Econintersect: New Zealand’s construction code is one of the most comprehensive and stringent in the world but that didn’t prevent extensive damge, injurie and loss of lives. One of the problems was that many buildings in Christ Church, which was seriously damaged, were old, built before the current codes were enacted. Another problem was that the existence of the fault lines near Christ Church were not recognized until tremors hit last September.
New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, has said that at least 65 people have died after the 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch. The damage was much more extensive than might be expected for a tremor of this magnitude because the quake ocurred at a shallow depth, which magnified the movement at the surface. The quake last September was 7.1 magnitude but did not cause nearly the damage because it originated from a greater depth and the epicenter was further from away from the city.