One year since earthquake

It is one year since the 7.1 earthquake woke Christchurch people at 4.30am. Since that day, there have been three other big earthquakes which were much worse. Nobody died as a result of the earthquake on September 4th 2010. Many buildings were badly damaged but the 6.3 earthquake on February 22nd 2011 was much worse.

Now New Zealanders know that earthquakes can strike anywhere in the country. Nobody really expected Christchurch would experience a damaging earthquake but it happened and it can happen in other parts of the country at any time.

These last 12 months have been a shock for the whole country because of the amount of damage and the 181 people who died as a result of the February earthquake. The Earthquake Commission – EQC – had $6bn in insurance money which seemed like a lot of money but now we know that it is probably not going to be enough. EQC has been very busy assessing damage, arranging repairs and paying the people who have done the work. In their planning, they predicted a big earthquake in Wellington could damage 150,000 houses but so far in Christchurch there have been 383,500 claims for damage and only 60,000 claims have been paid. So far, EQC has paid $1.3bn

It will take many years before houses, shops, schools, offices, factories, sports facilities, entertainment facilities and other public buildings are rebuilt.

Listen to October 29th 2010 to hear more about EQC.

Note the adjectives: damaging earthquake (the active cause), damaged buildings (the effect). This is just the same as many other adjective pairs: an interesting movie (active cause), the audience is interested (effect)

Note present perfect tense for something that began a year ago and is still continuing. It is often used with “since”.

1. How is it possible for an organization like EQC to plan for an earthquake? Nobody expected four major earthquakes to happen in nine months.

2. Do you think other cities in New Zealand are now planning what they would do if they had an earthquake?

3. Do you think other people in New Zealand are now planning what they would do if they had an earthquake?

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