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Focus on Earthquakes

Christchurch earthquake
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The Piko Wholefoods building in Christchurch. Photo by Schwede66 provided for use under a Creative Commons licence.

Japan earthquake and tsunami - March 2011 >>>

Christchurch earthquake - February 2011

On Monday 21 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand's South Island, close to the country's second largest city, Christchurch.

At the time of writing 65 are reported dead and at least 200 are believed to be trapped. Google has set up this website to help people locate missing friends and relatives.

The GA offers its condolences to all those who have been affected by the Christchurch earthquake. We also recognise that in events like this, it is the role of geography to help young people understand and make sense of what has happened.

Canterbury Earthquake Teaching Resource

In response to the earthquakes of 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011, Roger Baldwin (retired social sciences adviser, University of Canterbury) and Suzanne Baldwin (HOF Social Sciences, Mount Hutt College, Canterbury representative, New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers) have prepared a teaching and learning resource kit for schools.

The material is intended to provide teachers with ideas and approaches to help students develop an understanding of the Canterbury earthquakes. Although originally written for the New Zealand curriculum, this version has been adapted for an international audience.

Download: Canterbury Earthquake Teaching Resource (PDF, 1M)

The original document, plus links to other resources, can be found on the New Zealand Geographical Society website.

Christchurch Earthquake Weblinks

Update - 23 February 2011

New Zealand earthquake: Christchurch deaths rise to 75 - BBC News (23.02.11)

Christchurch earthquake: New Zealand rescue teams search for survivors - Telegraph photo gallery (23.02.11)

Google Crisis Response - a page of maps, links, resources and emergency contacts

Google Earth Blog - links to map based resources

Flickr - Christchurch earthquake photographs

Christchurch from the hills - a panoramic shot taken moments after the earthquake. Photographer unknown.

Earthquake Response Underway - Salvation Army (23.02.11)

ShelterBox responds to New Zealand's 'darkest day' - Shelterbox (22.02.11)

Red Cross reacts to New Zealand earthquake - British Red Cross (22.02.11) The New Zealand Red Cross website is currently experiencing problems, probably due to the high number of visitors

Personal stories

First-hand accounts are beginning to emerge on a number of blogs:

Tuesday 22 February 2011: Earthquake Redux - Pixels Smith, Blipfoto

Wednesday 23 February 2011: Earthquake Damage - Image Hunter, Blipfoto

Wednesday 23 February 2011: From sadness comes joy - Kiwilizzie, Blipfoto

Christchurch earthquake: Two Irish people dead - The Joey Lakey Blog (UK)

Bad earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand – On my way to help - Vaughan Rivett's Blog

Survived the Christchurch Earthquake! - Tahina Expedition Blog

Christchurch earthquake, 22 February - Nathanael Boehm living in New Zealand Blog

Red Cross responds to New Zealand earthquake - Red Cross Blog

22 February 2011

New Zealand earthquake: 65 dead in Christchurch - BBC News (22.02.11)

Christchurch earthquake: Eyewitness accounts - BBC News (22.02.11)

In pictures: Earthquake rocks Christchurch - BBC News (22.02.11)

New Zealand earthquake: Depth and location key - BBC News (22.02.11)

New Zealand earthquake kills 65 and injures many more - BBC News video reports (22.02.11)

Christchurch earthquake - live updates - Live updates on the Guardian News Blog (22.02.11)

New Zealand earthquake strikes Christchurch, killing at least 65 people - Guardian (22.02.11)

Latest updates: Christchurch earthquake (+ map) - Live updates from the NZ Herald (22.02.11)

New Zealand Herald - dozens of news reports, videos, photos and eyewitness accounts from one of New Zealand's biggest newspapers

Before-and-after interactive photos from the Christchurch quake - (22.02.11)

Live updates: 6.3 earthquake rocks Christchurch, New Zealand - live coverage from Australian news website (22.02.11)

Hundreds Feared Trapped As NZ Quake Kills 65 - Sky News (22.02.11)

Christchurch earthquake videos - YouTube

Twitter - the hashtag #EQNZ is being used to track tweets relating to the New Zealand earthquake

#EQNZ: The web mobilizes for New Zealand - ReadWriteWeb has published this useful article outlining the online response to the earthquake (22.02.11)

US Geological Survey - the USGS have published information about the earthquake time, epicenter and magnitude along with a summary of the tectonic activity. They have also produced a series of earthquake maps and a downloadable Earthquake Summary Poster.

ESRI earthquake incident GIS map - ESRI

Christchurch Quake Map - Google Map of the earthquake developed by the University of Canterbury's Digital Media Group (Christchurch, New Zealand)

Teaching about earthquakes

Learning about natural hazards is part of most new GCSE specifications, and is also an ideal topic with which to engage Year 7 students. The news articles, websites and other resources listed on these pages were compiled following earthquakes in Samoa (2009), Sumatra (2009), Italy (2009), China (2008) and the UK (2008).

They are intended to provide you with some ideas when planning your lessons on natural hazards for any phase.

Go to News Articles >>>
Go to Resources >>>

If you have any resources or lesson plans that you would be happy to share on this website please contact Anne Greaves.

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Kira Mack


15:30 - 07/09/11

Hiiiiiii earthquakes are really bad but its good that countries like Japan can have horrific earthquakes and still get back on track! AMAZING!!!




14:44 - 06/11/11

I think it's amazing how all countries that have earthquakes pull through. However, I think it's really sad that they loose so many lives. RIP earthquake victims. :(


Katty chins


14:35 - 23/04/13

Uhhh earthquakes!! It's so sad

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