In 2010 and again in 2011, Christchurch was hit with major earthquakes. In 2011, two buildings collapsed completely, and 185 died, memorialized by 185 white chairs.
Buildings already employing isolation chambers in their foundations fared well, and more were employed afterward. Others sustained varying degrees of damage. Construction and reconstruction occupies every intersection.
Downtown businesses are temporarily housed in discarded shipping containers and moved around as reconstruction progresses.
A temporary "Cardboard Cathedral"--employing giant cardboard tubes in walls and roof--was erected to meet parishoner needs.
Hotels now advertise their seismic rating (see the bottom of the list in the billboard).
Pope and I have become fans of the free walking tours in cities around the workd, often conducted by students for tips only. We learned enough to skip the city and earthquake museums, and spent the afternoon instead at the Canterbury Museum and Botanical Gardens. I was fascinated with the Antartica exhibit, which includes artifacts from Scott's and Shackleton's attempts at the South Pole and video footage of the 2005 Antarctica Journey.
Outside, the big trees that serve as a touchstone for some Antarctica personnel still stand majestic, symbolizing endurance.
The rose garden and other botanical exhibits were in early fall bloom, symbolizing renewal and re-growth.