Inside the Red Zone: 25 Devastating Government Photos of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake

Inside the Red Zone: 25 Devastating Government Photos of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake

On February 22, 2011, New Zealand's second-most populous city of Christchurch was hit with a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake, essentially leveling this lively city. Two years later, it still finds itself in a massive state of repair.

New Zealand lies directly on a number of fault lines, many of which run directly under major cities, like Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. Unfortunately, Christchurch has been the stage for a series of earthquakes and aftershocks over the years, like the 7.3 magnitude that struck on September 4, 2010. The one in February, though, put New Zealand in a state of national emergency, as it was the second largest natural disaster to ever hit the country.

As someone who called New Zealand my home for well over a year, I send my deepest condolences to all those affected by the Christchurch earthquake. It was, and is, a horrific tragedy.

Kia kaha.

Disclaimer: These photos were taken by government officials. I received express permission to publish them.

Fitzgerald Ave. Feb 23, 2011.

Fitzgerald Ave. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City - Cashel Mall - Rescue. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Cashel Mall – Rescue. Feb 22, 2011.

Aerial image of Wainoni Avon Loop Rowing Club. Feb 27, 2011.

Aerial image of Wainoni Avon Loop Rowing Club. Feb 27, 2011.

Central City - Madras St - Gloucester St - Charlie B's Backpackers. Feb 27, 2011.

Central City – Madras St – Gloucester St – Charlie B's Backpackers. Feb 27, 2011.

Central City - 241 Gloucester St - Hotel Stonehurst (Backpackers). Feb 27, 2011.

Central City – 241 Gloucester St – Hotel Stonehurst (Backpackers). Feb 27, 2011.

North New Brighton - Marine Parade - Residential Building Damage. Feb 23, 2011.

North New Brighton – Marine Parade – Residential Building Damage. Feb 23, 2011.

Dallington - River Rd. Feb 23, 2011.

Dallington – River Rd. Feb 23, 2011.

Aranui - Road Damage. Feb 23, 2011.

Aranui – Road Damage. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City - Kilmore St - Caledonian Hall. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City – Kilmore St – Caledonian Hall. Feb 23, 2011.

Smiths City Car Park - Dundas - Colombo St.

Smiths City Car Park – Dundas – Colombo St.

St Pauls Church. 236 Cashel Street

St Paul's Church. 236 Cashel Street.

Central City - Manchester St - High St. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Manchester St – High St. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - Cambridge Tce - PGC Building. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City – Cambridge Tce – PGC Building. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City - Barbadoes St - Catholic Basillica. Feb 23, 2011.

Central City – Barbadoes St – Catholic Basillica. Feb 23, 2011.

Bexley - Liquefaction - Flooding - Pages Rd - ANZAC Dr. Feb 22, 2011.

Bexley – Liquefaction – Flooding – Pages Rd – ANZAC Dr. Feb 22, 2011.

Aranui - Road Damage. Feb 22, 2011.

Aranui – Road Damage. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - Colombo St - Tuam St To Mollett St - Leopard Bus. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Colombo St – Tuam St To Mollett St – Leopard Bus. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - Colombo St - Kilmore St. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Colombo St – Kilmore St. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - CBD Skyline Moments After Quake. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – CBD Skyline Moments After Quake. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - Cathedral Square - Anglican Cathedral - Rescue. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Cathedral Square – Anglican Cathedral – Rescue. Feb 22, 2011.

3rd Mar - Central City - Lichfield St - Manchest St To Poplar Lane #02 - Internal

3rd Mar – Central City – Lichfield St – Manchest St To Poplar Lane #02 – Internal

Central City - Aerial (2 Hrs Post Quake) - Manchester St - Worcester St - Iconic, The Civic. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Aerial (2 Hrs Post Quake) – Manchester St – Worcester St – Iconic, The Civic. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City - Aerial (2 Hrs Post Quake) - Cambridge Tce - PGC. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Aerial (2 Hrs Post Quake) – Cambridge Tce – PGC. Feb 22, 2011.

Avonside - Avonside Dr - Holy Trinity Church. March 10, 2011.

Avonside – Avonside Dr – Holy Trinity Church. March 10, 2011.

Central City - Cambridge Tce - PGC Building. Feb 22, 2011.

Central City – Cambridge Tce – PGC Building. Feb 22, 2011.

To help rebuild Christchurch, you can donate to the New Zealand Red Cross.


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6 Responses to Inside the Red Zone: 25 Devastating Government Photos of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake

  1. The CounterIntuitive March 7, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    wow, great collection of photos Jeremy.

    it’s only when you see those images, do you realise how epic and event it was. i was there in january and even then, some of the buildings looked a sorry state. it feels like the city hasn’t even recovered by now too.

    • Jeremy Foster March 7, 2013 at 4:53 am #

      That was my reaction, too, Andonis. Having never visited Christchurch, it didn’t occur to me what a damaged city would actually look like. These photos really put things into perspective for me.

  2. D.J. - The World of Deej March 8, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Great story and touching photos. Hard to imagine the devastation.

    • Jeremy Foster March 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      It really is. It wasn’t until I was going through all these photos that the magnitude of the devastation actually hit me.

  3. Turtle May 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Great collection of photos that really show the damage!
    I flew in there the day after the quake because I was working for an Aussie TV station at the time and it was really unnerving to see all the destruction and feel the constant aftershocks!

    • Jeremy Foster May 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Thanks, Turtle! I can’t imagine being there in the wake of the destruction, never mind the day after the quake! Would have been quite a scene…

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