Christchurch, New Zealand, February 2011

Christchurch earthquake, 2011

Quick Statistics

185 Fatalities
6659 Injured
$370 million Insurance Costs
3500 Homes Destroyed

On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch shortly before 12:50pm at a shallow depth of four kilometres. Several aftershocks were reported, some registering at a 5.6 magnitude. This was the second major earthquake to hit the city; the previous quake occurred on 4 September 2010 and registered at a 7.1 magnitude. Civil defence declared a category 3 emergency, the highest possible for a regional disaster.

The Christchurch earthquake caused extensive damage to infrastructure and buildings. Multiple buildings collapsed, and the city was impacted by burst water mains, flooding, liquefaction and power outages. The port was damaged, and many roads cracked. More than 4,500 vehicles were stranded in the city centre during the recovery period. Schools were closed; the Christchurch airport remained open only for emergencies.

As a result of both the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, 10,000 homes needed to be rebuilt and 3,500 demolished. 

There were 185 deaths as a result of the earthquake, and 6,659 major injuries (in the first 24 hours).

According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, 8,000 Australians were registered as being in the Canterbury region during this period. Of these, 350 were registered as being in Christchurch. One Australian was among the confirmed 185 fatalities. 

During the rescue effort, 600 Australian emergency services workers assisted with the recovery efforts, including, police, search and rescue, medical and forensic experts.

Sources

ABC News, ‘Multiple deaths as quake strikes Christchurch,’ 22 February 2011, accessed 3 March 2011.
The Age, ''We may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day': PM says 65 killed in quake,' 22 February 2011, accessed 3 March 2011.
The Attorney-General for Australia, 'Australian assistance for New Zealand,' 22 February 2011, accessed 18 March 2011.
Bigpond News, ‘Christchurch Earthquake Factsheet,’ 3 February 2011, accessed 9 March 2011.
Government of New Zealand, 'Around 10,000 houses will need to be rebuilt,' 8 March 2011, accessed 16 March 2011.
Government of New Zealand, 'Support package provides much needed assistance,' 2 March 2011, accessed 16 March 2011.
Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, #CHCH #EQNZ Quake Update 115 1000 hrs, 16 March 2011, accessed 16 March 2011.
Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, #CHCH #EQNZ Quake Update 118 0800 hrs, 21 March 2011, accessed 21 March 2011.
New Zealand Herald, 'Smith: ACC quake bill $370 million,' 2 March 2011, accessed 3 March 2011.
New Zealand Parliament, Order Paper and Questions, 17 March 2011, accessed 21 March 2011.
New Zealand Police, 'List of deceased,' (Christchurch earthquake), accessed 11 July 2011.
The Press, ‘Christchurch Earthquake,’ 22 February 2012, accessed 23 February 2012.
Schwartz, Dominique, 'NZ announces earthquake royal commission,' ABC News, 14 March 2011, accessed 21 March 2011.