Red Zone

It is 12:51, on February 22, 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 strikes the city of Christchurch (367,700 inhabitants) only 5 km deep. This is the most devastating disaster in New Zealand for more than 80 years, causing 189 deaths and more than 3129 injuries.

This catastrophe was preceded on 4 September 2010 by another earthquake that was much less deadly but equally devastating for structures and infrastructures. The replicas will continue until February 2011. The city of Christchurch is losing 25% of its buildings, entirely or partially. The peak ground accelerations observed in the Central Business District (CBD) were 50% higher than design loads for the new Christchurch buildings. The costs were $ 15 billion (US).

Heavily guarded checkpoints were placed around the central city on the day of the 22 February earthquake. About two weeks after the event, residents and business owners were gradually allowed to return to the city center to retrieve their belongings. Citizens are left in doubt for months on their assurances and await the mobilization of the government.

The CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) is a government department founded on March 29, 2011 to direct, coordinate and focus on the rehabilitation of Christchurch. The city center (CBD) becomes an impassable zone for safety reasons, only the building trades (demolition, construction) as well as the army are allowed to enter what they will call the RED ZONE.