I took a few photos of central Wellington after the magnitude 7.8 quake that struck near Culverden on Monday. The energy of the quake was directed north, which is why Wellington was far harder hit than Christchurch, although Culverden is mid-way between the two cities.
The plus-side, as far as I could see, was that eighty years of active thinking into quake-proofing has paid off. A shake of this magnitude would have done a lot more general damage years ago, particularly in the form of debris shaken off buildings, and would have likely cost many more lives. But even so, damage was surprising in many ways – including in some modern buildings constructed to the latest standards, which failed under loads that I understand were less than a third of their design capacity. Ouch.