Case study high income country (HIC): Christchurch 2011

Causes

An earthquake-damaged home stands at the edge of a cliff in Christchurch
An earthquake-damaged home stands at the edge of a cliff in Christchurch

The earthquake struck on 22 February 2011. It was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake and the focus was very shallow at 4.99 km deep. The earthquake happened on a conservative plate margin between the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate.

Effects

Primary

  • 181 people were killed.
  • 2,000 injured.
  • Over 50 per cent of the city's buildings were damaged.
  • The city's cathedral spire collapsed.
  • Water and sewage pipes were damaged.

Secondary

  • Businesses were closed for a long time.
  • Christchurch couldn't hold the five Rugby World Cup matches.
  • Schools were closed for two weeks due to the damage.

Responses

Short-term

  • International aid was provided (around $6-7 million).
  • Aid workers from charities such as the Red Cross came to help.
  • Areas were zoned to assess damage.
  • 300 Australian police officers were flown in.

Long-term

  • $898 million in building insurance claims.
  • Water and sewerage were restored to the city by August 2011.
  • Temporary housing was provided.
The earthquake's epicentre was at Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island. The earthquake hit on 22 February 2011 and measured magnitude 6.3.