many, many more months until we see the central city again. And maybe even years before we see it in a way that doesn’t make us sad and nostalgic for the old days before the earthquake. Progress just feels so slow. I, for one, still haven’t been able to get to my old office on Tuam Street. My yucca plant will be dead by now. My satchel that I bought in the UK will be covered in dust and the coffee that I left in my favourite coffee mug will have evolved and have started a new civilisation in the confines of my office.
New Footage from the City Centre
There is one new way that we can see the central city (or what is commonly now known as ‘the red zone’). Terralink have completed a special streetcam view of the city, similar to Google’s Streetview but after the earthquake. Terralink’s specially equipped van toured the streets on the 7th and 8th April and have published the streetcam to their website.
You can view the footage (technically a series of stills) on the EQ Streetcam website.
The site can be a bit slow but the chaps at Terralink have created a list of ‘places of interest’ as well as ‘roads and streets’ that you can quicky jump to. Because each point on the map has its own unique URL (website address) you can easily bookmark a specific place to come back later or share with your friends and colleagues.
Simply hitting ‘play’ and watching the footage is sad viewing. The streets are deserted and empty aside from the odd police officer or Civil Defence team. Buildings are still in ruins and many are left exactly as they were on 22nd February.
The streetcam starts by driving straight through the Cathedral Square. It passes the trailer that was promoting a count down to the Rugby World Cup in Christchurch. Now irrelevant. It then passes a flower and shaped shrubbery display that had featured at the entrance to the cathedral, now pushed aside so the engineers can do their job.
You can use the streetcam to check on your own office or workplace to see how progress was going as at the 7th and 8th April. Let’s hope that you do actually see progress rather than a pile of rubble.