Big Earthquake Again In Christchurch

Written on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 by NZTravelInsider

Today Christchurch New Zealand was hit again by a large earthquake. Read about what you could do if you have a trip planned to Christchurch in the next few days or weeks.

Perhaps you have already heard the news that today there was yet another earthquake in Christchurch? If not, this is to alert you that one took place.

However, this time it was not one of the 3 – 4 magnitude aftershocks which have been taking place since the large 7.1 earthquake took place in September 2010.

At 12:51 p.m. earlier today, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake took place 10 km south-east of Christchurch at a very shallow depth of 5 km.

Christchurch city center is currently in total chaos and several buildings have been damaged or collapsed including the Cathedral. Search and rescue operations are underway to find missing people or rescue people still trapped in buildings. The aftershocks are still coming and a few have been semi-large of magnitude 5.

If you have imminent travel plans to Christchurch, it is advised to reconfirm with accommodation providers if possible. However, it is not advisable to make phone calls to Christchurch right now to prevent the phone lines from being overloaded.

Christchurch airport has temporarily been closed for assessment. For road conditions, check out the AA Roadwatch web site.

169 people have been confirmed dead.

Answers to questions people are currently asking…

Should I cancel my trip to Christchurch?
Christchurch airport is currently closed to commercial air travel. It has been announced that it will re-open tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. for domestic flights only! It has been advised to check with your airline about possible flight cancellations. If you are staying in Christchurch, I can inform you that Christchurch is not a nice vacation spot right now. If you are staying elsewhere on the South Island and are just passing through Christchurch, your flight might be able to be diverted to another airport. It might be worthwhile inquiring before cancelling your trip.

Mt Cook earthquake
There has been no earthquake at Mount Cook. However, the earthquake that took place in Christchurch was felt at Mount Cook.

Hotel and motels damaged in Christchurch?
Because this earthquake was more devastating than the one in September 2010 (because this one took place closer to Christchurch and was shallower), and most of the damage is located in Christchurch city center, it is highly likely that hotels and motels have been damaged. It is best to check before you travel.

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