Extra damage too much for some

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2011
Liquefaction
DON SCOTT

SEA OF SILT: A street in the eastern suburb of Bexley is again covered in sludge after liquefaction.

Car
DAVID HALLETT
ROAD HAZARD: A vehicle is partly submerged in a sinkhole in Ferry Rd, Ferrymead.
Bike
KIRK HARGREAVES
OBSTACLE COURSE: A boy drags his bike through flooding and silt on Retreat Rd, Avonside.

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Christchurch's eastern suburbs are "back to square one" after being swamped by fresh liquefaction, a community advocate says.

Back-to-back earthquakes yesterday were a devastating blow for residents awaiting reports on the future of their suburbs.

Leanne Curtis, a member of advocacy group CanCERN, expected yesterday's quake would be the final straw for some.

"People just can't do it any more," she said.

"We're back to square one."

The liquefaction was worse in some areas than in September and February, she said. Roads were cracked and water and sewers had burst.

The mess around Avonside, where Curtis lives, was "everywhere".

"The roads are flooded, the roads are broken, and it looks as bad as it did after September. It's liquefied in places that haven't liquefied before and people have got a lot more land damage."

She said she was trapped in Avonside, without power and water, because the Avon River bridges were damaged.

"There's no exit out of this loop because everything's flooded. The cars are stuck in here."

In Burwood, one Brooker Ave resident, who was too upset to speak, was trying to clean silt out of his lounge from the 1pm quake when the second one struck.

The road split down the middle and several mini geysers spurted sludge and water on to the road. Within minutes, the whole street was flooded and several cars were trapped.

Water levels rose above the gutter and across the pavement and up into driveways.

It was a familiar scene for Burwood residents David and Sharon King, whose home suffered further damage.

The internal doors would not close, cracks in the walls had widened, and floodwater was creeping up the driveway.

"That's not to say we're any more used to it. We're just over it," Sharon King said.

David King said he cycled home from Riccarton yesterday and the street was the worst he had seen.

New Brighton Rd resident Peter Savage was distressed about having to again clear muck from his driveway.

"I was just sitting there watching telly and then all of a sudden everything goes. It's the third time in a row," he said.

Neighbours shovelling silt on Aranui's Portchester St were nearly knocked off balance and had to cling to a swaying fence when the ground began heaving from the second aftershock.

As power lines swung dangerously overhead, families grabbed each other and children screamed for their parents.

Reuben Mua could only watch as silt produced by liquefaction poured out from underneath his house and down the driveway in a repeat of the February earthquake.

He and other Portchester St residents were questioning whether it was worth staying in Christchurch.

Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel, who was in New Brighton at the time, said yesterday's damage was a "major setback".

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"There's going to be a lot of distress for people seeing more damage to their already very damaged suburbs, which is a shame. We just don't need that as we go into winter," Dalziel said.

"It's just so tough on people."

- The Press

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