Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Lauren Stavropoulos, Sarah Caruana, Beth Robinson and Carolyn Metcalfe

This year, a devastating earthquake affected many of those living in and around the Christchurch area. The Earthquake struck the Canterbury region, a city of 350,000, at 12:51 pm on Tuesday 22nd of February 2011. The Earthquake measured a magnitude of 6.3 causing devastation for this New Zealand City. In September of the previous year, New Zealand faced an initial earth quake which, although measuring a higher magnitude, was 25km further from the city center, therefore did not cause as much damage. A series of after shocks followed, including a 5.7 magnitude tremor.

In total, 181 people were killed, making this earthquake the second of the deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand. It was by far New Zealand’s most costliest natural disaster; the total cost of rebuilding to insurers was around NZ$15-16 billion.

The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, especially in the central city and eastern suburbs, and the fact that buildings and infrastructure were already weak from the 4th of September earthquake and its aftershocks didn’t help.  This devastating earthquake has left over one hundred people dead and many injured and homeless, unable to find missing family members and treasured belongings amongst all the rubble. Extensive damage like power cuts to about 54, 000 homes were a result of the earthquake and due to all of those who were injured Christchurch ran out of ambulances, buildings crumbled and fell into the streets crushing cars and caused many buses carrying large amounts of people to crash. Local woman Stephanie Holt was in labour when the quake hit and had doctors worried about administering an epidural because of the fear that an aftershock would occur.

World Plate Boundaries:

New Zealand’s South Island is geoligacally active due to bieng on the plate boundary between the Pacific and the Australia-India plate. ( As shown above). The plate boundary crosses to the west of the South Island and is East of the North Island. Christchurch is commonly affected by earthquakes due to bieng near a secondary fault that has resulted form the bend in the plate boundary to the north.

New Zealand Plate Tectonics


4 responses to this post.

  1. Map
    Comment: Has a clear map and can identify where the Earthquake occured.
    Suggestions for improvement: Fix your map of the plate boundaries of the world

    Description of Disaster
    Comment:Very good briefing of the Earthquake, very simple and straight forward.
    Suggestions for improvement: No improvements needed

    Explanation of plate boundary near disaster
    Comment: No explanation of plate boundary, there are only maps
    Suggestions for improvement: Need information for this section

    Overall impression
    Comment: Easy to read, very visual which the makes the reader understand more on the disaster
    Suggestions for improvement: Make sure you include all sections of the task

    MARK 7 /10

    Which plates were involved in the earthquake?
    Were any other countries affected other than New Zealand?

    Mark, Mary and Anita


  2. Thank You for your constructive criticism, due to technical difficulties our photos were not working and information about the plates underneath did not show


  3. The Pacific and the Australia-India plates were involved in the earthquake.
    New Zealand was the only country involved in the earthquake.


  4. Map: The maps are very detailed and easy to interpret. The colours
    also help to identify the specific area. No improvements are required.

    Description: Good descripton to the point and not complicated. Your
    backgound knowlegde is strong and easy to understand.
    Improvements: Your could have more statistics on the topic.

    Explainatio of plate boundary near disaster:
    Simple explanation on this point, improvement would be to further
    explain it im more depth.

    Overall Impression: Very well presented with clear visual images and
    the layout. I espeically like how you put in a short video of the disaster.

    I give it a 8/10 🙂

    Isabel, Sammuel, Marae, Jorddy.


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