Surveying in Earthquake Zone


Early this year I had to opportunity to use my expertise in helping Christchurch recover from there disastrous quakes.

For 2 months (July – September) I worked on a range of jobs which included monitoring Christchurch’s Cashmere water reservoir for any major movement and asbuilt surveys of the entire Aranui suburb detailing all the water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure facilities.

Precise measurements were needed in order for the engineers to compute new pipe grades in what is a relatively flat city and 1mm accuracy was required to ensure any movement to Christchurch’s largest reservoir was significant or not.

The city can be described as a rather large construction site.

The suburb of Redwood where I stayed got away relatively unscathed – although there were cracks in all concrete features and bedroom doors would be difficult to open/close. Roads in the eastern part of Christchurch were shocking to say the least, with major cracks and potholes everywhere limiting speeds to 20kph. And it was and still is like a war zone along the Avon River where liquefaction caused major damage to services and properties.

It is not a pleasant place to be at the moment and with very little entertainment and a few large snow storms there would be a lot of people doing it tough.

My time in Christchurch gave me great engineering experience and was satisfying knowing I could help the recovery process.

Paul Harvey