Rebuilding Christchurch

It will be some time before we know how badly damaged the CBD is. One report said one third of the CBD will have to be demolished. Another report said 800 buildings in the CBD have red stickers. A green sticker on the door means the building is OK, a yellow sticker means the building needs to be repaired before it is safe to enter and a red sticker means it is badly damaged and probably will have to be demolished.

Buildings that are a danger to people in them or to people walking by, must be repaired or demolished before the cordon can be removed from the CBD. This could take six months.

Before the first earthquake, Christchurch had many historic buildings: the Cathedral in the Square, the Catholic Cathedral, the Arts Centre (which used to be the university), the museum, the Provincial Chambers, the old library and many beautiful churches. The museum is the only one of these buildings with a green sticker. Some of these old buildings are so badly damaged they cannot be saved. Local people feel very sad about this.

After the cordon is lifted, the slow process of rebuilding the CBD will begin. Architects and planners are already talking about what the new city should look like. There will be many arguments because Christchurch people like to give their opinions.

The Prime Minister said it could take years, maybe 15 years, to rebuild the CBD. The cost could be more than $10bn.

Note the word order in the first sentence “we know how badly damaged the CBD is.” After words like “wonder”, “think” or “know” we reverse the question order. e.g. “I wonder how he is.” “I’m not sure where she lives.” “She didn’t think what she was doing”. Can you make similar sentences with “wonder” or “don’t know”?

“Some of these old buildings are so badly damaged (that) they cannot be saved.” Note that we often leave out “that”. This structure is used for a result. The grammar is: so + adjective (that) … e.g. “The roller coaster was so fast that I felt sick.” Can you make your own sentences using so + adjective?


  1. here are two sentences:

    I was so tired after the game that I couldn’t stay up till dinner.

    It is midnight I wonder where he has gone.

  2. You did an excellent job !!
    I love your reading very much.
    Thank you very much for reading the news to the ESOL learners.

Leave a Reply