Aftershocks Worry South Trains


Continuing aftershocks in the Canterbury region are causing concern for moving trains.
All lines are now open and KiwiRail reports stable conditions overnight, but aftershocks are still a concern.
KiwiRail has completed an assessment of risks with assistance from seismologists and have placed speed restrictions on trains within the Ashburton/Lyttelton/Rangiora and Rolleston–Cass areas.
Three aftershocks of a magnitude greater than four occurred this morning - 4.5 magnitude at 0249 hours; 4.2 at 0614hours and 4.0 at 0649hours.
Civil defence say some people report that the magnitude 5.1 earthquake of yesterday morning at 0749 hours was more violent than the original earthquake but this is likely due to epicentre of the aftershock being located closer to Christchurch City.
Geonet advises that aftershocks will occur at gradually decreasing frequency and magnitude. The possibility of a large aftershock up to magnitude 6 remains though will also decrease in likelihood overtime.
Kiwi Rail indicate the only expensive repair to the rail network expected is at Kaiapoi. It is estimated repairs will not exceed $2 million.
But NZTA has re–estimated repair costs for the state highway network are in the order of $6–10 million.

No estimate is available yet for the cost of repairs to local roads.
All main urban arterials in Christchurch are open, except those in the CBD area (due to the threat from damaged buildings).

The last remaining Canterbury highway closed by last Saturday’s earthquake is on track to open tomorrow night.

State Highway 74, a key route into the Port of Lyttelton has been closed for six days while road foundations damaged by the quake have been repaired.

NZTA’s North Canterbury area manager Barry Stratton says the work has gone well and the highway is expected to open tomorrow night, although the section of highway between Bridge Street and Metro Place will remain closed to allow the Christchurch City Council to replace a quake damaged water pipe under the highway that services the city’s sewage treatment plant.

It is not known how long this work will take to complete. The detour route for this section of highway will be via Breezes, Cuthberts and Maces roads.

Mr Stratton says the Chaney’s Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch is still on track to re-open by Saturday night.

State Highway 77 in Mid Canterbury is open with a two kilometre signposted detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy, where there is substantial subsidence in the road. This detour will remain in place for some time with permanent repairs to commence next week.

Local roads are being surveyed by the respective City and District Councils. Flooding, failures and major cracking in roads is causing some road closures or restrictions, but these are isolated and detours are available. Bridges and roads are being repaired throughout the affected area. No estimated of repair costs is available for Christchurch City or Waimakariri District, but Selwyn District estimates the likely cost of roading repairs to be between $2 – $3 million. A more accurate picture of costs is expected in the next four weeks.

NZTA advises essential travel only in Christchurch and Canterbury region.





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