Christchurch Earthquake Visualizations

[NOTE: If you are looking for information on the quake on 22-February-2011, please read this post.]
By now you’ve likely heard about the earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand over the weekend. While there have been no deaths reported, the magnitude 7.1 earthquake has caused quite a lot of damage.
GEB reader Kelvin sent us a file that is a great visualization of the quakes, with data from the GNS Science and their GeoNet website.


You can view the data by simply downloading this KMZ file and then clicking the [play] button in the upper-left corner. If you find any other Google Earth resources related to the New Zealand earthquake, please let a comment and let us know.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. It’s not NZ related, but there’s a new version of Google Earth released version

  2. Lanthanide says:

    Here’s another time-lapse map, a bit jerky in the animation though.

  3. Thank you, very useful visualization

  4. I was in Christchurch just before the earthquake preaching the importance for an emergency network and Tsunami alert system. Christchurch was last destroyed in 1960 from another Chilean earthquake.
    Christchurch is a beautiful city, as is all of NZ. I hope they rebound quickly.
    Bobby Vassallo

  5. brian drummond says:

    Bobby Vassallo,absolute nonsense. Christchurch was not destroyed by a Chilean earthquake in 1960.
    What do you mean “another Chilean earthquake” .the recent quake was centered directly below the city.
    Where do people get their information from ? Oh,by the way,I live in Christchurch and I was here in 1960. Bye bye Bobby. More research please!

  6. @Bobby – what an utterly stupid statement. How on earth would Christchurch be affected by a Chilean earthquake?

  7. @Bobby – what an utterly stupid statement. How on earth would Christchurch be affected by a Chilean earthquake?

  8. Just for the record: It is correct that Christchurch was not destroyed by an earthquake in 1960. However, in May of that year, Lyttelton did suffer damge, along with other east coast ports from the large Chilean quake. Same again in 1968 when an eight metre tsunami cross the Pacific and caused damage.

  9. Brian and Ryan, Chilean earthquakes kick off tsunamis, as they did this past year and also in 1960. Christchurch’s low-lying areas suffered flooding and destruction in 1960, not from an NZ quake, but a Chilean one which threw a tsunami at Christchurch. It took a decade to get your city rebuilt, I’m told. Mainly because cost of materials went through the roof. If you live there, you should know that.
    Know this. I was in Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin consulting on Tsunami Alert Systems; networks that double as an emergency network, since phones, internet, power and all fail, generally. Christchurch had no interest, some in Wellington, and Dunedin held the only true interest.
    Remember that the butterfly flapping its wings can be a threat, just like a Chilean earthquake. We are all connected.
    I am very sorry for the destruction in Christchurch; a most beautiful city. The loss of life is staggering and much work needs to be done. Just like Mexico City, Christchurch is built on a riverbed. A quake over 5.0 is going to be a killer if located near the city and somewhat shallow and close to the surface. How on Earth? Now you know.

  10. I felt exactly the same when I watched last weeks events unfold. Helpless. I felt very restless and even lost sleep over it. I decided that I wanted to go down and help out – so I bought a plane ticket and spent the weekend their.
    I am so glad I went. What you see on the tele does not reflect what is going on at Ground Zero.
    Slowly but surely as the public interest for the CBD wanes the media are going out to the suburbs where alot of suffering is happening. (I know I was their)
    People just don’t know what they’re are going to do day to day. Christchurch has been badly beaten.
    Here’s how we can all help without feeling helpless.
    1) Donate blood – especially plasma and platelets
    2) Donate a modest sum to Red Cross.
    3) Pray on there behalf.
    4) Align yourself with a local movement that is helping with the earth quake.
    5) Find just one person down their that you can help. You can’t help everyone but you can help someone.

  11. Full of crap Bob. As a consultant you would think you would know the facts. Christchurch did not get destroyed by a tsunami nor was it hit by one. I think my mother would know as she lived across the road from the beach. Lol I thought a consultant would only deal in facts..More like a wannabe

  12. melissa kazmaier says:

    ok i see we have a war on our hands here. christchurch is a wonderful place to be so is the rest of new zeland

  13. Yes ChristChurch is such a wonderful place… many different people living peacefully in that place … prayers will be a great help for the people that died on that tragedy …

  14. Wow, this was such a shame, such a beautiful city!

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