Christchurch apartments to be demolished urgently

10:11 pm on 3 February 2012

An urgent demolition is being planned in Christchurch after authorities found critical structural damage to an apartment complex.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) says the damage to the Terrace on the Park apartments occurred in the quake on 23 December 2010 but has only just been discovered.

The authority's operations manager, Warwick Isaacs, says two six-storey buildings, out of six buildings on the site, are particularly badly damaged.

CERA says engineers inspecting the complex found uneven and hole-ridden walls, floors that had heaved upwards and steel from within walls that had shorn off.

It says because the complex was relatively new, built in 2000, it has taken this long for the triage system to reach it.

The authority says although the apartments were uninhabited after being yellow-stickered in previous quakes, residents in neighbouring apartments have had to be evacuated.

The affected buildings have been cordoned off.

CERA says the discovery sends a message to all property owners that they must keep rechecking their buildings after each fresh quake.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the discovery of new damage to an apartment block shows building owners must check their properties after each quake.