New Zealand Embassy Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Christchurch earthquake update

Christchurch was hit by further large earthquakes on 13 June, almost four months after the 22 February quake that caused widespread damage and fatalities in the city.

One of the earthquakes had a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale and was reasonably shallow at a depth of 9kms, making it similar in destructive force to the February earthquake.

There were no casualties as a direct result of the latest earthquakes, and no foreign visitors or students have been reported as injured. But a number of buildings which survived the February quake will now have to be demolished. Power was temporarily lost to parts of the city but was restored quickly. Christchurch airport remained open, but the nearby sea port of Lyttleton closed due to damage suffered to facilities.

Despite regular aftershocks, life has slowly returned to some form of normality in Christchurch in recent months, with universities and most schools re-opening and reconstruction efforts underway. Large parts of the central business district remain cordoned off, but temporary offices have opened up in other locations and many suburbs are fully functional again. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has been established to coordinate recovery efforts. Christchurch continues to be “open for business”.

There has been some misunderstanding in Viet Nam that ‘all of New Zealand’ has been hit by the earthquakes. In fact these have been restricted to Christchurch and the immediate surrounding area. Christchurch is about 1000kms from the largest city of Auckland (ie the same distance as Ho Chi Minh City from Ha Noi), and some distance from our other main urban centres which have all been completely unaffected.

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