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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Land damage worsens with each tremor

Land damage worsens with each tremor

Last updated 09:56 20/06/2011
Residents in some western Christchurch suburbs are worried about worsening land damage after three major earthquakes.

Parts of Merivale and western St Albans took another hit in last Monday's quakes. Houses that were previously damaged but still standing have toppled over, and homes with minor damage are now shifting off their foundations.

Merivale resident Carolyn McAllister, of Tonbridge St, said she wondered whether some houses would be worth repairing.

"The damage to the land is getting worse with every shake."

She said there was obvious sloping in most areas of her section, and at the corners of her house the foundations were visible by about 15 centimetres.

"Even if we can repair the home, how will they level the land? It's just going to get worse, surely, with every shock," she said. "It's nowhere near as bad over this side as it is in the eastern parts, but I think it's only going to get worse."

Most brick houses in her street were write-offs, and several power poles had developed a precarious lean, she said.

A St Albans resident said last Monday's aftershocks had "exposed all the weaknesses in the area".

Maree Coffey said last week's magnitude-6.3 shake brought damaged houses down and worsened "frail homes".

"It's not as bad as February but it's almost as bad . . . I think there's a feeling of how much more can these western areas take before they become like the east?" she said.

"It aggravated all the weaknesses."

Another St Albans resident, Mike Dewe, said western areas seemed to have "loosened up".

"Eventually, all of the houses in this area are going to just give way, and that would be a real shame."

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