Businesses coped well with quake, survey shows

4:11 pm on 17 January 2011

Businesses have withstood the Canterbury earthquake in September well, preliminary results from a university study show.

A survey of almost 279 organisations shows 92% have not made any staff redundant and a quarter have hired more people following the 7.1-magnitude quake on 4 September.

Researchers at Canterbury University say strong buildings, good relationships with staff, available cash and the quick re-establishment of services including water and electricity were the key factors which lessened the impact of the quake.

They say the study shows the biggest problem for organisations was not physical damage to their building, but damage to neighbouring structures and disruption of electricity.

Co-leader of the study John Vargo says disasters are becoming more common and the study is intended to help governments and business plan for future disasters.

Dr Vargo says the group will continue to gather data and will do more in-depth analysis when the survey is complete.