Risk of Natural Disasters: Christchurch Earthquake

I have been longing to go to Christchurch for the longest time. It is just the prettiest city I have ever seen – in the pictures I’ve looked at online and in books.

I was shocked to hear about the Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, but relieved that there were no fatalities. It seems scary to me – someone who has never experienced a major natural disaster, as Singapore is luckily quite sheltered. Earthquakes are as foreign to me as something abstract out of a Geography textbook. I guess it’s shocking as you don’t expect it to happen to a developed country, although logically as the country sits on a fault line and it is very likely. You hardly see reports of natural disasters in developed countries, but very often in the poorer nations which are devastated by so many problems till the public is sadly desensitized by one tragedy after another. The scale of disaster is greater in countries on the margins, due to poverty leading to poor infrastructure and overcrowding.

Bangladesh, Indonesia and Iran have been rated as the nations most at risk from extreme weather and geophysical events according to a new study ranking 229 countries on their vulnerability to natural disasters. UK is considered low risk.


{Image: Maplecroft}

Minister John Key says it is a “miracle” that nobody died in today’s earthquake. I think there are probably more tourists in that beautiful city, than citizens, as there are only 350 thousand residents in Christchurch.

My friend E was on the North Island when they had the 6.8 quake last year. Before the quake even hit, her kids felt nauseous. It must have been motion sickness from the earth’s movement. This time the quake was even more severe (7.1 magnitude) and hit the South Island. It is said to be the worst quake since 1968 and the older brick buildings were the most affected. There is now the danger of more buildings collapsing. I hope everyone remains safe and unharmed there. I have heard that New Zealanders are the nicest people you can meet.

{Images: Google}

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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2 Responses to Risk of Natural Disasters: Christchurch Earthquake

  1. 365days2play says:

    I’ve been to Christchurch. For such a strong quake, it’s indeed fortunate that there were no fatalities and massive collapses. According to the Partner, it’s due to the strict building codes since NZ lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire (this phrase itself conjures up scary thoughts)

    • bookjunkie says:

      It’s really good that the building codes are in place. It’s sad that this is not the case in poorer countries which lack the funds and infrastructure. I think population size and density are another problem and for that thank goodness Singapore’s sheltered from earthquakes!

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