Remembering the earthquake

Today, we remembered the terrible earthquake in Christchurch two years ago. It killed 185 people and injured many more.

Last year’s memorial service was held in Hagley Park, the place where so many people gathered, waiting for news after the earthquake. Listen to February 22nd 2012 to hear about this service.

This year’s memorial service was held in Latimer Square which is a big area of grass. This is very close to the CTV building where 115 people lost their lives. Latimer Square was also the place where USAR teams set up their headquarters. Doctors and nurses also worked in Latimer Square, treating injured people.

Today a large crowd of people gathered together in Latimer Square from midday, for a service to remember the earthquake. The Prime Minister spoke about the grief that families still feel today. At 12.51pm, the time of the earthquake, there was silence for one minute while people remembered those who died that day. It was a very emotional time.

For the first time, there was no fence around the site of the CTV building. People brought flowers to that empty site today. There were flowers in the top of road cones and some people threw flowers in the Avon River to remember this sad day.


• memorial service – like a church service to remember the dead
• gathered – met together
• CTV – Canterbury Television
• USAR – Urban Search and Rescue (urban = city)
• headquarters – the centre of their work
• treat – doing something to help
• grief – great sadness
• emotional time – some people cried, others felt very sad
• site – the land
• road cones – red and white cones (like large upside-down ice-cream cones) where there are road works


• kill – transitive verb – needs an object e.g. X killed Y; often used in the passive e.g. Y was killed (by X)
• die – intransitive verb – no object e.g. Y died.

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