Christchurch, New Zealand: Local companies and government agencies in Christchurch, New Zealand, formed an alliance to support the rebuild of Christchurch following February’s devastating earthquake. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) took over responsibility for the rebuild and has announced a strategic agreement it hopes will speed up the process. The Christchurch alliance includes CERA, Christchurch City Council, Fulton Hogan, Downer Construction, Fletcher Construction, MacDow New Zealand and City Care. They will report back in 120 days, where a formal agreement between all the parties will be finalised.
Meanwhile, teams of surveyors, scientists and pilots have been busy mapping the city post-quake to help identify areas of particular concern ahead of the rebuild. GNS scientists are using cutting edge technology which includes a special laser-imaging device, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, to produce 3D images of cliff faces and buildings.
Garth Archibald from GNS Science said the resulting images help to determine areas of potential collapse. “We take a scan and it gives a digital image in the computer and then we can come back later and take another scan and then we can compare those two scans together and we just look for changes from one to the other,” he said.
Far above the city, Civil Defence has commissioned a selection of aerial imaging producing high resolution photos which have been helping police and search and rescue since the quake. The photos are being combined with other aerial images to produce a more comprehensive bird’s eye view of the area.
One technique being used is known as LiDAR. It was used to map the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles. The NASA-developed technique also involves laser scanning, from an aircraft that peppers the ground with millions of pulses.