n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Christchurch earthquakes : a South African perspective two years on : geotechnical engineering




Aurecon Ground Engineering Cape Town is currently assisting Aurecon Ground Engineering Christchurch New Zealand with individual geotechnical reports for damaged homes as a result of the recent sequence of earthquakes and aftershocks that have affected the South Island's largest city (population about 450 000). These reports are part of the insurance process. The author visited the city in January 2013 to gain a better understanding of the Christchurch geology and geomorphology in terms of the inputs into the geotechnical reports, and at the same time to observe first-hand the effects of the earthquakes on the city as a whole. South Africans are not commonly directly exposed to ground shaking and the devastating effects thereof, apart from low-magnitude ground shakes related to mine-induced seismicity from time to time. The widespread accessibility of various forms of media these days does of course give us an inkling of the effects of such disasters.


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