Sunday, August 21, 2011
This drill has appeared at the bottom of our street in the last couple of days. They are testing the soil to see if it is strong enough to build on again. Apparently they drilled down a couple of metres and then hit water. Water was pouring out of the drill under pressure when I went past, and I heard that it goes a long way down, which is not good news for all the houses along the river.
If the land is not good, then there is no point repairing the houses, because no insurance company will cover them. (And we are still getting shakes - two of magnitude 4+ yesterday, after a few quieter weeks). So areas of the city where the land needs remediation are being declared "red zones", and all the residents will receive buy out offers from the government. Then the houses will be removed, and the land repaired (a very long term project). Then, at some time in the future, it may be built on again.
Close to 10,000 houses have already been declared red-zoned. The houses at the end of our street closest to the river and all the houses on the road bordering the river, are currently orange-zoned, which meanse "further investigation is required". Which is where the guys with the drill come in.
I'm very thankful that the land under our house is OK. And concerned for my neighbours who may be not so fortunate.