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Drone used to assess earthquake damage to Christchurch Cathedral

Drone used to assess earthquake damage to Christchurch Cathedral

Engineers are using a drone to determine the extent of the damage to the interior of New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral. The building suffered damage in February 2011 when a 6.3 earthquake struck the Canterbury Region in New Zealand’s South Island, centered 6 miles southeast of the center of Christchurch, killing 185 people. Additional damage was sustained this year when a 5.7 earthquake struck and subsequent aftershocks continue to cause falling masonry.


A working group has been formed to  investigate whether the government and the Anglican Church could work together on meeting the cost and safety requirements to restore the cathedral. Currently the cathedral is too dangerous for internal assessment; engineers say there is no discernible structural integrity.


Bishop of Christchurch Victoria Matthews has said “I believe in the foreseeable future we will again have a cathedral in the square. It won’t be easy but it is possible. We know its current state, what I am not able to say today is what that inspiring cathedral will look like.”


Reporting from Anglican Communion News Service

Photo Credit: Holmes Consulting Group



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Scott Westley Borden

It certainly is distressing to see a building, any building, in this shape. And its hard to imagine there there is a method by which this structure could be repaired. Safety would be a massive issue – and how to make any rebuilt structure earthquake-safe. I would say its not that the building was damaged by an earthquake – I’d say it was destroyed. But worst of all is having this cadaver of a cathedral standing there. I think the folks of the diocese should take a collective and prayerful deep breath and then knock it down and rebuild from the rubble in a new and different way. Death and resurrection are part of our story – let this building die so that resurrection can happen.

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