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 Post subject: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:22 am
Posts: 100
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
model: 906 Paso
year: 1990
OK peeps - here it is: Christchurch is a post apocalyptic wasteland, where the evil North-West wind whips up tens of thousands of tons of pig-farm smelling silt.

Travellers wear gas-masks, post-apocalyptic Gothic (Dust coloured) outfits and carry hi-muzzel velocity automatic weapons. People are dueling in the streets and collapsed supermarkets over the last bottle of water.

To travel out of town, we now meet at the exit of the city, and wait until enough people, vehicles and guns arrive to fight our way to the next town. Only those with cars or bikes of sufficient power and speed are likely to get through.

Vigilantes battle police and army personnel with home-made napalm, and WWII Bazookas...

</hyperbole>

No - Christchurch isn't on the first step towards Mad Max (aka Road Warrior).

I was fortunate to survive, because I was back at work. If the quake had hit 24 hours earlier, I would have been on the Paso, howling down Evans pass into Akaroa - the very epicenter of the quake. It is likely I would have gone off the side of the road, been killed by boulders or crashed in some other fatal way.

As it was, I was at my desk - which moved a metre away from me in the first shake, and then seemed to be all in my lap at once. The shaking was severe, and from the fire escape I could immediately see that the Cathedral was gone (I could view the top 2/3rds of the spire was missing) and that the city's tallest building was broken in two (Hotel Grand Chancellor).

My home was unaffected apart from no water - which returned last night. Let me tell you, bathing out of a bucket gets old really quickly - and the hot shower is the world's single greatest luxury!

This 'quake struck the eastern and southern and downtown areas hardest. It appears that up to half of the buildings in the downtown area will need to be destroyed. Likely 250 deaths, with over 170 confirmed.

You may well have seen more of the downtown damage than I have, as I don't own a TV!

However, the suburbs badly affected are in real trouble. The damage, if not to homes, is to the roads and infrastructure. Estimates of up to 1 million tons of liquifaction silt/mud have worked their way to the surface - usually in mini geysers up to half a metre tall. The volume of water and mud/silt ejected in just a few minutes is astonishing.

What it has done to Christchurch roads is catastrophic, with up to 25 Billion dollars of damage estimated.

Some streets don't even HAVE streets now; they have the shattered remains of what once was a street, but is now little more that a muddy jumble of smashed concrete ruptured asphalt, mounds of silt and gigantic holes and cracks from which is gushed.

I have seen holes in roads large enough to swallow an SUV.

Riding a bike is by far the fastest way to get around, as traffic is a nightmare: a 10 minutes drive could take you an hour at least. It is pretty nasty though. The drying silt is a dust-storm outside, and it smells variously like a pig farm (strange!) or sewerage (understandable seeing as a lot of that came up with the silt from ruptured sewer lines.

Fortunately, everyone I know is OK, with the exception of a work colleague who suffered a heart attack 3 days later as the stress of a destroyed home affected him badly. His prognosis is good however, but he is still in intensive care.

Riding around town requires maximum attention now, as the road surfaces are not guaranteed to be bike friendly, nor are the befuddled and scared drivers who seem to think that because they are sad, road rules no longer apply to them.

People failing to secure an exit from an intersection before entering into it get screamed at by equally befuddled and stupid drivers at every busy intersection you care to cross.

All in all, a very bad week for Christchurch, and while there are more bikes on the road this week, the conditions for happy and care free riding have completely disappeared.

I will try for the Wednesday Night ride tomorrow in the hope it is still on, but I doubt it will be.

Before the quake an insane wobble-head drove through a red light and took out my Porsche 928. It's still drivable, but damaged - including the brand new wheels. AARGH.

The bike is running like a trooper though, albeit covered in a thin layer of impossibly fine silt dust. As it just about everything today.

The city is recovering brilliantly though, and there are many wonderful stories of heroism and bravery - as well as the hard-grind that infrastructure repair has become.

I'll be buying a house in May or June, and I'll be buying one in a location where there has been no damage after two quakes,. and it'll be a wooden house with a tin roof!

I'm very fortunate to have come through the earthquake relatively unscathed.

Cheers all!

Chris/Mobius

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:43 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:50 pm
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Location: Hilltown,Pennsylvania
model: 906 Paso
year: 1990
Glad to hear you are OK
Peace brother :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:00 am
Posts: 361
Location: Northern Germany / Kiel
model: 907 I.E.
year: 1992
Sounds no good, but i am glad you are ok.
I own a Porsche 944 (half a 928) so I know how you feel about your car...

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:53 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:57 pm
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Location: Manchester, England.
model: 907 I.E.
year: 1992
It is real good to read your post mate, safe and well that's the important bit. Good Luck sounds like real shit for you all locally and a lot of future heartache and changes for those around you. Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:41 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 5353
Location: southern Germany
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
Good to hear you`re ok, Chris!

G.


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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:21 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:27 am
Posts: 604
Location: Melbourne Australia
model: 907 I.E.
year: 1992
Welcome back Chris!...safe and sound :thumbup:
during the 90s I've been to CHC 3 times, en route to snowfields, I remember it as a nice city, with the avon river running through it
sad to see so much devastation and so many casualties :,(
It will take a while...long while, but hopefully everything will be back to normal again :beer:
ps: I just remembered...eating hokey pokey ice cream :-P

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:37 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:00 am
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Location: Gothenburg, SWEDEN
model: 907 I.E.
year: 1991
Good to hear you`re OK! :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:00 pm
Posts: 136
Location: UK
model: 900 SS
year: 1990
Good News Mobius.


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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:30 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Hwy 1 - Tomales, CA - 94971
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
Awesome recollection Chris -
I was in downtown San Francisco when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit the city. We were all standing to the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the start of the world series S.F. Giants vs the Oakland A's i.e. The Battle of the Bay. I was standing behind the bar. . . BAM - 5:04 pm - it hit - 6.9 on the Richter scale. The floor was like someone was shaking a rug out!
After screaming to people NOT to run outside they promptly DID. :shock: Within 15 minutes I returned to bartending for the next 2 1/2 hours and made $220 in tips!

So here's to mother nature Chris - I'm sure it was a hell of a ride for
yourself - how long did it take for your knees to stop shaking?
It took me over 2 hours :lol:

This is the Nimitz freeway
Image

The Bay bridge
Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: CHC earthquake report
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:16 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:35 am
Posts: 1653
Location: Newzealand
model: 906 Paso
year: 1990
Mobius wrote:
The bike is running like a trooper though, albeit covered in a thin layer of impossibly fine silt dust.

Thank God ! I was starting to worry about your bike :D :D , pleased to hear your ok

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