Essay Example on Geological hazards associated with the 22nd February Christchurch Earthquake








Geological hazards associated with the 22nd February Christchurch Earthquake On the 22nd of February 2011 at 12 51 p m local time a second major earthquake shook Christchurch New Zealand Earth movement is a known hazard by the countries people due to the tectonic setting lying beneath the country But despite the amount of readiness this geological sequence of two earthquakes within a six month period impacted the Canterbury region significantly The serious aftermath and devastation caused reviews of management action for better disaster relief and future prevention Yet there is only so much possible in prevention when it comes to the great magnitude of the earth's tectonic processes The geotechnical aspects of New Zealand host major active fault lines that run the length of the country This stems from the worlds defining plate zones featuring the Pacific and Australian plates A geological collision that is grinding under over or alongside the other This fault line which caused the 22nd of February 2011 Christchurch earthquake is known as hidden since it has not broken the surface of the Earth

The movement essentially came from the pressures exerted between the two great plates but the outcome was not fractures at their boundaries It was accumulative stress fractures within the internal fragments of the Pacific Plate which was where Canterbury Plain region lies Scientific details such as earthquake seismic activity and locations needed the use of specific instruments for records Some of the noteworthy details recorded were i a magnitude strength of 6 2 6 3 was reached ii the earthquakes epicentre was only 10 kilometres away from Christchurch s city centre at a depth of 5 kilometres and iii after the rupture within the following 10 minutes 10 aftershocks reaching a magnitude of 4 occurred In consequence there was destruction felt in the areas of Christchurch Lyttelton and some East regions According to the Richter scale the strength of a 6 2 6 3Mw earthquake has expected characteristic effects in populated areas that are building damage chimney falls and house movement from its foundation But since the region was still in recovery from the occurrence of the 4 September 2010 earthquake that reached Mw7 1 the February earthquake episode was particularly destructive And so this lead to the primary effects of 185 fatalities and several thousand injured Serious shaking damage where buildings located in Lyttelton and Christchurch that were considered to be safe after the 4 September earthquake resulted in complete or partial structural failure 

According to the level one assessment tagging outcomes Port Lyttelton experienced a total of 60 complete infrastructure damage whilst Christchurch reached a total of 47 after the earthquake Amongst the secondary effects which are those resulting directly from the primary effects were the essential household services such as electricity water and waste systems being severely interrupted across Christchurch and its surrounding suburbs Additionally the eastern suburbs endured the worst outcomes including bad rock falls serious liquefaction and landslides It was reported that it took two weeks post the event for the residents and businesses residing in the CBD of Christchurch to be permitted back into the city Furthermore a six month period for the city centre to be fully opened This aftermath illustrates the severity an earthquake could amount and the necessity for reliable emergency and recovery procedures The Prime Minister at the time John Key declared a statement of crisis the day after the earthquake to which the rescue and recovery mission followed accordingly Over the coming weeks there were more than 1000 New Zealand defence force personnel with the help of members from the Singaporean armed forces and rescue volunteer groups from Australia United Kingdom United States Japan and other countries It was reported via assessment from the Ministry of Civil Defence and 

Emergency Management MCDEM that the initial emergency service team performed promptly with a sound action plan Furthermore all the contributing rescue teams operated in synergy Recovery assignments post the Christchurch earthquake includes assessment tagging removal of rambled wreckage and unsalvageable infrastructure buildings and homes The areas that need improvement which were publicly noted were better education on earthquake preparedness the cycle of local and government public information the guidance of building safety management and refinement of some lifeline utility groups Additionally a clearer responsibility guide for police emergency service teams volunteers and government authorities and improvement on first level incident control The amelioration actions that were carried out after the Christchurch earthquake did instigate review for better future emergency management that will improve a quicker region recovery and prevent further negative circumstances occurring from a regional hazard This earthquake was a pivotal moment in Christchurch New Zealand s history where a 6 2 6 3Mw ground movement disaster was endured Yet despite the consequences of residing in a country sits on hazardous plate tectonics the communities affected showed resilience and the emergency personnel displayed great strengths Referencing

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