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Musings from Middle Earth (1)

Are We Ready for the Big One?

So many people have told me how much Christchurch is like my hometown of Victoria. These are the similarities I have noticed: both are called The Garden City and both are well-deserving of that name; 

the weather also seems similar, and both have a large beautiful park downtown; 

both are in an earthquake zone, but here the similarities end.

Christchurch has already suffered “the big one.” On February 22, 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake centered almost directly below the city caused massive damaged, injured several thousand people and killed 185.

185 chairs representing the dead

185 chairs representing the dead

Christchurch and Victoria were developed at about the same time and the heritage buildings were of a similar vintage, but today those in Christchurch that still stand look as though they have been bombed.

Christchurch Cathedral today

Christchurch Cathedral today

It bothers me to think that one day the Empress Hotel or the Parliament building might be in a similar state.

But Christchurch is rebuilding 

and has been coping in innovative ways. There’s a shopping mall made of shipping containers and a temporary cathedral made of cardboard!

Christchurch Transitional Cathedral

Christchurch Transitional Cathedral

Just a thought: it’s not enough to be ready for the earthquake; we must also be prepared for the rebuilding.

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