Christchurch, New Zealand, February 2011

Christchurch earthquake

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 occurring on 4 September 2010 and registering at a 7.1 magnitude. Civil defence declared a category 3 emergency, the highest possible for a regional disaster.

The Christchurch earthquake caused 185 deaths, 6 659 major injuries (in the first 24 hours) and extensive damage to infrastructure and buildings. Multiple buildings collapsed, with approximately 10 000 homes needing to be rebuilt, 3 500 homes to be demolished (from the September 2010 earthquake), burst water mains, flooding and liquefaction in the city, power outages across the city, cracks in many roads, damage to the port, and more than 4 500 vehicles stranded in the city centre during the recovery period. The Christchurch airport was open only for emergencies and schools were closed.

The Department of Foreign Affairs Australia registered 8 000 Australians as being in the Canterbury region during this period, with 350 in Christchurch. One Australian was among the confirmed 185 who died in the earthquake.

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

Information 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