Christchurch quake's effect on hearts and businesses

  • 03/09/2012

By Kloe Palmer

It's two years today since Canterbury was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, the jolt came completely out of the blue when most people were sleeping at 4.35am on a Saturday morning.

Luckily no one was killed, but the quake triggered the over 10,000 aftershocks that have struck the region since.

Two years on, while some have moved on there's others who are still battling with the destruction caused on this day two years ago.

Pam and Arthur Taylor have lived in their Pines Beach cottage for 20 years. Like most at their beach settlement , their property was red-zoned, severely damaged by the September earthquake and they have no choice but to leave the area that they love so much.

After a long wait, including two cold winters, their insurance company has paid out on their broken home.

“We didn't plan to be here, we thought we'd be gone by this stage, but we just keep saying to ourselves that it must be going to be good if it's taking this long,” says Mrs Taylor.

The Taylors have bought a section at a nearby subdivision Sovereign Palms and hope to be in by March next year.

Eighty properties in Pine Beach were zoned red, nearly half the community has moved on. Some are staying by choice, but the rest are waiting for their payouts.

“It's actually quite depressing because most people are battling in some way or another, it's like a bit of a ghost town because they demolished another half a dozen houses last week so it's not a good moral down here,” says John Cooke of the Pines Beach Residents Association.

In Christchurch random pockets of the CBD were damaged by the force of the earthquake.

Westende Jewellers was one business affected, and became the poster building on the nightly news following the quake. It's taken almost two years to relocate the business in the suburb of Sydenham.

Like many other displaced businesses it's unlikely Westende Jewellers will return to the rebuilt CBD.

The wave of thousands of earthquakes over the last 24 months has taken its toll not only on the heart of Christchuch, but also the hearts of those who lost their homes and communities in the natural disaster.

3 News

source: newshub archive