Sunday, 12 September 2010
Christchurch city after quake - Day 8
"We urge everyone to not cancel your plans to visit Christchurch. Please come to the Garden City as planned, we’d love to see you all here."
This is a standard reply to everyone, thanks for taking the time to read it.Thankfully our family is safe, and the Motel did not sustain any damage.
CentrePoint on Colombo Motel is fully operational.
Over the last week, we have told it, in both words and pictures how it has been. Some parts of Christchurch were a mess, and some places still are, but it’s getting better fast.
We urge everyone to not cancel your plans to visit Christchurch. Please come to the Garden City as planned, we’d love to see you all here.
Many people who have stayed with us before or booked to stay at CentrePoint on Colombo Motel in the coming weeks and months have emailed us with kind messages of support and encouragement and we thank you all for your kind thoughts.
The Christchurch and Canterbury region was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake at 4.35am on 4 September. 8 days have now passed and sitting in the motel office I can feel the aftershocks but if standing up and doing something they pass unnoticed! Not to say that they are all gone, we are still being told to be careful. These aftershocks have been unsettling to most Cantabrians but they are an ironic reminder of our 19 years in Japan. We rock ‘n rolled there a lot!
Friday evening (10 Sep.) most of the cordons were lifted although there were very few people at the bars etc. in SOL Square and Lichfield Lanes. But there are reports that most retailers are trading today (12 Sep.) and people are there - the city is pretty much open for business!
Also on Friday, the Tram started operating and so now 98% of tourist activities / attractions / accommodation are well and truly operating normally. Sorry, don’t ask me about the 2% that are not!
City wide transport is operating, Civil Defense is out of the Art Gallery and it will reopen Monday. Supermarkets are all open and there will only be a few schools not opening Monday. Our beautiful Arts Centre needs a little TLC before re-opening and the inside of the Cathedral is off limits for now – they held today’s service outside in the Square. And my municipal gym is not open yet!
There are still a few roads closed, Kilmore St. between Manchester and Colombo and the Manchester / Hereford intersection and there will be a few delays as a few more buildings get tidied up.
So how is Christchurch? Close to the Motel, the older buildings have been seriously damaged and some of our favorite restaurants within 2 minutes walk will unfortunately not be reopening for some time. Apart from that, roads are undamaged and there are very few signs of the disaster we experienced. The central city area has isolated pockets of damage. Some buildings have been damaged and are being demolished but others are fine. Ironically, some of the really old and dilapidated stuff is still there!! Parts of the eastern side of the city, closer to the coast and near the rivers (mainly residential) did not fare as well. This is where some of the most serious damage, often caused by liquefaction, occurred. Many roads, power poles, houses, lawns and footpaths are in need of a lot of repair. Initial estimates are that 100,000 houses have been damaged in the quake and this statement is one way of summing up the situation. Christchurch is not in ruins, rather the damage here and there over almost the entire city and probably no-one is unaffected. Even for us, the residential part of the motel (where we live) received cosmetic damage when a neighbouring chimney fell across the boundary.
I have been out and about (yes I did leave the motel site!) and can say that while some of what can be seen is truly heartbreaking, there are also large areas of the city where it is very hard to tell there has been a large earthquake
So what do we say? Come to Christchurch as you were planning. We are getting better and better everyday and by the time you get here the main parts of the city should be back to normal. Us Cantabrians are a resilient lot and bounce back pretty good!
This will be the last daily info-blog but we will provide more information to you over the coming days as Christchurch returns to normal by way of;
Our motel blog http://centrepointoncolombomotel.blogspot.com/
and we welcome you to follow the Garden City’s progress.
Jeff and Naomi Peters