Risk of death 'high' in some parts of Port Hills

2:48 pm on 15 October 2012

A geotechnical expert who analysed the risk of death associated with properties in the Port Hills of Christchurch after the earthquakes says it was 100 times higher in some areas than the risk of dying in a car crash.

Canterbury University held seminars on the risks of cliff collapse and rockfall over the weekend.

GNS Science engineering geologist Chris Massey said one example is a cliff in the suburb of Sumner which has several houses hanging over its edge.

In the area beneath the cliff, Dr Massey said there is a one in 100 risk of death within a year compared with a one in 10,000 chance per year of dying in a car crash.

Dr Massey also said homes have now been built in some areas affected by the Napier and Inangahua earthquakes and he believes parts of New Zealand are unsuitable for building.