Rocks blasted away in Christchurch hills

Helicopter on Richmond Hill
Helicopter on Richmond Hill

Loose rocks around the hills in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner are being washed away today, after the parts of the cliffs came tumbling down in Sunday's 5.7 magnitude earthquake.

Helicopter pilots are hard at work with monsoon buckets, sluicing water over the cliffs around Richmond Hill.

Helicopter blasting away the loose rocks (Newshub)

This will give geologists a better idea of the damage caused by the Valentine's Day earthquake.

"The idea of today is to get a helicopter out and understand more about the properties that we manage," Land Information New Zealand group manager Brenden Winder says.

If the cliffs were left it put residents and pedestrians at a risk of a large collapse that would spill out onto the road.

"If we don't do it now Mother Nature's going to do it at some point of her choosing," he says.

"It's not life and death right now and we want to make sure it isn't life and death by controlling the timing."

Building and damage assessments are continuing to ensure the city is safe.

A helicopter with the monsoon bucket on Richmond Hill (Thomas Mead)