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#218472 - 03/06/11 01:15 AM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: Brangdon]
sealander Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 15
Loc: New Zealand
Brangdon, we didn't actually use up all our stored water. The issue was that since we didn't know where we were going to get more from for the first 4 days, I was trying to keep a tight rein on how much we went through. After 4 days there was a water tanker in our part of town, and I think after 5 days we had very low pressure mains water (both sources have to be boiled). After 6 days there was a supermarket open that we could get to on foot.

I store 3 liters of water per person for 3 days. Usually there are 3 people in the household, plus currently 11 chickens, 3 chicks, and 1 cat. So we have around 27 liters of water stored, probably more like 30 as the bottles are not all the same size. Plus 4 or 5 liters of fruit juice and a couple of liters of long life milk in cartons.

We used the water for drinking, and for making hot drinks. I think everyone was suffering from mild shock the first day or so, and being able to have something hot is very comforting. We also keep water with disinfectant in a bowl which is used for handwashing. It gets changed every couple of days. We use hand sanitiser as well, but if your hands are actually dirty you need to be able to get the dirt off before you sanitise them. Due to soil liquefaction sewage contamintated silt is blowing everywhere and gets into everything.

Once we could go refill bottles at the tanker, we started using water for occasional dish washing, hand washing a few clothes and a little for cooking (washing vegetables from the garden, and in a steamer).

It was the chickens that I'd failed to plan adequately for - I have a bunch of young ones that I was raising to sell, so there are several separate pens. Anyone who has ever kept chickens will know it is pretty difficult to find a way to provide them with water that they don't manage to foul (I swear some of them just like washing their feet or something) I've tried numerous purpose made water dispensers and in the end I just gave up and use open containers that are changed every day. I was relying on a small rain barrel to provide extra water for them, but I hadn't checked it recently. It turned out that the tap was slowly leaking, so there wasn't much water for them. I did collect a bucketful of rain water one day when it rained so that helped.

So, we certainly haven't seen the last of the quakes (a shallow 4.8 jolt just last night). The seismologists say that even when things have settled down, we can still expect one in the 4-5 magnitude range every month on average for at least a year.

I will continue to make additional preparations as finances permit, but I've held off on installing rain barrels on the house as the place already needed repairs from damage in the September quake, and now more extensive repairs will be needed as the foundations are damaged. Due to the enormous number of claimants, the public insurance scheme that covers us for earthquake damage moves exceedingly slowly.

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#218498 - 03/06/11 03:47 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: sealander]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Thanks. It sounds like a matter of never having too much water. That plus the animals.
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#218549 - 03/07/11 03:30 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: scrounger]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
The liquefaction phenomenon in the Christchurch quake was astounding. They're now looking at being unable to rebuild 10,000 homes in their current location.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710770

Christchurch areas to be abandoned
8:22 PM Monday Mar 7, 2011


"The liquefaction damage from the second earthquake is so great, and the land damage, the early indications are, that it is so significant we can't remediate it in any timeframe."



http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710570

Mr Blackler said one neighbour who had left had told him he ran out to the driveway when the quake hit.

"He saw cracks appear and then the stomach of the ground gurgled and everything came gushing out."




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#218550 - 03/07/11 03:44 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: scrounger]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
The world's focus moves on but disaster victims' nightmare lingers or even worsens:


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/christchurch-e...jectid=10710587


Christchurch earthquake: New living hell
By David Fisher
5:30 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011


...no time could be set for restoration of water and sewerage, as the huge amount of damage underground was thwarting repair efforts.

...St Heliers Cres resident Kevin Guy said the lack of toilets and housing threatened to send the disaster out of control. "People will die of this."

He said elderly residents in his street tried to go to the toilet outside in yesterday morning's rain.

"I live near a woman in her 70s who broke down crying, too embarrassed to go to the toilet in a bucket."





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#218551 - 03/07/11 04:10 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: Dagny]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
There are always solutions to these issues such as the tree bog and the composting toilet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composting_toilet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_bog





Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (03/07/11 04:14 PM)

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#218554 - 03/07/11 05:30 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
There are always solutions to these issues such as the tree bog and the composting toilet.


In theory, maybe. I wonder if it's that simple in practice. The hurdles to getting these things up-and-running today, for this many people, are substantial.

To my mind, the density of people in an urban area makes it unlikely that the available soil and trees handle the nutrient load. Cities, by definition, remove most of this capability in their construction.

The combination of soil liquefaction with its drainage issues, plus additional rain, start to raise public health risks.

The other wild card is access to the necessary resources. Cities, again, do not have masses of raw materials at hand. Straw, sawdust, wood chips, peat, charcoal, etc. -- these are needed to make composting systems work.

I think they'll end up with big collection bins for plastic garbage bags of human waste. That's what can be done in short order.

(BTW, thanks to the link to the tree bog. I hadn't heard that term. I guess my modified outhouse is half composting toilet and half tree bog. Next step is the wind turbine vent system, supplemented by a thermal wall.)

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#218563 - 03/07/11 07:31 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: scrounger]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Interesting satellite map (found link on boingboing.net) showing land lifts and drops as a result of the Christchurch earthquake:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12668190


EDIT: Also, evidence that our Kiwi friends have not entirely lost their sense of humour: "An enterprising fellow in Christchurch is auctioning off the 25-tonne boulder that destroyed his building as a "landscape feature" with proceeds going to the ChCh Earthquake Relief Fund." I'd put in a bid, but postage is a worry ...

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/05/christchurchian-auct.html


Edited by dougwalkabout (03/07/11 07:44 PM)

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#218566 - 03/07/11 07:42 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: Dagny]
sealander Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 15
Loc: New Zealand
To undertake what they call land remediation prior to rebuildings house, I believe they have to heavily compact the ground with pile drivers, among other things. It's a lot more expensive than building a house in the regular way, and since many of the eastern suburbs have been severely affected by liquefaction twice in 6 months now, there's no guarantee it won't happen again. And as for the sewer and water pipes, and underground power cables, the entire infrastructure gets badly damaged every time the soil liquefys.

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#218569 - 03/07/11 07:59 PM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: dougwalkabout]
sealander Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 15
Loc: New Zealand
Those folk who actually have a backyard where they could bury their waste found that in areas of severe soil liquefaction that any hole you dug tended to fill at once with water. Also the yard may well be buried under a foot or two of contaminated silt.
As for building a composting toilet, note that:
a) If you didn't already possess the necessary materials, you had no chance to obtain them, as the majority of stores in the city were not open for several days following the quake. A great many of them will never be open again, at least in their original locations.
b) Once there were stores open, most of those able to get up and running quickly were on the west side of town. Access to and from the eastern suburbs ranges from difficult to downright impassable, and coupled with very heavy traffic, it's not unusual for journeys across town to take many hours.
c) Not wanting to stereotype these things, but the eastside is something of a lower socioeconomic zone. People there are less likely to possess personal transport. Limited bus services have only just gotten going again.

I've noted when using a bucket or hole in the ground myself that it may be okay for the young and able bodied, but your grandma is going to do far better with something she can sit on, and preferably not a portaloo 2 blocks down the street when she is in a hurry. Portable chemical toilets are now being distributed, which should help relieve the situation. Part of the delay in getting enough portaloos out seems to be due to the fact that they've had to import a pile of them - I guess there just weren't enough in the whole country.

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#218582 - 03/08/11 12:29 AM Re: New Zealand : 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch. [Re: scrounger]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC

Unique account: this fellow was on a surfboard near the epicentre.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12578016

He was surfing at the time the quake hit. "All of a sudden I got this jerking feeling. I thought a shark was biting my board. I honestly thought I was being attacked by a shark," he said.

"I turned around and there was no shark there. But the water started doing these bizarre patterns. There was a change in air pressure. Up and down motions, and then I looked at Sumner and all the cliffs were falling down."

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