New Zealand Earthquake: Luck and Money Prevail

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s second largest city on Saturday, causing widespread terror and millions of dollars in damage, but few casualties. A similar quake that struck Haiti this year killed 230,000; so far there have been no deaths and just a few serious injuries reported in New Zealand. Aftershocks are causing further destruction and fear, and a curfew was imposed for Saturday night.

Is the low injury rate a miracle? It’s more a combination of luck and planning.  The New Zealand quake struck in the middle of the night and the country is far less densely populated, so casualties were minimized.  But the clincher is that New Zealand is a far wealthier nation, with strict building codes and good infrastructure.  Once again we see how the poorest people of the world suffer the most in the face of both manmade and natural disasters.

This report shows the damage done to the town (forgive the dreadful opening ad):

Meanwhile in Haiti, the rebuilding efforts have been painfully slow, hampered by weak leadership, the overwhelming scale of the destruction, and the ineffective distribution of the aid that has been pledged, much of which has not yet been received.

Photo: Damage that could have been so much worse
Still from CBS video via Youtube


C. G.
C. G7 years ago


Ruth R.
Ruth R7 years ago

Thank You.

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Thanks for pointing out some interesting facts

Joy Wong
Joy W7 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Karen C.
Karen C7 years ago

How sad that Haiti continues to struggle to rebuild. I'm grateful that no deaths occured in New Zealand.

Tracie C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Furthermore Nancy, it ISN'T just the Christchurch township that was affected by the earthquake last Saturday morning but all the surrounding districts too. Damage is running into the MILLIONS of dollars of which my sparsely populated country WILL fund but MORE WORRYING is the psychological effects on the people as they continue to experience LARGE and FREQUENT aftershocks which is hampering efforts and causing more structural AND environmental damage. There isn't a single New-Zealander here that hasn't been affected by this quake and your poorly researched and assumptive article and opinions are EXTREMELY offensive and HURTFUL to me and my people.

Tracie C.
Past Member 7 years ago

I'm from Nelson, New-Zealand. While I feel for the Haiti earthquake victims, a Nelsonian lost much of her family in Haitian quake and has been heavily supported by Nelson locals.
I think your article is unfair, offensive, poorly researched and certainly biased against the folk in Christchurch, New-Zealand. I'm DEEPLY OFFENDED with the article author's lack of research into the after-effects, the assumptions made and her audacity with using her assumptions and inaccuracies about the Christchurch NZ earthquake to further demoralise quake victims in order to push her own political agenda, CRUELLY UNFAIR!
A lot of the reason why there were no deaths in the NZ quake is partially due to our low population, 4.5 million people throughout the entire country AND the quake hit at 4:35am, when the VAST MAJORITY of people were asleep. . We also aware that our country is earthquake 'prone,' and our building codes strictly reflect and enforce this. But are the people of Christchurch NZ suffering?...Take your biased blinkers off Nancy Roberts and you will see that, YES! They VERY MUCH ARE! And I see Nancy, you've managed to victimise one Kiwi quake survivor with your biased and poorly research ASSUMPTIONS that she's pulled her Care2 account.
You ought to feel ashamed of yourself using other people's misery to peddle your own INACCURATE assumptions Nancy Roberts!

Allan Y.
.7 years ago

Haiti's problem has always been a politically corrupt country. If we only knew where a lot of the rescue funding has been going we'd be shocked. Have you ever seen in the news anything positive in the way of rebuilding that country?

Stuart A.
Stuart A.7 years ago

Helen Allard ''God bless the people for their codes''???? What is that supposed to mean? That God does not bless the people who don't have building codes! Then Phylina Goh says 'prayer prayer prayer' what is it with you religous nuts? If there is a God he has got to be a pretty selective one, if you have got building codes your luck is in, if not then he says 'f**k you'! And I suppose that on the occasions a church has been full of people praying and it has collapsed in an earthquake, or someone torched it, or it took a direct hit from a dropped bomb, then he just happens to have a pretty sick sense of humour. Or of course maybe he has got a bad drink and drug problem and if you do your praying when he is on a bender then you s**t out of luck!
Really, how naive do you have to be to believe that prayer ever did anything?

Philyna Goh
Philyna Goh7 years ago

prayers prayers and more prayers...while we can all do our part in donations, being more green and etc...

most importantly, i truly believe that we must all put in the extra effort to pray as much as we can for the world today.