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