Christchurch earthquake: rebuilding a city

One year on from the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of Christchurch and left 185 people dead, the city is still working hard to repair the damage. It is estimated some 60% of the historic city centre was damaged by the quake on 22 February 2011.


Cordon zone Cathedral Hotel Grand Chancellor Cashel Mall AMI stadium Interactive map of Christchurch

Cordon zone

Photo of cordon zone area Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been working to clear and rebuild parts of the city since the February quake and a number of after-shocks that have followed. The area cordoned off to the public has been gradually reduced but it is estimated more than 60% of the historic buildings in central Christchurch were destroyed or severely damaged.

Christchurch Cathedral

Photo of Christchurch Cathedral Badly damaged in the earthquake, the cathedral has since been made structurally safe so the bells and other artefacts could be removed. The cathedral was deconsecrated in November and parts of it will be demolished before it can be rebuilt at a cost of NZ$30m.

Hotel Grand Chancellor

Photo of Hotel Grand Chancellor The 26-storey building suffered severe damage in the quake and is now being taken apart floor by floor. More than 800 other buildings in the city centre have been earmarked for demolition or partial demolition.

Cashel Mall

Photo of Cashel Mall The Cashel shopping centre was devastated by the quake. A new temporary mall of more than 20 stores built out of shipping containers, opened in October 2011.

AMI stadium

Photo of AMI stadium The AMI stadium suffered severe earthquake damage and will not reopen this year. Engineers have recommended at least one stand should be demolished - they are still working out how best to repair other seating stands which dropped several centimetres in the quake. The pitch is being removed to a rugby league ground.

Since last February, Christchurch has suffered thousands of tremors and two further quakes in June and December, although none caused as much damage as the February earthquake, said to be the worst natural disaster in the country for 80 years.

Work has been continuing to get the city back on its feet. The business district is still sealed off to the public and is now a giant construction site. But gradually streets have been reopened as many of the damaged buildings have been demolished and areas cleared.

The city's landmark cathedral suffered severe damage in the February quake. Scaffolding was quickly erected to make the building safe but it took engineers some time to establish that parts of the building would need to be demolished and rebuilt.

Image caption Christchurch Cathedral: Sept 2011 and Feb 2012

All pictures supplied by Afp/Getty.

Around the BBC