Two years today, city hit by two major quakes

04:22, Jun 13 2013
Timeball Station nearly intact
NEARLY INTACT: This picture of the Lyttelton Timeball was taken on June 13, 2011, about 1pm. Just one hour 20 minutes later it collapsed.
Lyttelton Timeball after 5.5 quake hit
RATTLED: Lyttelton Timeball photographed from the air after the mag-5.5 quake hit on June 13.
Lyttelton Timeball after 6.4 quake hit
DESTROYED: The Lyttelton Timeball completely collapsed after the mag-6.4 quake hit on June 13.
Dust clouds from June 13 quake
DOUBLE WHAMMY: The mag-6.4 quake sent rocks and cliff edges tumbling, triggering dust clouds along the city's coastline.
Dust rises from the central city on June 13
CORDONED CBD: Press photographer Don Scott was in the air when the mag-6.4 quake hit. Falling rubble sent dust clouds out from the city's red zone.

Two years ago today, Christchurch was hit by a double whammy - a magnitude-6.4 earthquake and the collapse of the historic Lyttelton Timeball Station.

Lyttelton resident Nick Groves captured on film what could be the last photo of the station before it collapsed.

Groves said he took the photo at 1.02pm on June 13, 2011, as he was being lowered down by crane.

An hour and 20 minutes later, the 136-year-old building collapsed during the magnitude-6.4 quake.

The quake had followed a magnitude-5.5 shake earlier that day, both damaging dozens of central-city buildings and causing the famous rose window of Christ Church Cathedral to fall into the building.

Lyttelton's Timeball Station had been badly damaged in the September 2010 and February 2011 quakes and collapsed during the second quake on June 13, 2011, while in the middle of being deconstructed.

The New Zealand Historic Places Trust salvaged much of the materials and placed them in storage until the station could be rebuilt.

Auckland-based Landmark Inc, an organisation founded to preserve New Zealand heritage sites, made a $1 million donation to the trust last month for the station's rebuild, marking the first step towards its restoration.

The timeball has been touring New Zealand with the Canterbury Museum earthquake exhibition, and the trust is undertaking a study to determine how to rebuild the station.

No decisions are expected until later this year.

Do you remember what you were doing two years ago today when the double whammy hit? Tell us in the comments field below.


The Press