Case study: Christchurch 2011 - high income country (HIC)


The earthquake struck the city of Christchurch in New Zealand on 22 February 2011. It was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake and the focus was very shallow at 4.99 km deep. The earthquake happened on a conservative plate boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate.

The earthquake's epicentre was at Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island. The earthquake hit on 22 February 2011 and measured magnitude 6.3.



Earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch
Earthquake-damaged homes stand at the edge of a cliff

  • 181 people were killed.
  • 2,000 injured.
  • Over 50% of the city's buildings were damaged.
  • The city's cathedral spire collapsed.
  • Water and sewage pipes were damaged.


  • Businesses were closed for a long time.
  • Christchurch couldn't hold five Rugby World Cup matches.
  • Schools were closed for two weeks due to the damage.



  • International aid was provided (around $6-7 million).
  • Aid workers from charities such as the Red Cross came to help.
  • Areas were zoned to assess damage.
  • 300 Australian police officers were flown in.


  • $898 million in building insurance claims.
  • Water and sewerage was restored to the city by August 2011.
  • Temporary housing was provided.