Earthquake Remembrance

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the terrible earthquake in Christchurch on 22nd February 2011. It killed 185 people. A service will be held in Hagley Park at noon tomorrow, Sunday, with 1 minute silence at 12.51pm, the time of the earthquake. People are invited to float flowers down the Avon River after that.

Six designs for a permanent memorial are now available for people to consider. One of these will be chosen and will be on an island in the Avon River.

Meanwhile, re-building the city is slow but perhaps that is not surprising because there was so much damage and so many dangerous buildings. There have been 1240 demolitions in the city centre and there are still a few more buildings waiting to be demolished, like the 8-storey police building. Only 110 new buildings have been completed but the central city now is full of cranes, steel framework and other signs of new building. High fences surround most building sites. They are not attractive. Tourists say they are amazed at the amount of damage. Almost the whole city centre has gone.

In the residential red zone, more than half of the 8,000 houses have been demolished and grass planted in their place. One day, this could be park land.

Christchurch is still a broken city with thousands of fences and road cones, closing roads or lanes, while underground pipes are replaced and bridges are repaired or rebuilt. However, it should be a very different city by 22nd February 2016.


• memorial (n) – a structure to remember the people who died
• demolition (n), demolish (v) – pull down a building
• cranes (n) – they lift heavy steel framework


1. Note the use of present perfect tense to show an action which was begun in the past and continues until now. E.g. There have been 1240 demolitions.

2. Passive e.g. have been demolished; are invited; are replaced; will be chosen – shows the action is more important than the person who performed the action.

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