A few quick glimpses of the Wellington quake

I had the chance to take a few photos of damage in central Wellington today after the 6.5 magnitude quake that struck at 5.09 pm on 21 July.

I used to drink in the pub at the bottom of this building. Now cordoned off...

I used to drink in the pub on the ground floor. Note the damage between the buildings.

Broken windows on Featherston Street.

Broken windows on Featherston Street.

There were lots of these signs about.

There were lots of these signs.

There were lots of orange cones around. Possibly a proportion of the world supply. The new 'look, I have been upgraded to Cyber status' statue of Katherine Mansfield had a new hat.

Cyber Katherine Mansfield had a new hat.

And Civic Assurance House, on The Terrace, had a massive crack down one side.

This looks kind of serious.

This looks kind of serious.

St Andrews On The Terrace was closed because of doubts about the building site next door – which also led to nearby Bolton Street being closed off to pedestrians.

Wright_BoltonStreet

The New Zealand Geological and Nuclear Sciences department can’t rule out more quakes of the same size. Or that they might tension the main Wellington fault – likely to cause the ‘big one’.

We’ll see. Fingers crossed.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013

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14 comments on “A few quick glimpses of the Wellington quake

  1. kokkieh says:

    I’m not sure if Katherine Mansfield’s hat is quake-related…

    • Me neither, but it wasn’t there the other day…(and I don’t want to think how it got there either, the statue is nearly 3 metres tall). I tell you, the business to get into is the one that makes those orange cones. Must be worth billions.

      • Hannah says:

        I walked past her just before Sunday afternoon’s quake and her princess cone wasn’t there then! It’s a good look!

      • kokkieh says:

        And stop signs. With how fast they migrate from the streets to college dorm room walls…

        • They do, don’t they. And odd road signs. There’s a country road in southern Hawke’s Bay – Garfield Road, named after a local identity. Until the 1980s when a certain cartoon cat burst upon the world. The road sign used to vanish with distressing regularity after that.

  2. The good news is, the building engineers will have jobs for the foreseeable future.

    • Certainly will – and so will the demolition companies. There is a whole downtown district with 90-100 year old heritage buildings, all under suspicion about their soundness since the Christchurch quakes threw attention nationally on to quake proofing. I had a look today. They’re all visually untouched. New Zealand’s engineering association (who I once wrote a book about – they’re good sorts) calculated the Sunday quake produced about 30-35% of the forces the current quake-proofing code is designed to resist. The heritage concrete-and-masonry buildings absolutely don’t meet the code, but are *just* within that 30-35% figure relative to compliance. I bet they’ll be gone within a year. Most are under ‘yellow sticker’ notices – owners have to either reinforce or demolish. Inevitably, it’s a bureaucratic process and I expect it’ll be hastened. A pity – it’s a great district, filled with culture and markets and people, and some great architecture.

  3. Praying Mother Earth doesn’t decide to throw any more parties in your part of the world for awhile, Matthew. Take care!

  4. S. Thomas Summers says:

    I pray you are well, MW. God bless.

  5. KM Huber says:

    Am a bit late getting around to these posts regarding the recent earthquake but thanks so much for them. The picture of Katherine Mansfield’s new hat is priceless! Glad to hear that you and yours are safe. I have rocked through a few quakes in Wyoming and Montana–when I quite young, our Montana town felt the tremors from the Yellowstone quake–in each one, I have always felt there was nothing I could do. It was just a matter-of-fact feeling. Again, thanks for the pictures and thoughtful posts.
    Karen

    • Thanks. Yes, it’s something we simply have to accept. There is nothing we can do. Various people I know of have been distressed by the quakes, but for myself it’s always been simply something that either will happen, or won’t; and if it’s bad I’ll survive, or I won’t. I can’t worry either way – although I do think it’s wise to be as prepared as possible in terms of survival equipment.

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