22 February 2011

Some Tears For Beautiful Christchurch

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Sunset from in front of Christchurch Cathedral. Jan. 2010.

If you go to Antarctica with the U.S. Antarctic Program (NSF), you will be very familiar with Christchurch. It’s the take off and return point for all of those who go to work, and do science “on the ice”. Last night, when I emailed a friend at Amundsen Scott station (at the South Pole) about the quake, I quickly got a request for more information.

The botanical garden in the center of the city is renowned.

Everyone “on the ice” loves Christchurch and it’s people. For good reason, because it’s truly a special place.

The lush green that greets one, when coming back from a land of cold and white, makes it even more so. The weather in Antarctica is always lousy, and many times you have to wait days in Christchurch (for the bad weather to break), so you can get on the ice. I waited 5 days, which was not all unusual.

Lyttelton, Harbour (near Christchurch) is where Robert Falcon Scott left for Antarctica. It was the epicenter of the quake and has been heavily damaged.

A river definitely runs through it.

Trust me, there are few places better to be stuck in!

So, let them clean up for a few months and then go and see the Kiwis in New Zealand. Catch a cricket match; It’s the world’s best sport that Americans have never heard of! They will need the help, and tourism is the perfect way to do so. I include some of my photos from early January 2010.


PS I will leave the seismology to my fellow AGU bloggers, who are experts in the field, but do check out their posts. Some great info, and more coming I expect.