Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Hardened Cantabrians continue clean-up after earthquake

Ladi Samuel (left) and Patricia Vujcich with the mess left at 2nd Traders after yesterday's quake. Photo / Kurt Bayer
Ladi Samuel (left) and Patricia Vujcich with the mess left at 2nd Traders after yesterday's quake. Photo / Kurt Bayer

While it was business as usual for most quake-hardened Cantabrians today in the wake of the Valentine's Day shake, others continued clean-up operations at home, at work, and on the roads.

Shop owners in the Christchurch suburb of New Brighton were today picking broken glass and items off the floor and righting fallen shelves.

READ MORE: Hundreds of insurance claims after quake
Large sinkhole opens up after quake

Some, like Creative Soul owner Barissa Robson, were questioning whether it was all worth it, while others felt it was lucky no shoppers were killed by falling objects.

"Yesterday made me think that this is such a superficial career... we're so material now.

It kind of me me think, 'Do I really want to do this?'" said Ms Robson.

Ladi Samuel, who works at 2nd Traders second-hand shop, said it was fortunate there were just two customers in the shop yesterday.

"If there had been kids or old people looking at our books when the big, heavy shelves went over, they would have been dead," she said.

Before tidying up the mess, she rigged support wires around the shelves to stop them falling in any future shakes.


There have been more than 30 aftershocks since yesterday's magnitude 5.7 struck at 1.13pm - just over a week before the city marks its five-year anniversary since the deadly February 22, 2011 quake which claimed 185 lives.

Nearly 500 insurance claims have been made to the Earthquake Commission since yesterday.

Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson said they will be using experiences from earlier earthquakes in the region to ensure they are handled effectively.

"Planning is under way, drawing on the lessons of the past five years, so that we can stage the most efficient response to this latest earthquake."

He said it was too early to speculate on the final number of claims or the total cost of the damage.

Claims can be filed until May 16.

Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman Amy Milne said fewer than 10 people presented at Christchurch Hospital's accident and emergency department with minor injuries following the quake.

Godley Head on Banks Peninsula wreathed in dust after the 5.7 earthquake. Photo / Andy Winneke
Godley Head on Banks Peninsula wreathed in dust after the 5.7 earthquake. Photo / Andy Winneke

READ MORE: The story behind this dramatic photo

She did not have details of their injuries, but none were admitted.

There were also no heart-related presentations or admissions as a result of yesterday's shake, she said.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel today met GNS Science experts and sought advice from seismologists about the latest aftershock in a sequence of more than 15,000 since the city was first rattled by the 7.1 Darfield earthquake in September 2010.

"My message is just be aware that people who are feeling vulnerable need a bit of support. Just look after each other. I think that Christchurch has shown we are very good at doing that."

Just one council-owned facility remains closed following yesterday's quake.

"In most cases, any reports of damage have been very minor," a spokeswoman said.

Some roads in the Parklands area were disrupted by liquefaction that spewed from the ground in the shake.

A large sinkhole - 3m long and 1m deep - opened up on Bower Ave.

Site traffic management supervisor Phillip Jonker said the roads around the Parklands area, especially Bower Ave were treacherous.

He cited holes, liquefaction, slippery driving surfaces and "who knows what other weak spots".

"You can't tell what is going on under the road surface - there could be holes, you just can't see them," he said.

- NZ Herald

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