Should Christchurch be moved?

I was pretty shocked to read in the news this morning that 48% of people outside Christchurch believe the city should be moved. If that’s true, then the number of people who believe Wellington should be moved ought to be higher.

A quake in Wellington will be much larger, more destructive and more lethal to human lives. Our government and emergency response centres are located in Wellington which will only add to the chaos. Major routes in and out of the city will be unusable. My advice to Wellingtonians is get out while you still can.

Some people attribute the devastation in Christchurch to the soil beneath the ground and while this does play a part, anyone who thinks it won’t happen elsewhere should visit Lyttelton. Lyttelton is the harbour port on the Southern side of the Christchurch Port Hills. The Port Hills are an extinct volcanic range made from hard basalt. The place is a mess. Lyttelton is a good indication of what a shallow Mag. 6 directly beneath you can do to when the soil is hard rock. A shallow Mag. 8 directly beneath Wellington will be 100 times more destructive.

Some photos from Lyttelton:

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/earthquake-death-toll-reaches-145-20110226-1b8yr.html

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/earthquake-death-toll-reaches-145-20110226-1b8yr.html

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/earthquake-death-toll-reaches-145-20110226-1b8yr.html

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/cyclists-dodge-boulders-in-race-to-survive-20110223-1b5p3.html

Lyttelton and other Port Hill suburbs had to content with landslides and rock falls which is something the flat parts of Christchurch did not have to worry about. Personally I would rather have a bit of liquefaction in our front yard (which we did have) than the risk of being buried alive beneath a landslide.

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