Two years on – Canterbury marks the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake

Canterbury people mark the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake today, with a midday service and other community events getting underway in Latimer Square. This area of the central business district was devastated by the 6.3-magnitude quake on 22 February 2011. Nearby, the Canterbury Television building (CTV) collapse resulted in the greatest single loss of life during the quake.

The civic service, which is co-hosted by Christchurch Cathedral, includes the laying of a wreath, readings and a minute’s silence at 12.51 pm, recalling the moment when the earthquake occurred.

The River of Flowers is expected to be a spectacular community event, with people invited to drop flowers into the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the estuary all through the day until 8 pm. People can leave messages on one of a number of Trees of Hope around the city and at the  Gap Filler-hosted space at the Pallet Pavilion near Victoria Square. Gap Filler’s aim is to bring people together to remember what has happened, but also to look towards the future and celebrate our resilience. No speeches, just cake, music and communityIn the evening, all the tables will be put together to form one long table to encourage people to come together on this day in the spirit of community. 

Speaking this morning on Radio New Zealand National, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee remains upbeat about Canterbury’s future, two years after the destruction which left thousands of homes and businesses in ruins, and 185 dead. The Minister said that despite widespread concern that there would be unemployment and economic decline in the aftermath of the earthquake, ‘none of that has come to fruition’ (Radio New Zealand Morning Report, 22 Feb 2013). He suggested that Canterbury was in fact, leading New Zealand’s economic recovery, with 16,000 jobs created in Canterbury in the past 12 months.

This short video is a raw (but we think, not insensitive) look at the destruction left by the earthquake event two years ago today. It was shot by Logan McMillan and begins 1 minute after the earthquake struck.

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