Latest quakes the last straw for some

9:51 pm on 23 December 2011

Christchurch residents have been speaking of their anger and frustration at the series of strong earthquakes which have again hit the area.

A swarm of aftershocks, one of magnitude 6, struck Christchurch on Friday. The region is still recovering from a major earthquakes in September followed by a devastating earthquake in February, in which 182 people died, and significant aftershocks in June.

Brian Cornish said people had begun to get over earlier quakes and this will be the tipping point for many.

"This has come at a very unfortunate time when everybody was starting to think maybe we'd seen the last of it. Now, we're back to square one, I think."

Redwood resident Daniel O'Regan said the latest tremors have him thinking about leaving the city.

"We've just had the wind knocked out of our guts. To be honest, I don't know if I'll be living here next year.

"We just had our work do today and it was a lovely lovely morning - and it all goes to hell in a handbasket again."

Mr O'Regan said his house is almost ready for rebuilding, he has a mortgage and is worried about renting out his property.

He said a friend in Parklands has told him liquefaction and damage to houses there is worse than in the February earthquake and there are cracks in houses.

Fendalton resident Paul Riley was trapped on the 12th floor of a central city building in the 22 February quake, and after the latest shakes he was back cleaning up after liquefaction at a friend's house.

He said people had been feeling more positive but now the same issues, such as insurance, are going to come up again. "We just want some certainty on where we're going in future."

Sumner resident Tim Murdoch said people there are fed up with the tremors, though he himself is not planning on leaving Canterbury just yet.

"I think people are probably angry," he said. "I think we've all had enough of it, really."

Barbara Scanlon, who lives in Scarborough Hills, said she might bring forward plans to move to the Bay of Islands.

"It'll be a matter of trying to sell the house first, and who will want to buy a house in Christchurch?"

However columnist Joe Bennett said he won't be rethinking his determination to remain at his hillside home in Lyttelton.

Mr Bennett has resolutely refused to leave his house, although it has a red sticker.

Jeff Peters, who runs the Centre Point on Colombo Motel, says it feels just like February again, when everyone thought they were past the worst of it only to have another large quake hit.

He said the magnitude 6 aftershock on Friday felt very close and very shallow and similar the February quake.

In Kaipoi, resident Peter Jenkins said the largest of Friday's quakes felt a lot stronger than magnitude 6.

He said it was very loud and people were taking cover and running out of shops around him.

Mr Jenkins told Checkpoint his neighbours were shaken and scared but everyone is reasonably ok, with the most damage being broken shop windows and liquefaction.