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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quake damaged majority of homes

Quake damaged majority of homes

Last updated 10:34 08/05/2011
There is barely a house left in Christchurch that is not in need of repair work after February's magnitude 6.3 earthquake, new figures show.

As the city was rattled by yet another strong 4 magnitude aftershock yesterday, information just released by the Earthquake Commission revealed the quake left 180,000 homes needing repairs.

Initial assessments carried out by Commission staff have revealed that:

12,000 homes are so badly damaged it will cost more than $100,000 to repair them

8000 are severely damaged and could cost at least $100,000 to fix

40,0000 are moderately damaged

120,000 have minor damage.

The Commisssion plans to complete full inspections of the worst damaged homes by the end of the month but it is likely to be December before those homes with only minor damage are inspected properly.

The commission currently has 185 assessment teams on the ground, completing around 350 full assessments each day.

It has received 119,369 claims for damage from February's quake and, with only two weeks to go until the deadline for claims expires, is urging people who have yet to put in a claim to make contact straight away.

The Commission will not accept any claims for damage from the February quake after May 23.

The 5.3 aftershock on April 16 is being treated as a new event for insurance purposes, so people whose properties were damaged then have until July 18 to lodge a claim.

Commission chief executive Ian Simpson said it had received a spike in claims in the final weeks before last September's deadline and he was expecting a similar situation.

"It's understandable people will have waited until near the deadline before submitting a claim, with the pressure that people have been under, but I urge people to make their claims now," Simpson said.

Later this month the first of several temporary villages is to open in Christchurch for those left homeless. At the same time people should get an initial indication of whether their land can be remediated or if they will have to relocate. That information is vital for the rebuilding of the city and will dictate whether thousands of homes are repaired or bulldozed. It will also dictate what happens to the roads and underground services.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority acting chief executive John Ombler said repairing the infrastructure was one of the biggest challenges. "Anyone who has been out and about would have seen the scale of that challenge just in terms of the roads.

"There is also a huge amount of infrastructure that needs to be replaced or repaired, such as wastewater and stormwater systems," he said.

Fixing the infrastructure was likely to take at least five years or more and cost between $2 billion and $3b.

- Sunday Star Times

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