Citizen's War Memorial outside Christchurch Cathedral (23 June 2017)

7 Years Ago, The City Fell

It's hard to believe that seven years have passed since my home city of Christchurch, New Zealand changed forever. On February 22, 2011, at precisely 12:51pm, an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale leveled the city. I kid you not.

For many other earthquake-ridden cities around the world, it took an earthquake of much greater magnitude to cause anywhere near the same level of devastation, but even then, it's not nearly every building in the CBD that needs to be demolished. Over 70% of the buildings suffered irreparable damage during that quake, continuing to stand only just long enough so people could get out. Some buildings didn't even do that. Whole suburbs, most of East Christchurch, needed to be abandoned and bulldozed to the ground — and because if it, we have a severe housing shortage, even seven years later. But what really makes Christchurch so unique is that we were already a broken city.

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New Episode: Earthquakes – The Earth’s Dance

Seven years on, and I'm still haunted by the 7.1 earthquake that rudely awoke me from my sleep on September 4, 2010. Each of us find ways to heal in different ways. For me, it's to look at the science behind what happened, and trying to explain to the world at large exactly what it was like to go through those frightening events.

On this month's episode of Conversations in Science, Jessie and I spoke about earthquakes and what happens.

Earthquakes: The Earth's Dance
(First aired on KLRNRadio, Monday, September 4, 2017)

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9/11: A view of life…

On the weekend just past, it was the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 disaster.  Every year, for the past 15 years, I have been silent about my memories of that day, fearful that someone would get offended.

The events of that day had a global impact. So many things changed in an instant. The world was in chaos. No one knew what was going on and planes around the world were being grounded.Read More

At ANZAC, remember all

Today is April 25th. 101 years ago, soldiers from around the world fought on the shores of Gallipoli. Throughout the country, New Zealanders will be attending services commemorating the lives lost in the fight for our freedom.Read More