Tag Archive: Christchurch

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Biological Hazard in New Zealand on December 11 2015 01:43 PM (UTC).

Base data

EDIS Number BH-20151211-51213-NZL
Event type Biological Hazard
Date/Time December 11 2015 01:43 PM (UTC)
Last update December 11 2015 01:46 PM (UTC)
Cause of event
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level

Geographic information

Continent Australia – New-Zealand
Country New Zealand
County / State South Island
Area Wellington, Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch
Coordinate 41° 7.443,173° 0.059

Number of affected people / Humanities loss

Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0

Biohazard information

Biohazard level
Disease, agent name Measles
Infected person(s) 0
Species Human
Status suspected


A measles warning has been issued in several areas after an infected tourist traveled the country. A 28-year-old European man carrying the virus traveled from Wellington, to Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch from December 3 to 11. The Canterbury District Health Board now is asking anyone who may have come in contact with him and is now presenting symptoms to call their doctor. He is believed to have contracted the highly-infectious virus while in Australia and is in private accommodation in Christchurch until the end of his infectious period. Canterbury medical officer Alistair Humphrey said it was a particularly risky time for the tourism industry. “Over the next few years there is a heightened risk of measles as a result of the decision by parents in the 1990s not to get their children immunized,” he said. Where He Stayed: December 3-5: Comfort Hotel, Cuba Street, Wellington,5 December 5: BlueBridge Ferry,December 5-7: Motueka Holiday Top 10,December 8-10: Lazy Shag Backpackers, Kaikoura,December 11: Travels to residence outside Christchurch



Sick tourist prompts measles warning

NZ Newswire
Measles is untreatable but easily preventagle through vaccinations© Getty Images Measles is untreatable but easily preventable through vaccinations A measles warning has been issued in several areas after an infected tourist traveled the country.


A 28-year-old European man carrying the virus traveled from Wellington, to Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch from December 3 to 11.The Canterbury District Health Board now is asking anyone who may have come in contact with him and is now presenting symptoms to call their doctor.

He is believed to have contracted the highly-infectious virus while in Australia and is in private accommodation in Christchurch until the end of his infectious period.


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Earth Watch Report  –  Tornado



February 26 2014 06:35 PM Tornado New Zealand South Island, [North Canterbury] Damage level Details



Tornado in New Zealand on Wednesday, 26 February, 2014 at 18:35 (06:35 PM) UTC.

A tornado has ripped its way through North Canterbury in New Zealand as rough weather and lightning caused extensive damage. The Civil Defence has arrived at the scene to inspect the damaged properties. According to fire service shift manager Andrew Norris, a group of homes in Amberley have been heavily damaged. The town is 50km north of Christchurch. Based on fire service reports, strong winds from the tornado had lifted the tiles off roofs of homes near the Burnham Military Camp. Southern Fire Communications Shift Manager Karl Patterson said he received reports of one house losing an entire roof. The tornado, barreling its way through South Island, also knocked down trees and caused power poles to catch fire. Mr Patterson said the fire service put out fires in Halsquell Quarry which were caused by lightning. Despite the damages to some homes and power lines, no casualties or injuries were reported. The clean-up continues in tornado-damaged areas, although 30 homes reported having no electricity by the afternoon of Feb 24. A resident from Amberley, Donna Graham, told Radio New Zealand that she and her husband, Geoff, saw the tornado form from hanging black clouds and realised the twister was moving straight to her house. She and her husband began running away from the house. They could hear the noises made by the tornado as it moved. The couple came out when they noticed they could not hear the tornado anymore. Civil Defence inspector Kerry Walsh said the damage caused by the tornado was worse than he expected. He said the clean-up was doing well. South Island’s lines company Mainpower remarked that some of the power poles had to be replaced before electricity will be restored to homes. Aside from the tornado in Amberley, a smaller tornado was spotted in Leeston and was captured on video by “stormchaser” Stephen Burrows. Mr Burrows said the smaller tornado was approximately 100 metres wide but looked weaker in comparison to the one in Amberley. The tornadoes were caused by a severe thunderstorm in parts of Canterbury. The MetService has warned residents in the area to prepare for a storm with torrential rain and large hail. According to weather authorities, the storm had formed near the coast of Timaru and made its way to Christchurch. The storm was classified as a “supercell” because it caused large hailstones and small tornadoes.



The New Zealand Herald


Tornado strikes homes as storm lashes town

By Ben Irwin

A damaged building on a plant farm near Amberley, north Canterbury. Photo / Martin Hunter

A damaged building on a plant farm near Amberley, north Canterbury. Photo / Martin Hunter

Rough weather, lightning, and reports of a tornado caused extensive damage in North Canterbury last night.


Fire service shift manager Andrew Norris said a “cluster of houses” in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, had been badly damaged about 6.30pm.

Southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said the strong winds lifted tiles off roofs near the Burnham Military Camp area and three houses in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, were also affected.

“One house completely lost its roof. Another house had extensive roof damage [and] windows blown in.”

The weather also caused power pole fires and trees to be knocked down,” Mr Patterson said.

“Apparently a tornado of some description sort of went through just near the coast – it caused a little bit of damage, but we did a check of all the houses in the area and they were ok.

“We had a couple of fires started by lightning, we had a fire in Halswell Quarry, out the south-west side of town.

“Also, in Little River we had a tree catch on fire in the middle of a tree plantation of some description.”

There were no reports of injuries, Mr Patterson said.


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New Zealand Herald



Dire quake warning for Alpine Fault

By Shelley Robinson

9:40 AM Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

The West Coast would suffer most of those casualties and Christchurch will be relatively unscathed in comparison.

The figures have been revealed by Civil Defence emergency management group leader James Thompson, as Civil Defence, hospitals, police and other emergency services plan for a major exercise to prepare for The Big One.

The Alpine Fault is expected to rupture within 50 years, a one-in-500 year event that will produce a devastating earthquake of a magnitude 8 or more.

Towns and cities throughout the South Island will feel its tremendous power, with those on the West Coast taking most of its brunt.

Settlements and possibly towns are expected to be cut off for long periods because of landslides and wrecked roading and other links.

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By Reissa Su | July 22, 2013 12:17 PM EST

The Wellington earthquake could have brought a lot of damage, but the possibility of bigger aftershocks remains high, according to scientists.

The fault line that caused the earthquakes in Cook Strait has long been known to produce earthquake “swarms” but none have been recorded as devastating, according to historical records.

The Wellington quakes that occurred three times on Friday, July 19, and twice on July 21 and the following aftershocks were due to city’s plates moving between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. The highest magnitude of an earthquake in Wellington was recorded last night at 6.5.

Dr. Richard Sharpe, Director of Earthquake Engineering at Beca said he did not expect the yesterday’s quakes at Wellington will cause damage to buildings. However, Mr. Sharpe said the quakes would prompt the city to conduct engineering checks.

New Zealand is resilient to earthquakes in general. According to Mr. Sharpe, other countries that will experience the same type of earthquakes in Wellington will probably cause very brittle buildings to sustain damage.

Professor of Geophysics at Victoria University Euan Smith said that the interface between the underlying Pacific plates and overlying Australian plates was a critical fault. Mr. Smith said the same fault could potentially cause massive earthquakes.

Read More and  Watch Video Here

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An empty shipping container sits in the harbour where the land fell into the sea at the Port Wellington Container terminal caused by yesterdays earthquake on July 22, 2013. (AFP)

The New World supermarket in Blenheim, on New Zealand’s south island, is closed after the earthquake. Photo: Emma Allen/Fairfax NZ


Earthquake rattles New Zealand capital

  • guardian.co.uk, Sunday 21 July 2013 02.55 EDT

Link to video: Earthquake hits New Zealand Capital The New Zealand capital, Wellington, was rattled by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Sunday that broke water mains, smashed windows and downed power lines.

Wellington police Inspector Marty Parker said there had been minor structural damage and parts of the city were left without power but there were no reports of injury and no tsunami.

The US Geological Survey said the quake happened under the Cook Strait 35 miles (57km) south-west of Wellington and six miles (10km) beneath the surface. The strait separates the main North and South Islands of New Zealand.

The quake could be felt hundreds of miles away in the centre of the North Island.

Parker said the quake struck near nightfall. A more complete picture of the damage would emerge in the morning, he said.

The Reuters news agency said the quake knocked items off shelves, shattered some windows and brought trains in Wellington to a halt. It was the largest of a series of tremors that had shaken the region in the past few days.

New Zealand is part of the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” that has regular seismic activity. A severe earthquake in the city of Christchurch on the South Island in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed much of the city’s downtown.


Read More and Watch Video Here

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Earth Watch Report  –   Discoveries



Scientists find mysterious giant pockmarks on chatham rise – 02/04/2013

02/04/2013 2:30 pm

New Zealand, German and American scientists have found what may be the world’s biggest pockmarks on the seafloor of the Chatham Rise about 500km east of Christchurch.

Pockmarks are crater-like structures on the seabed caused by fluids and gases erupting through sediments into the ocean.

Three giant pockmarks, the largest being 11km by 6km in diameter and 100m deep, are possibly twice the size of the largest pockmarks recorded in scientific literature. Scientists believe they are the ancient remnants of vigorous degassing from under the seafloor into the ocean.

The structures are at water depths of about 1000m and there is currently no sign of gas being emitted from them.

They are part of a much larger field of many thousands of smaller pockmarks which extend eastward along the Chatham Rise for several hundred kilometres from Banks Peninsula. This vast field covers an estimated 20,000km of seafloor.

Giant pockmarks

An international group of scientists investigated the larger seafloor structures on the German research ship Sonne recently. Their aim was to determine the geological origin of the structures, which were first noted in 2007.

“Some of the pockmarks on the Chatham Rise are huge compared to similar structures observed elsewhere in the world,” said GNS Science marine geophysicist Bryan Davy, one of the scientists who took part in the research voyage.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the escape of big volumes would have significant implications for climate change and ocean acidification

Dr Ingo Pecher

“It’s most unusual for scientists to encounter seafloor structures of this size and complexity. They are big enough to enclose the Wellington city urban area, or lower Manhattan,” Dr Davy said.

The discovery indicated that there was still a lot to learn about the ocean floor off the New Zealand coast.

The geological processes that led to the formation of the larger structures were still unclear, but survey leader on the Sonne, Joerg Bialas from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, said there were clear indications in seismic reflection records of gas pockets and fluid flow structures in the deeper sediments underneath the pockmarks.

“The pockmark features are covered by complex layers of more recent sediment,” Dr Bialas said.Gas release from the larger pockmarks may have been sudden and possibly even violent, with a massive volume being expelled into the ocean and atmosphere within hours or days.

Scientists cannot rule out volcanic activity, directly or indirectly, having generated the release of gas. Another possibility is the release of sub-seafloor hydrocarbon gas through a layer of gas hydrate deposits. This would have coincided with drops in sea level of about 100m during ice ages and subsequent warming of sea temperatures.


Read Full Report  Here


by Staff Writers
Christchurch, New Zealand (AFP)

When Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed a new cathedral in earthquake-devastated Christchurch, he chose the most unlikely of materials — cardboard — for the landmark project.

The New Zealand city’s magnificent Gothic revival cathedral hewn from local basalt was irreparably damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that claimed 185 lives on February 22 last year.

Urgently needing a temporary replacement, the Anglican Church commissioned Ban — who donated his services gratis — to draw up plans for a place of worship to house Christchurch’s faithful.

The result is the so-called cardboard cathedral now taking shape on the quake-scarred city’s skyline.

Built from 600-millimeter (24-inch) diameter cardboard tubes coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants, it will be a simple A-frame structure that can hold 700 people.

“It will be a huge milestone towards recovery for Christchurch,” project manager Johnny McFarlane said.

“It’s going to be a great building to walk into, it’s very light and airy and gives a good sense of dominance and scale.”

Ban, a world-renowned architect who has been hailed by publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, sees the cathedral as a way his profession can help Christchurch’s shattered community recover from the quake.

While the 55-year-old takes on major commercial projects such as office buildings and tourist resorts, he is also a pioneer in “emergency architecture” which can be rapidly erected in disaster zones.

He began in the mid-1990s, working with the UN to erect temporary shelters for refugees after the Rwanda genocide and has since helped with relief efforts in scores of humanitarian emergencies from Turkey to his native Japan.

“This is part of my social responsibility,” he told AFP. “Normally we (architects) are designing buildings for rather privileged people … and they use their money and power for monumental architecture.

“But I believe we should build more for the public… people who have lost their houses through natural disaster.”

He said many so-called natural disasters such as earthquakes were worsened by the failure of man-made structures and architects had an obligation to help.


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