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Christchurch earthquake anniversary: ​​11 years later


This year is the first without an official event to commemorate the deadly Christchurch earthquake, due to Covid-19 restrictions and the Omicron outbreak.

185 people were killed in a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in 2011.

Tuesday’s commemoration featured unofficial events and pre-recorded tributes by Christchurch City Council which were posted online.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the quake was on Tuesday, so the 2022 anniversary was “a touching reminder of what was a devastating event”.

The Christchurch City Council tribute was launched online at 12:51pm to avoid crowds gathering due to Covid restrictions.

Find the epilogue

Eleven years later, some family members of those who died in the earthquake are still searching for answers.

Maysoon Abbas, wife of Maan al-Qaisi, died in the CTV building along with 114 others.

He is fighting to hold someone accountable, with criminal charges ruled out and the New Zealand Engineering investigation still ongoing.

Police said they would not stand trial, but recommended that manslaughter charges be brought against the building’s architects in a 2017 report to Crown Counsel.

“There is bitterness that even after 11 years there is no closure … so you feel that it is still an open wound that has not healed yet,” Al-Qaisi said.

Some homeowners still grapple with precarious insurance claims, including former city councilman Sue Wells.

“I can’t go any further, and for me every day is the twenty-second of February,” Wells said.

Of the more than half a million insurance claims, more than 1,150 homeowners still deal with EQC or their insurers — most of which are reopened cases. More than 100 of them are in dispute.




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