Drone assesses Christchurch Cathedral earthquake damage

By Jayson Rhodes
Posted Jul 7, 2016

[Anglican Communion News Service] A drone has been used got get up to date information about the damage to the interior of New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral. The cathedral suffered extensive damage in the February 2011 earthquake. On-going aftershocks are causing more masonry to fall down, some weighting up to half a tonne.

The building is too dangerous for engineers to be inside to assess its condition. Engineers say there is no part of the building with any structural integrity.

The drone footage, recorded in May, was able to show that further damage occurred during February and March earthquakes this year to the building. Markers are also being used on the outside of the Cathedral to measure any movement from seismic activity.

The diocese has faced ongoing court action for more than three years from campaigners wanting the cathedral to be fully restored with a cost estimated to be about $105 million New Zealand Dollars (approximately £585 million GBP). In an effort to bring about progress the New Zealand Government and the Church Property Trustees have jointly appointed a working party to consider options and present a final report to the Crown and the Church Property Trustees in early December this year.

“I believe in the foreseeable future we will again have a cathedral in the square,” Bishop of Christchurch Victoria Matthews said. “It won’t be easy but it is possible. We know its current state, what I am not able to say today is what that inspiring cathedral will look like.”