Christchurch: the missing city
|Cathedral and City Centre|
Many buildings have already been bulldozed, and the ones that are left are waiting for demolition. Some of them look OK, but when you go closer you can see the cracks, or the unnatural tilt of the walls. In some cases, the buildings were brand new before the quake, but floors and concrete beams are cracked right through.
|Every pile of rubble represents someone's life or livelihood|
|An older, historic building they're trying to preserve.|
I visited friends who are living in rented houses - quake damaged, but not so damaged as their own houses and they're still waiting to have them either replaced or repaired. Lives in limbo. Others have lost businesses or jobs. Many have moved away. I met a woman who was too frightened to come into the city at all and only shops on the perimeter.
|This row of houses has fallen despite attempts to shore up the shattered buildings.|
|You can hardly believe it's all containers!|
Sumner beach used to be my favourite place. Now many of the houses are abandoned as unsafe, and some of them have ended up at the bottom of the cliff, or are left suspended, like bombed out houses in a war zone.
But the most poignant is the site of the CTV building where so many people died. There are flowers and tributes tied to the fence and on the other side of the road, chairs are set out - one chair for each person who died.