Saturday, November 3, 2012

Avoiding Work ... Nov 4th 2012

Remains of Knox Church on Bealey Ave 
It was Sunny (!!) today, but I still needed a sweater and jacket when I went for a walk, and I had to take my raingear with me of course, because it usually starts to rain at some point. Which it did. I am "supposed" to be doing grammar and reference and caption stuff on my mss. but I am avoiding that by organizing my pictures from Christchurch, and writing a blog post.

Remains of the Christchurch Cathedral. The decision
on how to deal with it has yet to be made and is

Christchurch. My perspective is very different to most locals because I didn't lose a family member or a job, and I don't have money tied up in a house, I don't have to deal with Insurance Companies or the Earthquake Commission. Overall, the damage is overwhelming, but what impressed me was the very organized and deliberate way they (CERA) are going about demolishing all the un-repairable buildings. There is a cordoned off 'Red Zone' inside Christchurch, in the CBD (Central Business District) into which only those authorized by CERA can enter.

One of the multitude of buildings awaiting
demolition. This one has moved up in
priority order because it is very unstable as
a consequence of recent ~4.5 quakes
Twinkletoes is off to the right
 I walked the entire perimeter of the Red Zone one afternoon, then I did the 'official' Red Zone Tour the next morning. It is a bus tour inside the red zone - about 40 mins. The reality of Christchurch as an earthquake time-bomb hits one when they request emergency contact details when one signs up. One also has to sign waivers etc. and they hand that information to the Army guards at the Red Zone entrance as we enter. Basically they are just working on demolishing buildings at the moment. They are recycling metal and concrete. When demolition is complete there will be 15 buildings greater than 7 storeys in downtown, and the actual reconstruction will start.

Buildings being demolished using the
'grabbing' method

As I understood the guide, they have two ways of doing demolition; one is 'cut and crane' where they cut concrete slabs, crane them out, pile them up and then move them off-site. The other uses 'twinkletoes' - the name used for the largest 'grabber' in the southern hemisphere - wich basically grabs sections of building, piles it, and then smaller machines are used to separate metal and concrete.

South of Oamaru - view from State Highway 1
looking NW.
South of Oamaru - looking NW

No comments: