Sinkholes 'bubbling' as earthquake shook east Christchurch
Sink holes opened up in an east Christchurch street as it was smacked by Sunday's 5.7-magnitude earthquake.
Bower Ave, in Parklands, was due to be resealed on Monday. Residents now face several more months waiting for repairs after the ground opened up.
Authorities fenced and coned off the the largest of the sinkholes, which was about three metres long and a metre deep.
Engineers were assessing the scene and taking photos of lateral spreading and liquefaction damage.
Senior geotechnical engineer Pierre Malan said the holes were an "erosion feature".
"They are a modification of the liquefaction volcanos that people have seen in the past . . . material in the ground has been eroded away by moving fluid which is from liquefaction or a service [pipe]."
Malan said residents should not worry about more holes appearing in the road.
"Because there has been erosion there is unlikely to be voids in the ground which we haven't seen yet."
Bower Averesident Tosh Prodanov said he had to drive through sand and water from liquefaction to get to his home.
"There was a mixture of sewage and liquefaction, just a whole messy liquid.
"We have been waiting for a long time to get this fixed so I hope it doesn't delay things too much more."
Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Melanie, said: "The hole was bubbling when I left for work . . . A digger arrived about 40 minutes after the earthquake to clear the road.
"Once the water went down, the holes became a lot clearer."
Her husband helped to direct traffic away from the liquefaction and holes.
"We've been waiting five years for it to be fixed so what's another couple of months?
"I just feel sorry for the guys who had fixed up most of the road around here and now they have to come back again because it's all stuffed up."
On Linkwater Way a white smudge ran along the side of the road where liquefaction occurred on Sunday.
Resident Rebekah Wawatai was driving when the earthquake hit and said the car felt like it was on jelly.
"There was water and mud coming up our drive. Our road had just been sealed on Friday."
"It was a crazy day yesterday."
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BUILDING DAMAGE SUPERFICIAL
Engineers inspecting hundreds of Christchurch buildings have so far found mostly superficial damage from the Valentines Day earthquake.
Port Hills tracks and three city schools are closed after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake violently shook the region at 1.13pm Sunday. While cliffs fell in Sumner and at Godley Head, no-one was seriously injured.
Engineering firms are assessing Christchurch schools and workplaces for structural that may pose a risk.
Beca Canterbury rebuild business director Keith Paterson said the firm had inspected nearly 100 buildings and fit-outs since Sunday's earthquake. Many more inspections were booked for the coming week.
"The most common damage is non-structural and cosmetic," Paterson said.
"As expected, the work done over the last few years appears to have been effective to reduce risk to the community."
Powell Fenwick Consultants structural engineer Phil Paterson said he had only come across cracks in plasterboard, damaged ceiling tiles and minor mortar cracks.
Tonkin + Taylor Christchurch manager Peter Cochrane said about 12 staff were assessing areas where there were landslides and liquefaction. The firm had inspected at least 11 suburbs around the city, mainly in the east and Port Hills.
It advised the Earthquake Commission (EQC) about its findings.
SCHOOLS, WALKING TRACKS CLOSED
Christchurch Girls' High School, Aranui High School and St Thomas of Canterbury College were closed on Monday as structural engineers checked buildings.
Authorities kept some Port Hills tracks closed because of rockfall risk and urged people to take "extreme care" near cliffs that collapsed in the earthquake.
Port Hills tracks closed include: Bridle Path, Rapaki tracks, Eastenders track (from Barnett Park to Summit Rd), Captain Thomas Track and Scarborough Bluffs Track. Rangers and geotechnical experts would assess the track areas.
The Christchurch Transport Operations Centre reported all major roads and bridges were open and operational after checks on Sunday.
Scarborough Rd in Sumner reopened on Sunday, but people were advised to delay non urgent travel to Sumner and to take extreme care around Whitewash Head Rd.
Silt may still be on roads in North New Brighton and Parklands because of liquefaction.
AFTERSHOCKS AND THE COMING WEEK
According to Geonet, there have been more than 50 aftershocks since the magnitude 5.7 shake.
There were 25 aftershocks above magnitude 2.0 in the 12 hours to 6am Monday. The biggest was a "strong" magnitude 4.2 at 6.27pm. Two "moderate" aftershocks were recorded overnight – a magnitude 3.9 at 8.34pm and a magnitude 3.5 at 4.33am.
Geonet said strong aftershocks were possible in the next seven days.
There was a 19 per cent probability of one or more 5.0 and 5.9 magnitude earthquakes in the next week. An earthquake measuring 6.0 to 6.9 had a 2 per cent probability, while an aftershock magnitude 7 or more had less than a 1 per cent probability.
The last time Christchurch experienced an earthquake as large as Sunday's magnitude 5.7 was nearly four years ago on May 25, 2012 when a magnitude 5.2 struck 20km east of the city.
CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL UPDATE
The Christchurch City Council is continuing to checking Council-owned facilities for damage. New Brighton Library is scheduled to open at 1pm and Linwood Library, at Eastgate Shopping Centre, is closed for light-fitting repairs.
Council contractors continue to check council-owned infrastructure with no major damage reported.
ANZAC Bridge, Fitzgerald Twin Bridge and Gladstone Quay have been inspected and are all open. The Lyttelton Road Tunnel remains open.
A geotechnical report on Sunday night said the amount of rockfall and liquefaction was as expected for an earthquake of that acceleration near New Brighton, a council spokeswoman said.
"Yesterday's events confirmed that red zoning, land planning and other measures had improved Christchurch's resilience.
The council has discovered no issues of the stopbanks. Council staff will be double-checking during high tide at around midday.
Council staff have made contact with all 104 Council-owned social housing complexes. Tenant co-ordinators report no major damage, however Council staff would visit the complexes on Monday morning.
Some areas of the city have experienced some localised liquefaction. Residents with liquefaction can place small quantities of liquefaction material in their red rubbish bin, but no more than one third of the bin.
Residents needing help clearing liquefaction from their properties can contact the Student Volunteer Army by emailing email@example.com or messaging them via Facebook.
Horncastle Arena is operating as usual. An engineer will be on site this morning to check the building. Preparation for Cirque du Soleil continues as planned.
Hadlee Pavilion at Hagley Oval is operational, but will be fully inspected by an engineer this morning. Preparations continue for the New Zealand and Australia test match this weekend.
In conjunction with the Christchurch Stadium Trust, AMI Stadium is closed until an engineer has completed an inspection in the next day or so.
Lancaster Park is not operational and is not accessible to the public, but we will be carrying out an inspection later this week.
The February 22 earthquake anniversary memorial service will still go ahead next Monday.
Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) is continuing checks of its more than 140 work sites, including a number of substantial projects in Parklands, New Brighton and other eastern suburbs. Preliminary checks have not identified any issues, and SCIRT expects to have completed its full assessments by the end of the day on Tuesday.
CITY HOLDS UP WELL
Prime Minister John Key said it was a "powerful and painful blow" to residents, but the city had held up well.
"On the other side of the coin, they can take great comfort from the fact that the buildings, from what we can see, came through well. The reconstruction has been done at a high level. They arguable are in the safest city in New Zealand from that regard," he told Radio New Zealand.
The Christchurch City Council said the city's infrastructure came through unscathed. No issues were found with the city's water supply and drinking water was safe to drink.
Hurst Pl, Courtfield Cl and Bower Ave have experienced some localised liquefaction.
Key said the quake was not expected to affect Government-involved rebuild projects in the city.
"Effectively, all the new planning and new blueprint has worked. So where there was liquefaction, as I understand it, was in the retired red zoned land, a little bit on the Port Hills.
"Looking at the schools, three are closed today ... for a final check, but generally speaking, the buildings which have been rebuilt have come through very well, so it isn't just that there wasn't any casualties or any injuries, it was that the infrastructure itself did very well, it performed well, and that's what gives people confidence."
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) announced it suspended the demolition of all Crown-owned properties in the Port Hills.
Demolitions will not resume until all sites were inspected and approved for work to continue.
Arts Centre chief executive Andre Lovatt said two parts of the centre's Engineering Block had fresh damage from the aftershock.
He did not believe the quake would push back the goal of having nearly half of the centre reopened by the end of 2016.
"I'm hopeful it will be business as usual."
Lovatt said no workers were on site when the quake struck.