Quake costs would have been worse without strengthening

5:45 am on 10 July 2012

An Earthquake Commission report says the financial and human cost of the Canterbury earthquakes would have been much higher had it not been for the extensive work done since the mid-1990s on strengthening the region's infrastructure.

The report on seismic risk mitigation in Christchurch pays tribute to a stocktake of infrastructure that has been running since 1997.

Author Tony Fenwick says measures such as seismic work by Transpower, risk-screening of bridges by Christchurch City Council and strengthening work at Port Lyttelton allowed the city to rebound faster than it otherwise would have.

Mr Fenwick says the substantial mitigation of risk over the years helped reduce the impact of the earthquakes and other regions at risk of civil emergencies should follow suit.