Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island

The largest city in the South Island, Christchurch is New Zealand’s third largest urban areas.

Christchurch has several attractions, which include the Christ Church (Anglican cathedral) which was built between 1864 and 1910; and the International Antarctic Centre.

Christchurch has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration – both Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton used the port of Lyttelton as a departure point for their expeditions. Christchurch International Airport also serves as the major base for the Italian and United States Antarctic programs as well as the New Zealand Antarctic program. The International Antarctic Centre provides both base facilities and a museum and visitor centre focused on current Antarctic activities.

On Saturday 4 September 2010, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch and the central Canterbury region at 4:35 am. Located near Darfield, west of the city, it caused widespread damage to the city and minor injuries, but no direct fatalities.
"ChristChurch Cathedral before its partial collapse in the 2011 earthquakes", Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand. Photo Image © Wikipedia
Nearly six months later on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a second earthquake measuring magnitude 6.3 struck the city at 12:51 pm. It was located closer to the city, near Lyttelton.  Although lower in magnitude, the intensity and violence of the ground shaking, was measured among the strongest ever recorded globally in an urban area. A  total 185 people were killed, the ChristChurch Cathedral lost it's spire, and causing widespread damage. 

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