Major Earthquake Strikes New Zealand's South Island

This happened about an hour ago: Powerful earthquake hits New Zealand near Christchurch

An estimated 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck near Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. Reports of significant damage, but no word on loss of life.

Obviously, New Zealand is special in the VEX community and we all hope for the best.

All VEX teams and everyone else in New Zealand are in my prayers.


WOW!!! I hope we hear from our Kiwi Friends sooner than later… Or I will be concerned all weekend…

Well, I will be praying for them, extra diligently…

We will too!

More extensive coverage: Huge earthquake rocks Christchurch |

So far, no loss of life reported, but the pictures sure show a lot of damage to masonry structures. (As a native Californian, I always struggle to understand why anyone would want to live in a brick building, but then I have to remind myself that not everywhere has frequent earthquakes.)

5:39pm est: (20 minutes ago) USA Today said it was downgraded to a 7 by US scientists and a 7.1 by New Zealand Scientists.

Heya, There hasnt been any deaths so far! but 2 people have been seriously injured. There is bit of majour damage to the old brick buildings etc but it will be fine. :slight_smile:

Auckland is fine, Hope the people in the south are dealing with it okay.

Wow, I really hope those guys are doing alright.

I can’t really say much more…


The majority of our teams are in the North Island, however a competition group in Christchurch was started this year. They were supposed to have a competition next saturday.
Still no reported fatalities anywhere as of yet, hopefully none will come. Shortage of water in some areas. I was told yesterday that none of the robotics group down there have been reported with bad injuries :slight_smile:
The support from you guys is appreciated by all kiwibots :slight_smile:

Some more info on the earth quake.

All public buildings have been closed which includes schools until they can be inspected. This will be for structual integrity but is also more for public health issues as in some areas sewage and water lines are damaged.

The central business district is closed until further notice and there is also a 7:00pm to 7:00am curfew in the same area.

A large number of the buildings damaged would probably be over 80 years + old.

A number of historic homesteads have been badly damaged or destroyed.

In one of these a teenage boy had a miraculous escape.
He lives in an old two story homestead and one of the outside walls collapsed.
He has a room on the second floor. But when the wall collapsed it dragged him out of his room and threw him to the ground. His dad had to dig him out from under a pile of bricks but he only suffered minor cuts and bruises.

The most seriously injured is a man in intensive care after being hit by a falling chiminey.

I just want to add my thanks to those of other kiwis for the support shown by the overseas Vex community.


Oh man, I saw this on the news today.
Best wishes to all New Zealand teams.


I have managed to get in contact with some of the teachers in Christchurch and they are amazingly chirpy.

I have it first hand that VEX robots survive earthquakes with just one bent piece of metal and that they keep students minds off the 90+ aftershocks of mag 4+ by being turned into Search and Rescue based designs.

The teachers are really tired as they have had almost three days of aftershocks that in normal circumstances would be regarded as earthquakes. <b>Map:</b> Where the aftershocks have hit - NZ Herald

Burnside High School and Linwood College (High School) have VEX teams and are being used as evacuation centers so they are quite busy. Linwood College was due to host the National RoboCup competition on the Saturday morning that the quake happened, heaps of people still turned up and had to be turned away as the town was still shaking. So now you see how keen Kiwis are when it comes to robots!

We are scheduled to have a scrimmage at Avonside Girls High School this Saturday and they are seriously thinking about still holding it. So I guess the ‘normal’ of VEX could be a good thing.

Thanks for the support, I have passed it onto the teams down in Christchurch. They are astounded that there is so much care in the VEX community.

Chris – thanks for keeping us informed. Continued best wishes to the people in the area.

A Major aftershock overnight has kicked Christchurch in the teeth and forced the evacuation of Burnside High School evacuation center.

Until things settle down and become clearer we have decided to put the scrimmage in Christchurch on hold.

Stay alert and keep an eye on the shoreline!

Someone sent me a link to this short video of a helicopter flight over the fault zone of the Canterbury Earthquake on Sept. 4: Canterbury Earthquake - first flyover of fault trace - YouTube . It’s a miracle that more people weren’t hurt.

It’s a miracle people weren’t dead - one US seismologist stated something along the lines of “Quakes in this magnitude generally kill in the order of 400 people”. I guess they’re lucky that it happened at 4.35 in the morning, when not many people were awake. I’ve seen photos of what happened inside distribution centers for the likes of canned goods, and if this had happened during daytime…

The worst part, I believe from what the news is saying, is the countless aftershocks in the magnitude of 4.0+ that have happened since the main earthquake occurred, and are still occurring. These are hampering cleanup efforts and making building that were deemed safe or stable suddenly unsafe - the structural engineers that are doing this screening had to start all over again when a 5.1 aftershock hit. Experts are also predicting that theres a 50% chance that a 6.1 aftershock could hit within the next 2 days. Sofar, the total cost to the economy is something in the order of 4,000,000,000 NZD.

Once again, a big thanks to the VEX community for your support, and we North Islanders join you in praying for the continued safety of the peoples down South.

EDIT: Most people have power, and water has been recently deemed safe for drinking for much of the region, excluding some of the rural communities.

Wow! I just looked at this video and another one on youtube. The aerial views of the cracks were unbelieveable. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through something like this.

I am going to put them on my church’s prayer list as well so we can pray for their continued safety throughout this crisis. I really hope the experts are wrong about that 6.1 aftershock!

I’m an Aucklander, but I’m down here in Christchurch for a few days. The biggest things I’ve noticed are

  1. How slow everything is. Driving through the city takes twice as long. Going to a shop turns into a discussion with the shop owner about how u both are.
  2. How exhausted everybody in the city is. Last night was the best night since Saturday according to everybody I’ve seen today. And that was because we only got woken up by one aftershock

NZ: 7.4R 7.9e15 Joules , 16 people/km2
Haiti:7.0R 2.1e15 Joules , 360 people/km2

I give more credit to NZ wealth/discipline/culture to enforce better building codes (ie good engineering), in addition to low population density.