Everybody goes “where”? But that’s the official name of the Christchurch/Canterbury earthquake.
We had a magnitude 7 earthquake right next to a big city. No-one died. Similar earthquake in Haiti? 230,000 dead. So, why? That’s what I’ve been looking into over the last couple of months:
Information Paper – The Darfield Earthquake
But if you’re too lazy to read a grand total of four pages, it comes down to fifty years of solid scientific research into how the ground shakes and how to make buildings that will stand up.
We’ve already got one article out of it from the NZ Herald:
“Lack of quake deaths part ‘fluke’ and part good design”
And now that we know how to make buildings that won’t fall over and kill people, the next step is working out how to make buildings that won’t even get damaged, so that communities are can carry on without disruption.
In other news, Wellington still has a very small number of transport links, most of which run across the big fault line, and thus a fair chance of being cut off in the event of a decent quake. Oh, and a fair number of unreinforced masonry buildings and facades which should be condemned.