115 buildings ruled unsafe after new quake wave

9:00 pm on 27 December 2010

One hundred and fifteen buildings have been deemed unsafe after a series of aftershocks rocked Christchurch over the weekend.

Cordons are still in place at Cashel Mall, Poplar Lane and several streets across the city and some are unlikely to be opened until later this week.

Five thousand buildings needed inspection after the shakes, which brought down bricks and glass on sale shoppers.

Of those buildings, 3000 have been visited by urban search and rescue teams and 115 have been marked as needing work before they can be declared safe.

Acting Mayor Ngaire Button says however that they can't be sure it's new damage distinct from the damage done by the original quake on 4 September.

The Fire Service's Christchurch commander, Dan Coward, says the other 2000 buildings in the city centre will be inspected on Tuesday. The city council says emergency services still need to hear from some owners so their buildings can be inspected.

Ms Button says Cashel Mall will reopen on Tuesday only if the council can locate all the building owners and all the structures can be checked by engineers.

Fresh hit for businesses

The managing director of Ballantynes department store says the new wave of tremors has made matters worse for many businesses suffering as a result of the September earthquake.

Richard Ballantyne says the 7.1 quake nearly four months ago and its aftershocks cost Ballantynes several hundred thousand dollars in damage, and now the Boxing Day jolts have kept the store closed.

Twenty quakes have been recorded since early on Boxing Day. The strongest was magnitude 4.9 at 10.30am on 26 December.