Council buildings checked for quake damage

5:05 pm on 4 January 2012

Christchurch City Council offices are to remain closed because of damage suffered in a series of aftershocks over the holiday period.

On Monday, Christchurch was rattled by 32 tremors of more than magnitude 3, including one of 5.5, and after any quake of magnitude 5 or more, a building must be closed and safety checks carried out.

The offices need only minor repairs and it is hoped the building can be re-opened on Tuesday 10 January.

Staff are working at temporary offices on Tuam Street in the meantime.

In the wake of the series of tremors, council engineers have checked dozens of buildings, including libraries, swimming pools and council housing.

Most of the libraries that were open prior to the 23 December quake that triggered the latest round of aftershocks re-opened on Wednesday, with the exception of Diamond Harbour library, which is expected to open on Thursday 5 January.

Camping grounds and pools and leisure facilities have also re-opened.

The council expects the Christchurch Art Gallery, including its gift shop, will have to remain closed until the nearby gallery apartments have been checked.

HSBC House on Worcester Street, which houses the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, is still to be re-assesed and access is restricted to staff only.

Some 6600 claims have been lodged with the Earthquake Commission since 23 December this year when several large aftershocks of more than magnitude 5 shook the city.