Quake: Treasury says cost has doubled

04:46, Sep 08 2010
Quake 1
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake 2
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake 3
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake 4
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake on Saturday morning.
Quake 5
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake 6
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake7
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake8
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake9
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake10
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake11
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake12
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
Quake13
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
A Christchurch street after a massive earthquake hit this morning.
firefighter
A firefighter inspects a road near New Brighton.
Christchurch earthquake - Baptist Church
Damaged Baptist Church.
Earthquake in Christchurch
A masked resident.
Earthquake in Christchurch
Wrecked road, photo taken by a reader.
Christchurch earthquake - damaged road near New Brighton
Damaged road near New Brighton.
Christchurch earthquake - damaged road near New Brighton
Damaged road near New Brighton.
earthquake
A young resident in Christhurch's broken streets.
Earthquake in Christchurch - castle rock
Massive boulders have tumbled off Castle Rock in Christchurch's Port Hills.
Christchurch earthquake
A bedroom on Sherbourne St, St Albans.
Christchurch earthquake
Broken water mains create flooding around Wairoa Street in New Brighton.
Christchurch earthquake
Angus Donaldson printers, Colombo Street, Sydenham.
South Island earthquake
The earthquake caused damage to the Royal Hotel at Temuka.
Christchurch earthquake
A child jumps in a crack in the road by Avonside Drive, Christchurch.
Christchurch earthquake
Angus Donaldson printers, Colombo Street, Sydenham.
Christchurch earthquake
The damaged Repertory Theatre on Kilmore St, Christchurch.
earthquakepeople
Tourists wearing blankets watch the aftermath of the earthquake near the Square in Christchurch this morning.
Canterbury earthquake, GNS Map
Quake map from GNS Sciences. The star is the epicentre, 40km west of Christchurch. The dots represent points where people felt the quake, from Orange (heavily damaging) to grey-blue (weakly felt).
earthquakepix
A car crushed by falling rubble from the earthquake.
Christchurch earthquake - Star of the Sea Sumner Catholic Church
Star of the Sea Sumner Catholic Church.
Christchurch earthquake - clock tower
The clock in central Christchurch stopped at the time of the quake.
earthquake
This Merivale house lost part of its roof in Christchurch's earthquake.
Christchurch earthquake - crumbled church
St John's Church, Latimer Square.
Christchurch earthquake - bridge
A damaged bridge in Christchurch.
Christchurch earthquake - power poles
Listing power poles on Avonside Drive, Christchurch.
Quake 1
Train tracks near Railway Rd by Rolleston were damaged by the earthquake.
Quake 2
A house in near the Homebush area not far from the epicentre at Darfield.
Quake 3
An aerial shot of a flooded street in New Brighton.
christchurch earthquake
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker, left, takes Prime Minister John Key on a tour of the city following the quake.
christchurch earthquake
A fire that broke out in Christchurch as Prime Minister John Key toured the city following the quake.
christchurch earthquake
Prime Minister John Key, centre and MP John Carter tour Christchurch following the quake.
quake - spencerville
Bottles lie scattered and smashed in an aisle of Fendalton New World following the earthquake.
A road near spencerville is buckled following the Canterbury earthquake.
A road near spencerville is buckled following the Canterbury earthquake.
cantebury earthquake
Tony Everett with earthquake damage to his new New Brighton house.
cantebury earthquake
Darfield man Craig Smith with earthquake damage to farm paddocks near Christchurch.
cantebury earthquake
New Brighton petrol station owner Sam Park looks over earthquake damage.
cantebury earthquake
Earthquake damage to roads near Darfield.
cantebury earthquake
Earthquake damage to a car in Christchurch.
cantebury earthquake
Earthquake damage to roads near Darfield.
cantebury earthquake
An earthquake-damaged swing bridge over the Kaiapoi River near Christchurch.
cantebury earthquake
Workers remove a damaged spire from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Timaru following the earthquake.
cantebury earthquake
Di & Craig Roberts refuse to look at their earthquake-damaged house near Darfield.
Quake
Taking refuge at Linwood College, the McLeod family are to scared to go back to their house.
St Paul’s School and Parish Church in Dallington.
St Paul’s School and Parish Church in Dallington.
fdas
CRACKED: Blenheim women Debbie Karaka and her daughter Kelsey Karaka, 19, inspect a crack at St Paul's School, Dallington, Christchurch.
fall
NIP AND TUCK: Sarah Baxter and her sister Nicola look at a slump on highway 77 between Glenroy and Glentunnel that closed the road.
dave
REDUCED TO RUBBLE: Deans Homestead at Homebush lies in ruins after Saturday's earthquake.
fdas
FALLING DOWN: Deans Homestead at Homebush lies in ruins after Saturday's earthquake.
ruins
FLATTENED: A smashed car sits on Lichfield St after Saturday's earthquake.
fdsa
BRICK BY BRICK: A car smashed on Manchester St by Struthers Lane in Christchurch.
fdas
FACELIFT: Earthquake damage at the corner of Manchester St and Worcester St in Christchurch.
fdas
TOILET STOP: Shops on Colombo St between Kilmore St and Peterborough St were damaged in the earthquake.
Canterbury earthquake
A building inspector puts a yellow ticket (restricted use) on the Octagon restaurant on corner of Manchester St and Worcester St.
Canterbury earthquake
A building is tagged as condemned on Barbadoes Street.
Earthquake soldiers
A unit of about 15 New Zealand Territorial Army soldiers prepare to sandbag a broken pumping station in New Brighton to stop water pouring into neighbouring properties.
Christchurch earthquake
St Albans Sea Foods shop all but demolished.
Christchurch earthquake cleanup
Shops on the corner of Cranford St and Westminster St were torn down on Monday.
bexley1
Sharon Everett in her Kokopu Lane, Bexley home. The house has been undermined.
Bexley
Damage around Kokopu Lane in Bexley in the residence of Janet and Don Dalley. The house is in an area being evacuated because the houses are unstable.
Bexley
Vanessa Walsh and her son Corey in their Waireka Lane, Bexley, home which cracked through the floor.
Christine Collins is moving out of her home on Avonside Drive.
Christine Collins is moving out of her home on Avonside Drive.
Army troops assist police in central Christchurch.
Army troops assist police in central Christchurch.
Collapsed shelving and stacked goods at the Foodstuffs Distribution Centre in Hornby.
Collapsed shelving and stacked goods at the Foodstuffs Distribution Centre in Hornby.
Press Building quake repairs
Removal of the flagpole and Wrought Iron lattice work from the spire on top of the 110 year old Press building.
St Pauls
Religious figurines are removed from the broken St Pauls Cathedral in the Christchurch suburb of Dallington.
Earthquake fault trace.
A GNS Science graphic showing the earthquake fault trace.
Jean Sparks
HELP AT HAND: Jean Sparks, 89, is lifted up the stairs at Addington Raceway by firefighters.
Catholic Basilica after Canterbury earthquake
The Catholic Basilica hasn't suffered to much damage while the building on the corner of St Asaph and Barbadoes Street is condemned.
Chickens
Rob Souness of Weedons Eggs suffered serious damage to his hen house and lost 3000 of his 26,000 chickens.
Demolition workers
MEN AT WORK: Demolition workers on the corner of Manchester and Worcester streets.
Demolition
GOING DOWN: A building on Victoria St is demolished.
Rachel Hood
ANYWHERE BUT HERE: Rachel Hood, of Darfield, with Izra, 3, and Jasmine, 1, at Christchurch Airport. Ms Hood is sending them out of the city to give them some respite. 'They're not happy. They don't sleep a lot.'
Demolition
UNSAFE: The Jacobsen Tile building (formerly Maddison's Pub) on the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Montreal St has its cornice work demolished.
Lion Nathan warehouse
THIRSTY WORK: Lion Nathan workers have been cleaning up their warehouse in St Asaph St.
railway
The main trunk railway line near Woodford Glen in north Canterbury.
Christchurch earthquake clean-up
Volunteers help empty the Jane Daniels shop as other buildings on the street are demolished.
Canterbury University's central library
DELUGE OF BOOKS: Canterbury University's central library is in disarray after Saturday's earthquake.
Quake pic
A man walks in a large earthquake crack in the ground at Kaiapoi near Christchurch.
Quake graphic
This graphic show a model of aftershocks predicted by scientists in coming days, tapering off from Saturday's major 7.1 earthquake.
Canterbury earthquake reconstruction
The Christchurch Chinese Methodist Church on Papanui road having its Spire carefully removed for restoration work.
shoreham
The City council-owned Shoreham Courts in New Brighton are being evacuated against the wishes of some residents. Pictured is Lorraine Burrows, centre left, her son, Jamie, 8, left, Charllisa Sutton-Taylor and Oceana Rawiri at right.

The full cost of the Canterbury earthquake could be as high as $4 billion, Treasury has revealed.

Treasury Secretary John Whitehead said the $2 billion figure previously used in relation to the cost of the earthquake referred to Earthquake Commission liabilities only.

Treasury's "ballpark" estimate of the total cost to householders, insurance companies, businesses and the Government was double that.

"The cost faced by the EQC, individuals, and insurance costs will probably be of the order of $4 billion," Mr White head said.

In terms of the economic impact it was early days, "but the pattern of these is certainly a short term drop in activity of businesses being unable to function and ... there's always a risk of businesses failing.

"In the slightly longer term when you've got that reconstruction effort, a big amount of that going on tends to raise GDP (gross domestic product)."

But Mr Whitehead stressed that there were a "very wide range of estimates" on costs at the moment because officials were still to "get down to what's actually happened on the ground".

AFTERSHOCKS

A magnitude 5.1 aftershock, the most strongly-felt since Saturday's big quake, hit at 7.49am this morning at a depth of 6km in the Lyttelton area. It was preceded by a 4.1 magnitude shock and followed by a 3.8.

Experts have warned further large aftershocks could still be to come.

The aftershock forced the closure of the Lyttelton tunnel, which has since been deemed safe and reopened.

Canterbury has received 270 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or above so far since Saturday's destructive 7.1 earthquake, according to GNS Science.

However, GNS seismologist Brian Ferris said people would have felt about 150 of those aftershocks.

This morning's aftershock was one of 10. Aftershocks continued to be felt throughout the day, with a magnitude 4.1 felt about 1.40pm.

Victoria University's Dr John Townend said the number of aftershocks was not unusual considering the magnitude of the initial quake.

"This is what big earthquakes do. They cause aftershocks and they do rattle on for some time so nerves will be frayed."

Dr Townend said Christchurch could still be hit by another large aftershock.

"With an earthquake of magnitude 7.1, like this one, the rule of thumb is you could get aftershocks as large as one unit lower - so magnitude 6.1."

The quakes would probably continue for weeks but he expected they would diminish in strength.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

The state of emergency in earthquake-stricken Christchurch has been extended for a further seven days after a violent aftershock this morning.

Civil Defence spokesman David Miller said the decision to extend the state of emergency, which was due to be lifted today, was made in response to this morning's aftershock.

It means Civil Defence has the power to close buildings and restrict access to certain areas.

No substantial damage was caused this morning, but Civil Defence director John Hamilton the shocks are expected to continue for the next week or more and some buildings still need another assessment.

All buildings in central Christchurch have now been assessed, with some demolitions underway for those deemed "critical."

Sixty-nine percent have been assessed as safe, and others rated as either safe only for limited access or unsafe.

The central business district of Kaiapoi is still being assessed with approximately 22 buildings still deemed too dangerous to enter.

A strong smell of sulphur spreading across Christchurch's eastern suburbs is unlikely to be gas and there was no cause for concern, Civil Defence says.

AFTERSHOCK 'VICIOUS BLOW'

People rushed from hotels and inner city businesses, and power was out in parts of Christchurch.

People were advised not to use lifts in buildings following the latest aftershocks.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the gut-wrenching intensity of the latest quake reduced many emergency workers to tears and led to the evacuation of the Civil Defence offices.

"It was a devastatingly, vicious sharp blow to the city," he told NewstalkZB.

"This was a terrifying moment. We have just had to evacuate our Civil Defence headquarters.

"We have got staff in tears, we have got fire engines going through the middle of the city, power is out and a lot of people are very, very churned up by that.

"My guts is just churning up here. When will this thing end? It is like living in a maelstrom."

"This is a hammer blow to the spirit of a lot of people."

In Waimakariri, one of the areas most damaged by the quake, council spokeswoman Monese Ball said the continual aftershocks was making life extremely tough for those trying to fix the water and sewage.

"Every time they fix breaks, more breaks appear. They're chasing their tails," Mrs Ball said.

Everyone in the Kaiapoi welfare centre was fine she said, but nerves were beginning to fray.

"It's day four now, a few people are getting quite stressed. The sooner the kids especially can get back to school and some normality, the better."

The Government has set aside $2.4 million for trauma counselling for Christchurch earthquake victims, Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett said today.

HOSPITAL: OUTPATIENT VISITS CANCELLED

Canterbury District Health Board has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments at Christchurch Hospital today.

Staff were trying to reach affected patients to reschedule.

Tomorrow's appointments are still expected to proceed, but the situation will be reviewed later today.

Two men in their 50s were seriously injured in Saturday's earthquake. One has since been discharged from Christchurch Hospital. The other remains in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

LYTTELTON TUNNEL REOPENS

The Lyttelton Tunnel has been deemed "structurally sound" and is now open, after this morning's powerful aftershock caused cracks and forced its closure.

NZ Transport Agency spokesman Peter Connors said the initial assessment of the tunnel had been completed earlier than anticipated.

"Whie some superficial damage has been sustained the tunnel remains structurally sound and safe for use."

Workers were pulling down balustrades from the top of the two-storey 1901 Jacobsen Tiles building at the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Montreal St after parts of them crashed to the street in the aftershock.

"The building has just been earthquake strengthened, that's why the whole building is standing at the moment," said John Small of Consortium Construction.

PERSONAL ACCOUNTS

Christchurch resident Abbie Rilkoff said she felt the aftershock more strongly than Saturday's quake.

"It was really scary. That one did more to our house than the big one, all the glasses moved from the shelves."

Rebekah Martin, 22, was in her Sydenham apartment when the 7:49 aftershock hit.

"The first few (quakes) were exciting - as I am a geography teacher - but now it is getting scary...the novelty is wearing off," she exclaimed.

"The fear is sinking in. That aftershock actually knocked things over in my apartment. My first response was to ring my boyfriend, as he works in a factory. He is okay - thankfully."

She was lying in bed during the shock and ran to the door straight away. She then yelled to her friend, who was staying, to get under the door.

Fiona Fidow said it was the only shock since the big quake that felt as violent and frightening as the first. It was a very sharp shake.

Colleen Simpson said "I'm bloody terrified, all over again."

Tony Stuart, a roofing contractor who lives on the Cashmere Hills, said he was in his office at his home when the latest earthquake hit.

"There was stuff off shelves, the other part of my neighbour's wall has fallen off," a badly shaken Mr Stuart said.

"This is the biggest aftershock we have had. There is stuff falling all over the place.

"It is very scary."

A Stuff reporter in Christchurch said there was a "sudden jolt" and cracks appeared in her hotel room wall, and her power went out.

Christchurch local Hessie Toms said this morning's earthquake was "one hell of a jolt."

"I was just going to go and have a coffee and then all of a sudden I felt this huge shudder."

Mrs Toms who usually works at the Copthorne Hotel, which has been declared unsafe, had been working at another inner city hotel this morning.

"I just said, I'm going home. We never had any cracks in our house before but my husband just rang and we do now."

"It's just a horrible, horrible feeling. You can't sleep because you're worried about earthquakes and then you feel a judder."

"When I got to work this morning at 5am I couldn't hear the birds chirping. That's when I knew the earthquakes were still around."

The emergency centre at the city's art gallery was evacuated after the aftershock, Christchurch City Council spokeswoman Diane Keenan said.

"Everyone is really shaken, I'd say it's pretty serious. The power went off but some of the traffic lights are working again now," Keenan said.

"The jolt was absolutely huge. A really big, stiff jolt. And it was vertical, rather than side to side like the first one. If you were in a car the road moved up and down."

MOBILE PHONE USE

Telephone services have not been badly affected by today's big aftershock in Christchurch but users are still being urged to stay off their cellphones if they can.

Telecom said the aftershock shortly before 8am briefly interrupted services in central parts of Christchurch but most service were soon restored.

The 111 emergency service was fully available. Telecom said its land line and cellular networks were all performing well.

Telecom said its mobile networks dealt with a very high number of calls after this morning's big aftershock and it urged people to minimise the use of mobile phones for anything other than important calls, and to limit the sending of images and video on mobile broadband.

Telecom is not charging for local, national and mobile calls using its payphones around Christchurch but said calls should be brief restricted to important issues.

Chorus, the company which looks after the physical telephone network, said 100 people had been sent to Christchurch to help restore telephone services.

Vodafone said its cellular network was working well and was not under undue stress because of the big aftershock today.

Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen said some cellular sites were on generators but most were back on mains power.

SCHOOLS REMAIN CLOSED


Civil Defence says all schools in Christchurch city, Selwyn and Waimakariki Districts will remain closed today.

The Director of Civil Defence and Emergancy Management, John Hamilton, said that some schools might reopen on Thursday, but that is a decision that the individual Board of Trustees for each school to make.

Boards of Trustees must consider the safety of the schools when deciding whether to reopen.

Parents can contact their own schools for specific information about the situation there.

PRISONERS MOVED

More than 400 inmates  have now been moved from Christchurch prisons, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said.

She said more than 300 prisoners will move to North Island prisons today by RNZAF Hercules aircraft.

Yesterday 90 prisoners from Christchurch Mens were shifted to Otago. All prisoners from Christchurch Womens were moved to Auckland.

Thirty staff from Auckland and Otago prisons have gone to Christchurch to help with the transfers.

"These temporary relocations were necessary because of safety issues related to lack of water pressure and earthquake damage,'' Ms Collins said.  

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