Today marks 10 years since the deadly earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand. The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3, killing 185 people and injuring thousands. Among those killed were people from several countries including the United States, Australia, China, and Japan. In 2013, the cost of the damage was said to be upwards of $40 billion. Nearly 80% of the city was destroyed by the natural disaster.
There was a gathering at a memorial wall in the city today where a minute’s silence was observed to honor those who lost their lives in the tragedy. The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said at the memorial, “It’s been a hugely difficult decade for this city—at times I’m sure it’s felt impossible. But as we look ahead to the coming decade, I see hope and energy and optimism.”
Christchurch’s mayor, Lianne Dalziel, spoke of the city’s rebuilding, saying, “I don’t know whether it’s a post disaster thing but for me, it’s sometimes hard to remember what was there before.” Multiple agencies were formed to lead the revival of the city including Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera). Daziel told The Guardian that “agencies could have been better aligned” which resulted in multiple roads being dug up multiple times. Most of the discontent was caused by Cera, which was later disbanded in 2016. Despite the hardships endured by the city, Dalziel says, “We are absolutely the best city for the future…Christchurch has all of its opportunity in front of us, and people can now see it.”