Monday, September 12, 2011

New Zealand Day 5

Day 5 was the same as the rest, so we ended up with another free day. At this point, we were totally over the free days and running out of money. We were getting a per diem for food everyday, but anything else we did came out of own pocket.  So the idea of another big activity didn't sound so appealing.

So we decided to walk around town and see the city.

On February 22, 2011 the Town of Christchurch, New Zealand suffered from a 6.1 magnitude Earthquake at the city's center. This earthquake ended in 181 deaths making it the 2nd deadliest natural disaster on record for New Zealand. In the 5 months to follow, the town felt over 8000 aftershocks making the rebuilding phase nearly impossible. Some of the aftershocks were at a 7.2 magnitude. And the buildings that made it through the first earthquake soon began to fall. Even in our short time in Christchurch, we felt 2 separate earthquakes.
The most damage happened in their downtown area and the city literally shut down. The core of the city was declared unsafe and fenced up. The entire downtown area is deserted and behind fences. And when I say the entire downtown area, I mean a 2 mile (?) radius of  fence blocking off downtown. Seeing the damage up close was devastating.
Just 2 weeks later, Japan suffered their massive earthquake and New Zealand was left in the media's dust. And the locals aren't afraid to voice their anger in not getting help from other countries because everyone was helping Japan instead.
Here are some of the pictures I captured as we walked around the Red Zone that once was downtown Christchurch. Warning, some of the photos are very sad to look at.

Autumn :)

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