Christchurch: A Reminder of Nature’s Power

In September 2010 and February 2011, earthquakes devastated the Christchurch area.  Much of the city center was destroyed by damage from the shaking itself, and some of the suburbs were impacted most heavily by what is known as soil liquefaction.  Aftershocks continue to be felt, and the city is only just beginning to reopen, let alone recover.  Still, there is much evidence of solidarity and a commitment to move forward throughout the city.

The heart of the city center is inaccessible, blocked off by chain link fences.  Here you can see the recently deconsecrated Christchurch Cathedral, slated for partial demolition after irreparable damage from the February quake.

Repairs underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre are expected to take years to complete.

Many of the city’s streets remain blocked off, detours and alternative bus routes remain in use.

A festive piece in the “Road Cone Art Exhibition” at the Botanical Gardens, a series of road cone themed works in honor of the 60,000 road cones set up on Christchurch streets today.

More damage in the city center.

Hearts on display at the Canterbury Museum as part of the Hearts for Christchurch project initiated by Napier’s Evie Harris to show support and solidarity for those affected by the quake.  The more than 4,000 hearts on display come from all over the world.

Photos of what has become known as “Container City.”  A few stores in one of the city’s main shopping districts have recently reopened inside temporary “buildings” made from shipping containers.  The area is now bustling with residents eager to return to life as usual, but sits just on the edge of the still-closed city center, in acknowledgment of the reality that still faces the recovering city.

A damaged house on the cliffs of Sumner, one of the beach suburbs of Christchurch.

Just across the road from the photo above.  It is incredibly humbling to be reminded of the strength of nature, especially when also surrounded by its beauty.

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