New Christchurch Earthquake Photos

New Christchurch Earthquake Photos

There are a lot of people visiting this site and viewing the photos from the original earthquake so I figured I better update with some new Christchurch earthquake photos following the devastating aftershock on 22nd February at 1pm.

I’ve had no access to the Internet or a computer other than my cell phone which had a very intermittent connection and limited battery life. After spending a night sleeping in a tent in the garden of our damaged home, my wife and I set off in the car to head to a friend’s house just south of Timaru, which is where we are now.

We’ve spent the day stocking up with supplies – food, water, candles, gas, petrol and others – and plan to head back to Christchurch tomorrow to get supplies to family members and help clear up our street and suburb.

Just after the aftershock settled on Tuesday afternoon, myself and colleagues fled our Tuam Street office to absolute devastation outside. We couldn’t see more than a block in either direction due to the clouds of dust that had arisen from buildings that had just collapsed.

Tuam Street following new earthquake damageAbove is looking along Tuam Street to the corner of Manchester Street where a number of buildings have just collapsed. This is 1pm and the sky was previously reasonably clear – this is all dust.

From here, we picked up our vehicles from the CCC car park and headed out to get out of the chaos to a position where we could check on loved ones.

Heading first along Manchester Street, buildings that were already heavily damaged were now completely written off.

Manchester Street earthquake damage

Manchester Street earthquake damage

We couldn’t get much further down Manchester Street so eventually made it to Colombo Street where we slowly crawled past the horrific sight of the Colombo Street Smiths City over-bridge car park. Layers had collapsed onto each other and cars were sticking out of the gaps. Hopefully if anyone was inside they would have hit the ground and would be safe under the support of the cars either side of them.

Smiths City Colombo Street Car Park Earthquake Damage

Smiths City Colombo Street Car Park Earthquake DamageAs we got to Moorhouse Avenue, we found we had to quickly drive underneath and carry on down to Brougham Street as the bridge was being closed at that moment. From Brougham, we headed back up towards Madras. The traffic lights were out and the intersection was chaos.

Heavy traffic on the streets following the February earthquakeOver the next couple of hours, we continued crawling through heavy traffic. Impressively, everyone was very orderly despite the feeling of panic and the continuing aftershocks. We chatted to others in other vehicles to exchange news and stopped to speak to a lady that had broken down following water in the engine after having driven through floods.

We later came to those floods and luckily made it through while following the path of the vehicle in front.

Heavy traffic following February Christchurch earthquakeFebruary Christchurch earthquake damageCracks in the road following February Christchurch earthquakeDamage to buildings following Christchurch EarthquakeLyttelton Tunnel ClosedDamage to road drains followin February earthquakeDamage to road drains followin February earthquakeAfter we finally made it to our home in the Aranaui and Bexley areas, we saw a different level of destruction. Some houses were badly damaged such as this one where the top floor had collapsed onto the ground floor …

Christchurch Earthquake Residential DamageBut the most common sight was extensive damage to the roads. Papanui, Breezes, Wainoni, Shortland Street and many more roads had large cracks and large sink holes. There were approximately 6 cars and 1 large Ready Mix cement truck that had fallen into holes within a few blocks of each other. All people appear to have escaped without serious injury as far as I could tell.

Cars stuck in holes after Christchurch earthquake

Cars stuck in holes after Christchurch earthquake

Cars stuck in holes after Christchurch earthquake

Cars stuck in holes after Christchurch earthquake

Ready Mix truck stuck in hole after Christchurch earthquake

Perhaps the most impressively stuck car was this small silver hatchback that went head first into a large hole in a street just off Shortland Street (between Shortland and Breezes Road) in Aranui. The rear hatch was open when we came across it. Apparently there had been one person and a dog inside but they managed to escape. The silt has now settled around and inside the car, making the vehicle an intimidating monument to the earthquake.

Silver hatchback stuck in sink hole in Aranui

Silver hatchback stuck in sink hole in Aranui

Silver hatchback stuck in sink hole in Aranui

Silver hatchback stuck in sink hole in Aranui

Silver hatchback stuck in sink hole in AranuiThere have actually been much more horrific photos and videos in the news from the central city. I was mostly oblivious to these until I finally saw the news on a friend’s TV in Rolleston as I headed to Timaru. Watching footage of people being lowered from buildings and horrendous building damage and fires, it’s no wonder that friends and family outside of Christchurch were so concerned about our safety.

Our office was very close to buildings that are now flattened but luckily we got out ok. Our thoughts go out to those that didn’t.

Our home has significant cracks around the conservatory and the large rear garden wall has collapsed into our neighbour’s garden which is completely flooded. However, other than the fact that pretty much everything inside the house is smashed or on the floor, all we have to contend with is an anxious dog.

Anxious pets following the earthquake

The fire brigade have already taken one run through our street to remove an unstable chimney and check on other houses.

Fire Brigade in Christchurch

Now that my wife and I have stocked up in Timaru, we’ll head back to our home in Christchurch tomorrow and help out where we can.

Petrol Station Queues on Brougham Street, Christchurch

There were heaps of queues at petrol stations as far as Ashburton and many had run out (although some had run out of just 91 and 92 but diesel was mostly fine). If we can, we’ll fill some containers in Timaru and bring petrol back for those that really need it.

You can view more photos on my Flickr Photos page.

  • MamaPukeko

    Just Scary & Devastating! Cant imagine the feelings you guys must be going through! So glad you are safe & alive though! So very sad for those who arent!

  • Chris Flack

    wow wow!!!! so scary – glad you guys are ok

  • Excellent report Mark. Glad you guys are ok. When you stopped twittering every few minutes many of us in Twitter land became anxious for your safety.

  • Thanks guys. Thanks Sheldon. Yeah when I finally was able to check my Twitter messages, the number of mentions and people asking about our safety was really touching. A great lift on a sad day.

  • Gmnshprd

    Great to see your pics. I’m hoping your dog has settled down now. My GSD is still a bag of nerves, barking at every noise.

  • Thanks yeah he’s calmer now that we’re back at our own house. Try getting ‘Rescue Remedy” from the pharmacy (if you can get to one). It’s meant for humans but the vets recommend it for dogs as well. Couple of drops in their water or food and it seems to calm them down.

  • Feline_sketch

    Nice to see an animal still with its family!

  • Thanks yeah we’re lucky we still have him. He was in our kitchen when it happened. I came home to find him surrounded by broken glass, bottles and food that had fallen out of the cupboards. There was barely any floor space around him. He had small cuts to his back paws. I’ve never seen an animal so happy to see someone. He’s been a bit ill since it happened. Probably stress.

  • Anthony

    Amazing and very vivid photos – I spent quite a bit of time around Christchurch as a tourist a few years ago, and loved every minute of it, and it is very sad to see the destruction of such a beautiful area…hope that you Kiwis can rebuild your city better and stronger than ever…just wondering, I spent quite a few boozy nights in Cokers…is it still standing?

    Anthony, Ireland

  • Thanks Anthony. I haven’t heard much about Cokers but just checked their website ( and they say they have sustained damage and are closed until further notice.

    Haven’t seen any photos of the damage but I see they’re on Manchester Street. Most of the buildings along that stretch were heavily damaged I’m afraid. The second photo in this blog post is just up the road from them on Manchester Street.

  • on looking at your photos I could hardly believe my eyes yes I have seen a picture of my car in mud and the car head first yes the little silver hatchback the man driving it indeed jumped out as we pulled him it all happened so fast by any chance did you get a picture of the white four wheel drive at the other end of rowses road as I got out of my white honda the one on the foot path into my neighbours car headed back towards home only to land in a pothole and the fourwheel drive flipped it was da sha vu this time it was us being pulled out in ten minutes it happened twice have u.s.b”d it hope thats all right would love a copy of the white forwheel drive if you have one of it corner of rowses and breezes good shooting

  • Claudio Cappellaro

    Hi Mark, I am a PhD student at Canterbury, and I am working on soil liquefaction. I will deliver a presentation at the end of the month at the University of Kyoto about liquefaction and the Canterbury Earthquakes. I would like to use for my presentation one of the pictures of the silver car sunk in the silt, it is a very effective image. I ask you for permission – I will obviously put proper references to you and your blog. Thanks.

  • Hi Claudio, thanks for asking! Yup, go for it. All the best for your presentation!

  • Claudio Cappellaro

    Thanks a lot, Mark!

  • Julian

    Hi Mark, I am master degree student in Taiwan. I will show a presentation about liquefaction and i will use some of these photoes in my presentation. may i ask your permission ?

  • Hi Julian, yes. No problem!