Local Heart, Global Soul

October 1, 2018

Knowing But Not Knowing Where I Am In The Red Zone…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Christchurch Red Zone has been transformed since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 decimated the land.

Liquefaction not only polluted the ground but created raised or lowered areas like craters and gully’s from centimetres to meters in length and breadth.

Water offers least resistance to earthquake shockwaves so the rivers were the first “exit points” of the earth’s stress and land directly along the banks of the River Avon in the Redwood area rose up to one and a half meters.

The land slightly further away from the banks though, subsided considerably, creating a structure where the bed of the river was higher than the surrounding land, so any drop of rain would cause flooding in areas surrounding the river.

Pockets of land from centimetres to meters fell enough to make giant potholes, liquefaction made the land even more uneven, and homes in the entire area suddenly had sloping floors, sometime in more than one direction in the same room.

Door frames warped and wouldn’t shut.

Both the sections and homes were covered in cracks, roofs leaked from a myriad of broken tiles and repairs were deemed to cost more than rebuilding. Owners were told to let the Government buy their homes for the Official Valuation price, and told to move elsewhere.

It was not really a choice, more of “an offer they couldn’t refuse”. Owners who had done a lot of work to improve their properties since the last Government Valuation lost out, those who had done nothing, generally gained, sometimes considerably.

As expected there were legal battles and much argument. In the end though, entire suburbs are deemed to be in the Red Zone (meaning repair was not possible and demolition the only option) so it was a “Fait accompli” and the fate of their homes was sealed wither they liked it or not. I took photographs of the former home of my Grandparents before the demolition, https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/new-597/ A House That Will Almost Literally be Here Today and Gone Tomorrow… Now there were so few signs left to mark where things were, we couldn’t even find their old street any more, let alone the place where the house once stood. Little rectangles of trees showed us the boundaries of many of the properties, beyond that it was hard to get your bearings. We may have been unable to find the home of my Grandparents, but at least it lives on in the many fond memories in my heart.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(above: the cars are parked where the old Burwood Bowling Club parking area used to be. The lovely little brick building is gone.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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