© Debbie Roome
The Back View of Buildings on High St after Christchurch Earthquake 2011
A series of aftershocks woke a number of Christchurch residents in the early hours of Sunday 15th May, 2011.

Aftershocks continue to rattle Christchurch on a daily basis with 7 occurring between 4pm on the 14th May and 3pm on the 15th May. Some of these shocks relate to the 7.1 September 2010 earthquake and others to the 6.3 February 2011 earthquake.

Aftershocks on the 15th May 2011

According to the Geonet website, Christchurch was shaken by 3 large aftershocks between 1am and 3am on Sunday 15th May. The first was a 4.0 magnitude centered near Springston. This aftershock was close to the area of the September 2010 earthquake. The second and third aftershocks measured 4.6 and 4.0 and both were in the ocean off the East Coast. They were centered just over 20 kilometers from Cathedral Square in Christchurch central.

These aftershocks disturbed many people's sleep and Facebook comments reported that frightened children ran and climbed into bed with parents. Other people described the tremors as a good shake and shudder. One person said their windows rattled and there was also a comment about chairs on wheels moving.

Cera Warns Building Owners to Demolish in Christchurch Central

The inner city red zone of Christchurch is still cordoned off to the public with many buildings unstable and severely damaged. Every aftershock has the potential of causing further damage to these fragile structures. On Saturday 14th May, The Press headlines read, 'Cera warning: demolish or else'. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) is in charge of the rebuild and recovery operations in Christchurch and has given building owners a time frame of 10 days to report back to them with a demolition plan. Failing this, Cera will arrange for the demolition and pass the bill on to the owners. It is possible that as many as 900 buildings in Christchurch central will need to be brought down; a number of these have already been demolished.

Christchurch residents are still upset that they cannot get into town to see the damage for themselves. Civil Defence denied access to the CBD while the country was in a state of emergency and Cera says the area is still too dangerous for Christchurch people to enter. The Press reported on the 14th May that Marie Mayer, chairwoman of the NZ Association of Counselors, said that people need to see the city to be able to grieve for it. A call has been made to open up a walkway so people can walk through the ravaged city center and leave flowers or small items as an expression of their loss and sorrow.