What information would you like on the Christchurch earthquake?
Send us your questions.
Did the house that the late Norman Kirk built in Kaiapoi survive the earthquake?
The building once home to former Labour Prime Minister and Kaiapoi Mayor Norman Kirk will be assessed for damage today by the Waimakariri District Council.
Hi - I'm an Aussie who is coming to Christchurch on Sept 24. I will be staying at Holiday Inn on Avon for a few days and (hopefully) taking a booked sightseeing tour around Christchurch. After that we are heading off to do a road tour around the South Island. What should we expect? Any info would be very much appreciated.
Hi Susan, if you tell us the name of the tour operator we can get in touch with them and find out for you.
We are on holiday in the UK. Can somebody let us know if there is any damage to houses in the Moorcroft subdivision of Kaiapoi please.
The Waimakariri District Council says there has been little to no damage to houses in the area.
What has happened with the animals at the Tourist information centre in Cathedral Square? And has the YHA in Worcester St survived?
The YHA only suffered minor damage but their chimney is a bit dodgy and so they are closed until they get it pulled down. They said there was no structural damage and will likely have a council inspection tomorrow.
They are currently sending customers to the YHA on Manchester St. We tried to get in touch with the Tourist i-site in Cathedral Square but could not get through. We will try again for you tomorrow.
I am in Christchurch and was wandering whether the Theatre Royal in town survived and how badly it is damaged?
Lianne Hawthore from the theatre says there was no structural damage to the building in the earthquake, just some plaster damage on the ceiling which they're in the process of fixing.
How long did the first big earthquake last for?
Around 40 seconds.
Is there a list of the condemned buildings in the CBD?
There is no comprehensive list available. However, if you want to know about a specific building, ask us and we'll find out.
Do you know what condition the cemeteries are in? I'm especially concerned about the Kaiapoi Cemetery.
Both the Waimakariri Council and Waimakariri Civil Defence office weren't able to say if they'd been any damage to the Kaiapoi Cemetery. In terms of cemeteries across the region, there have been photos of cracked headstones and the like following Saturday's quake.
Do you have a map that you could put on line showing NZ's fault lines and their activity classifications?
Visit GNS Science's page on this for more information.
The epicentre was closer to, if not right in Darfield. What is the damage like there?
Darfield, surprisingly, was not as badly affected by the quake as Christchurch and a few chimneys and loose bricks came out. As of Monday, life in Darfield was getting back to normal.
Were trekkers in the Southern Alps affected by the quake?
Conservation Department area manager Richard MacNamara says there have been no reports to the Mt Cook/Aoraki office of Southern Alp trekkers affected by the earthquake.
"Low lying areas seem to have been affected a whole lot worse," said MacNamara.
Waimakariri Department of Conservation senior media advisor Chris Pitt says there have been no major reports at the moment but they are encouraging everyone to stay away from the tracks and huts in the Canterbury region while DOC does a full report of the area to check for any fallen trees and structural damage.
We live about 2km from the epicentre and are getting a lot of aftershocks! What makes that roaring, rumbling sound and sometimes a loud boom?
Phil Shane, from the University of Auckland geology department, speculates that if you are living in or near a built-up area with a lot of other buildings and structures above the ground such as fences, power lines or sheds you are likely to hear noises caused by these structures shaking.
"In a built-up area during and leading-up-to the aftershocks, buildings are likely to shake quite a bit."
Although Shane says it is hard to speculate what the cause may be without having more details about the surroundings and without being there to hear the exact sounds.
If you are in a very isolated area, not near any structures above the ground, the noises may be of more concern says Shane, but again without further information Shane says it is hard to give any accurate explanations for the noises.
Are the cruise ports badly damaged at Lyttelton? I will be visiting in October (arriving on the Sapphire Princess). I live in Silicon Valley California. We had a 7.1 in 89'. One can still see damage around the Palo Alto area. VERY SCARY. My heart goes out to all of you. My house was badly damaged. We did get through it. Hope those aftershocks stop soon!
Peter Davie, chief executive of Lyttleton Port of Christchurch, says they are back on their feet and able to undertake all cargo operations.
The port will be operational when the Sapphire Princess arrives in October, so passengers do not need to be concerned says Davie.
They have cargo containers with food, water and fuel coming in.
"All the things that keep a city ticking are coming in," says Davie.
The port has an estimate of $50 million worth of damage that will need to be fixed but despite this the port is operational.
I am in the UK. My brother lives in Dunedin. Has Dunedin been affected by the earthquake?
I live in the USA and my son is attending school in Dunedin. How has the earthquake affect the town of Dunedin? Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
The earthquake was felt in Dunedin but there have been no reports of any damage in the area as a result.
I live out in Rangiora... can someone tell me what we need to do out here? Are we also affected by the water restrictions?
There are no specific warnings about water in Rangiora, however the Waimakariri District Council's website has a page detailing what's happening in the area. It's updated regularly, so it might pay to keep an eye on it. The general advice is to treat all surface water - as well as rivers, lakes and streams - as if they're contaminated.
How high has the death toll reached in the quake?
No one was killed in the earthquake. One person remains in Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit with serious injuries after being hit by falling debris. According to the Civil Defence website, about 100 people were treated at the hospital on Saturday with earthquake-related injuries.
I would like to know if the CBS Arena is still standing and what is the likelihood of the Metallica concert going ahead.
The venue is still standing and the Metallica gigs on September 21 and 22 are going ahead as planned.
What do we do with our rubble from our house? It can't go in the bins- is anyone arranging pickup?
We are unaware of any collections of bricks and rubble yet so it may just be best to stack them somewhere on the property. Contact the city council on (03) 941 8999.
Will the EQC be applying any section 28 notices to houses in this region due to the earthquake or discovery of the fault?
According to the Earthquake Commission's site:
A "Section 28" notice is placed on a property title if EQC cover has been cancelled or limited. EQC can only cancel or limit cover in specific circumstances as set out in the Third Schedule of the Earthquake Commission Act. EQC will advise, in writing, any person affected by the cancellation or limitation of EQC cover and explain why it has done so. The notice continues to apply even if a property is sold.
If a section 28 notice is on your property there may be no cover available from EQC or cover may be reduced. The owner of the property should contact EQC to determine the reason for the section 28 notice being placed on the title.
In most circumstances EQC cover can be reinstated and the property owner needs to contact EQC to find out what will have to be done, such as remedial works, in order to reinstate the Commission's cover.
How did the central Christchurch Cathedral do in the latest earthquake? I live in California and visited 3 years ago.
I spent four very happy years in Christchurch. I would like to know if the Cathedral is alright?
Engineers are urgently checking signs of new cracks that have emerged in the landmark Christ Church Cathedral.
New Zealand Historic Places Trust staff are working with the Christchurch City Council and Civil Defence in assessing heritage buildings in the region.
How long do businesses have to pay their hourly rate staff while their businesses are closed because the city is shut down?
Matt Jones, Unite Union's Christchurch organiser replies:
"I would say Wednesday would be a fair and reasonable length of time. I don't think it would be fair and reasonable to expect employers to continue to pay for the next fortnight. Beyond that we would be looking at Government assistance."
"The Government has hinted that there is going to be some kind of benefit system for those that have been hit the hardest so we will be applying the pressure to ensure those that are the most vulnerable - the hourly paid workers - are looked after during this uncertain time."
Mr Jones says if you are unsure about your situation, then you should talk to your employer.
Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the chamber put out an information sheet to members today detailing their obligations following Saturday's quake.
"The obligations that a businessperson has if they can't access their business and therefore their employees can't turn up to work are quite complicated, but we are anticipating wherever possible that businesses will be supporting their employees because we all need to keep living," Mr Townsend said.
When the emergency ends - I'd really like to know how the historical buildings in and around Christchurch have fared along with the parks - Hagley park.
Damage to two historic properties has forced the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) to close them.
Timeball Station in Lyttelton and Coton's Cottage in Hororata, 56km west of Christchurch, were damaged in the 4.35am 7.1 magnitude shake.
NZHPT staff are working with the Christchurch City Council and Civil Defence in assessing heritage buildings in the region.
How have theatres and rehearsal spaces and dance studios fared? There is a major dance festival - The Body festival, due to open in Christchurch on September 24. Works are still being made in Christchurch eg at The Arts Centre. What impact is the quake aftermath having? How many venues have been lost (at least 1 is destroyed).
The exact number of buildings damaged is not yet known. Building inspections are still taking place.
I would like to see a CCTV type video footage of the quake happening. Surely there is one from a petrol station, supermarket that shows the quake actually happening?
There is footage of the quake and aftermath here and here.
My insurers have been very helpful, but they are completely tied by EQC. I was calling EQC every 10 minutes from 7am Saturday, and still do so every hour, but they are continually engaged. At what point will they make it possible to contact them, as significant further damage will happen to properties that taxpayers and the insured will have to pay for as a result of the complete inaccessibility of this enforced government 'service'.
Claims can be lodged with EQC by calling the free-phone on 0800 326 243 at any time. If lines are busy people are being urged to please keep trying.
Staff are dealing with claims as quickly as possible, says the Commission. You can also lodge a claim online here.
You have 3 months to lodge a claim from the time the event occurred.
How will tourism be affected in the next months? Will it be possible to travel around the area in December/January?
Our thoughts are with all Christchurch people; having grown up in Ashburton. Here in Melbourne it has been difficult to get any objective information but it is now coming through - thanks to the internet. Should I delay my proposed trip there in October? Will accommodation be available and would it be better that visitors stayed away for a while?
It's difficult to know at this stage how long it will take for Christchurch to get back on its feet, however Christchurch Airport is open so - logistically at least - there should be no problem in getting there. For more information on individual flights, please check with your airline.
A spokeswoman at the Christchurch City Council suggested that you contact your proposed accommodation provider in Christchurch directly to find out whether it has been affected. Hotels and tourism operators will no doubt be eager to welcome guests again as soon as safely possible, but at this early stage assessments of damage are still being carried out.
Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has a statement about the earthquake on its website so it may pay to keep an eye on this for any updates.
When is the postal delivery starting back up in Christchurch?
I want to send a cheque to Christchurch. Is the mail getting through?
There will be postal deliveries as usual apart from areas where access is restricted. Deliveries were suspended on Saturday in the immediate aftermath of the quake.
New Zealand Post Group's courier services - Pace, CourierPost and Roadstar are operational and it will be business as usual apart from areas where access is restricted.
Most PostShops across Canterbury will be open, however three outlets will definitely be closed. The Cathedral Square North and Colombo Street South PostShops will be closed as they are in the cordoned-off CBD area. The Kaiapoi PostShop will not be opening due to structural damage. There may also be a delay in the opening of the Merivale PostShop while structural damage is inspected.
Canterbury-based New Zealand Post staff have worked hard over the weekend to ensure the postal network is operational on Monday.
While the main mail processing centre in Christchurch shut down immediately following the quake, it is fully operational again and the processing backlog has just about been cleared.
I am flying into Christchurch tomorrow from Australia. Is there anything affecting the International Airport? Can I still buy necessities from a supermarket in the CBD in Christchurch?
Environment Canterbury, which is part of the local regional council, has asked people who are planning on visiting Christchurch in the coming week to put off their travel plans unless it is essential they visit the area.
To answer your questions though, Christchurch Airport is open and fully operational. Some of the CBD is closed off to everyone except residents, however the New World supermarket at South City Mall (555 Colombo Street) is outside the cordon and is open.
Other than donating money is there anything else we can do to help? Send food, bedding....? Do they need more people to help?
Is there any way other NZers can help aside from donations? Assisting with clean up or in shelters? Balloting homeless? Any suggestions?
Contact the Salvation Army on 0800 53 00 00. There are many ways you can donate. Click here for more details.
Volunteers who wish to help with the clean-up effort should call Christchurch City Council on (03) 941 8999, rather than just turning up at city facilities.
Accommodation website room4rent.co.nz has put out a call for people around Christchurch to open their homes up to people who have been displaced from their homes by the earthquake.
Is there a list of the condemned buildings in the CBD?
Not as yet, Tracy. A spokeswoman from the Christchurch City Council said no buildings have been condemned but some have been deemed unsafe.
Asked which buildings or how many had been deemed unsafe, the spokeswoman could not say.
She said the information does exist but not in a "list format" and it would be made available later.
"We are part way through the data entry and at this stage it would be very disruptive to release part of that information. We are working hard to put it out as soon as we can."
She said the council was being mindful of heritage buildings and taking a "considered approach".
How come there are so many aftershocks? What is causing this?
Aftershocks are the smaller earthquakes that follow a big earthquake like the one Canterbury suffered on Saturday morning. Generally speaking, the larger the initial earthquake, the more aftershocks there will be.
They occur because it can take a long time for the disturbed earth around the fault line to resettle after such a major upheaval.
The good news is that the magnitude and frequency of these aftershocks tends to diminish over time. However, the seriousness of aftershocks should not be underestimated. Buildings and structures that have been made unstable by the initial earthquake may be further disturbed by the subsequent quakes.
For more information on aftershocks, see this link from about.com.
I have an overseas friend trying to find out if her relative is okay. What phone number is there for this? Thanks.
Contact the Earthquake Government Helpline (24 hours): 0800 779 997.
Is it possible that a family dog could wake up due to the force of the earthquake from a west Auckland house? This probably happened to me at about the time of the earthquake my dog was edging around the bed waking me up I walked past my parent's bedroom opening the to look at the clock and found it was 15 to 5.
There is some anectodal evidence that animals can sense earthquakes before they happen but there is no conclusive scientific research on specific animal behaviour and the occurrence of a quake. You may be interested in this article.
What is a fault line? Where did they find the fault line?
A fault line is a separation or crack in the Earth's crust. It is the line where two or more of the tectonic plates in the Earth's crust butt against each other. An earthquake occurs when these plates move against each other. The amount of force applied will determine how powerful the quake will be. GNS Science staff yesterday found signs of the earthquake's epicentre, 14km south of Darfield, which lies 50km west of Christchurch. The faultline cut roads 4m apart, dug up mounds of earth, and in some places formed a waist-high step in the land.
How do you pack a survival kit?
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, and warmth. You will find all the details you need here.
I am a Brazilian student and I'm doing an English course in Christchurch and would like to know if there is possibility of another earthquake occur in the city with the possibility of tsunami.
According to scientists, smaller aftershocks are likely to continue for weeks, diminishing in size and frequency. Seismologists had predicted that the South Island was due for a massive earthquake within the next 50 years. But that quake was expected on the 400km Alpine fault, which runs between Milford Sound and the Lewis Pass. Because Saturday's earthquake occurred in new territory, that "big one" could still happen in the next 50 years. However earthquakes are a sudden phenomenon, seismologists have no way of knowing exactly when or where the next one will hit.