Sunday, March 6, 2011

Updates from the Quake Zone

So after two days of relatively low seismic activity, today marked a return to the routine of old. What more could you ask for in life? A sizable shake for a wakeup call in the morning, routine shakes throughout the day, another really sizable and long-running shake during dinner, and to top it off more pre-bedtime shakes. ;)

What follows are some photos taken while out and about from time to time this week (which I've only finally gotten around to offloading from my camera).
At a supermarket mere days after the quake... (Countdown Church Corner / Last Saturday)
Damaged ceiling tiles in the foyer... a "welcoming" sight, but one which is all too common around the place, as we'll see...

Life, in this case shopping for essentials such as bulk-supplies of bottled water and/or working at checkouts, carries on in the face of visual reminders of recent events (as above).
Agua isn't the only thing flying off the shelves... soft-drink seems to be a popular alternative even in dire times it seems...
But not to worry! As the supermarket chain managers kept reassuring us on the radio that morning, "supplies are coming in". And in they came... As can sortof be seen in this snapshot, the entire aisle is filled with staff restocking the shelves with fresh stock (all these shelves of chips were practically empty half-an-hour earlier), a scene repeated across the rest of the supermarket that morning.

A few days later...
Manning a checkpoint is hunger-inducing work, or so it seems for this security guard outside Westfield Riccarton. (Looking north along Rotherham Street, with the overbridge still laden with debris, while the mall remained conspicuously shut)
Another day, another supermarket - this time the Bush Inn Countdown (which is practically just across the road from the Church Corner Countdown... why didn't they just leave this as a Woolworths :P). As can be seen, the ceiling tiles here have just completely gone. Having seen this happen twice now, I can say that this form of ceiling should probably be outlawed... they just fall off the ceiling with the slightest provocation, but are apparently quite difficult to install...

A waiting game...
Waiting for the bus to come. Late this week, buses finally resumed, all to try and avoid...
This! The northbound lane is gridlocked, a sight rarely seen in Christchurch - something that until now was only ever seen it "elsewhere"... places like Auckland and Hong Kong (I was once stuck in an hour-long traffic jam. It was total gridlock at one of several intersections, where traffic was from four directions was trying to move through the same intersection at the same time).

Of course, this poses problems for other road users, such as the Army (brown truck) providing some essential supplies, as well as pedestrians...

A concrete wall for a relatively modern shopping complex is propped up, while the historic water tower (for the railway station, in the background) beside it (from which this shopping complex gets its name) seems to be in perfect condition still. is still free-standing, though with some visible damage this time around (only visible full-size).

Westfield Riccarton Again
Finally the mall reopened again a few days ago. Since then, it's been kindof fulfilling its role as the "de-facto CBD", with the carparks full to capacity,
though strangely quiet inside... I wonder why? ;)
Hmm... a blocked exit, rows of stores closed, and the upstairs foodcourt + cinema (accessed from the escalators in the distance) closed off for repairs (a plasterer could clearly be seen leaning over the edge going about his work in a relaxed manner... no doubt relishing the day when he gets to pull out his sanding equipment after applying 3 thick layers of plaster over everything)
The sight outside is a bit scarier, with a cracked wall supported by "extra" supports. Those pillars don't look all that sturdy now, eh?

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