Jeremiah got this picture at work showing all the vacant lots where buildings have been taken down after the Feb 2011 earthquake. Fulton Hogan is a big construction company (or destruction, as the case may be), and the photo was taken from their corporate helicopter. Whole city blocks are gone, and you can actually make out the colorful container mall just to the right of the remaining tall buildings. There are residential neighborhoods that will look like this too, once the insurance is straightened out and the houses are demolished. I guess it’s easy to see why there’s lots of engineering (and construction work) to be done here. Anyone want an adventure? They’re hiring.
We’ve heard a few first-hand accounts of the earthquake, all the residents remember their particular details with clarity. What this photo doesn’t show is the “liquefaction” the earthquake caused and all the damage to the underground water and sewer systems. Huge sections of the city are built on old swamp, as is the case with many cities in the world. In these areas the silty soils acted like a mud pie in the quake, turning to liquid and allowing buildings and roads to sink while sewers floated. Residents have reactions that run the gamut from traumatized to humorous, and no doubt we’ll continue to hear their stories for years to come.