At 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand.
The earthquake’s epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 km southeast of Christchurch’s central business district. It occurred nearly six months after the 4 September 2010 earthquake.
The earthquake struck at lunchtime, when many people were on the city streets. More than 130 people lost their lives in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. Falling bricks and masonry killed 11 people, and eight died in two city buses crushed by crumbling walls. Rock cliffs collapsed in the Sumner and Redcliffs area, and boulders tumbled down the Port Hills, with five people killed by falling rocks.
(Text from nzhistory.govt.nz)
Confusion, chaos, loss of lives – the 2011 earthquake did strike Christchurch really hard. The Anglican Cathedral was severely damaged too. The spire collapsed leaving only the lower half of the tower in ruins. In following smaller earthquakes the cathedral was further damaged – the western rose window was completely destroyed. On the 9th of November 2011 the church was deconsecrated. Plans to demolish the building were officially announced in September 2012. And demolition work indeed started, totally destroying the rest of the tower. In September 2017 the synod of the diocese of Christchurch decided with a 55% majority to reinstate the old cathedral.
To me it is really so impressing to see the firm determination of the people of Christchurch to rebuild their town, to move on, not to give in. And I do hope that rich blessing will be on that long and industrious way. One symbol of not giving in, one symbol of revival is the provisional cathedral also known as Cardboard Cathedral. The interior of that building can be seen in my panorama for the event “Revival”.