Monday, July 11, 2011
A collapsed building in High Street.
The Hotel Grand Chancellor or "Leaning Tower of Christchurch". Demolition will take about a year, one level at a time.
Workmen taking down the damaged dome from the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
A view of High St through a statue outside the Christchurch Polytechnic. This statue was erected as part of the 6th Scape Biennial of Art in Public Spaces, which never happened due to the first quake on September 4th 2010.
Signs on the fence behind damaged buildings in High St.
While the rest of the country suffered wild weather and tornadoes, Christchurch basked in winter sunshine over the weekend. I took a break from running errands to explore a little further into the city, just to see how far I could get before coming up against the inevitable cordons.
We used to play a board game with the children called "The Amazing Labyrinth". It was a simple sort of roll the dice and navigate a pathway game, except for one feature - at each turn, the player took a loose piece of the board, and used it to shove a row of similarly loose pieces, so that the pathway changed, blocking routes that were previously open. Christchurch feels a bit like that at the moment. You never know when a tower will suddenly be declared potentially unsafe, and a street is closed off while it is inspected. Or there is flooding of low-lying riverside streets due to an exceptionally high tide. Or perhaps a street opens up once demolitions of dangerous buildings have been completed.
There are about 1000 buildings on the yet-to-be-demolished list.
Yesterday my daughter admired my shoes and asked where I bought them. I couldn't remember the exact shop, but I knew what area, and that the shop undoubtedly is not there any more.
We had visits from our insurance company and the EQC (government earthquake insurance agency) last week. No dollar figure yet, but we do have a long list of what will be fixed. The insurance company will take care of the driveway and all the walls and fences. EQC will jack up and level the front of the house, re-hang the doors that don't work, fill in all the cracks in the interior walls and ceilings, replaster the ceilings, repaper the walls, fill in the cracks in the exterior walls and repaint. And rebuild the chimney. Although there is some scheme whereby we can have a clean heat appliance instead, given that it's not actually legal to use an open fire any more. Some time within the next month we will find out their estimate for the cost. If it's less than $100,000, we go on the long list for their preferred contractor to manage the repairs. If it's more, they give us a cheque and our insurance company covers the balance.
I'm not in a hurry - if we get it fixed and there's another big aftershock, we could be back to square one. So waiting a year or so seems like a very good idea just now.