Good morning from a sunny Hastings.
I love this challenge byLens and Pens by Sally as it makes me use my phone a bit more, not just as a source of music when out walking. I had corrupted my memory card so I had to use the phone the other day. It is hard to go for a walk anyway without a camera. I have itchy fingers and get frustrated when I see something interesting. I drive my family nuts. At least I have my iPhone 4S on me.
Anyway as usual I digress. I thought about this challenge while out walking and decided to take some images of these houses just down our street. Our house was also built at the same time – the 1920’s. What makes these houses so interesting is that they survived a big earthquake in 1931.
Here is what they say in Wikipedia. (They say it better than I can.)
The 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, occurred in New Zealand at 10:47 am on Tuesday 3 February 1931, killing 256 and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region. It remains New Zealand’s deadliest natural disaster. Centred 15 km north of Napier, it lasted for two and a half minutes and measured magnitude 7.8 Ms (magnitude 7.9Mw). There were 525 aftershocks recorded in the following two weeks. The main shock could be felt in much of the southern half of the North Island.
Nearly all buildings in the central areas of Napier and Hastings were levelled (The Dominion noted that “Napier as a town has been wiped off the map”) and the death toll included 161 people in Napier, 93 in Hastings, and two in Wairoa. Thousands more were injured, with over 400 hospitalised.
The local landscape changed dramatically, with the coastal areas around Napier being lifted by around two metres. The most noticeable land change was the uplifting of some 40 km² of sea-bed to become dry land. This included Ahuriri Lagoon, which was lifted more than 2.7 metres and resulted in draining 2230 hectares of the lagoon. Today, this area is the location ofHawkes Bay Airport, housing and industrial developments and farmland.
Within minutes fires broke out in chemist shops in Hastings Street, Napier. The fire brigade almost had the first fire under control when the second broke out in a shop at the back of the Masonic Hotel. The hotel was quickly engulfed in flames. The wind at this point also picked up strength and began blowing from the east, pushing the fires back over the city. With water mains broken the brigade was unable to save many buildings. Pumping water from Clive Square they were able to stop the fires spreading south. Only a few buildings in the central Napier area survived. Some withstood the earthquake only to be gutted by fire. Trapped people had to be left to burn as people were unable to free them in time. By Wednesday morning the main fires were out but the ruins still smouldered for several days.
In Hastings, the fires were quickly brought under control.
The death toll might have been much higher had the Royal Navy ship HMS Veronica not been in port at the time. Within minutes of the shock the Veronica had sent radio messages asking for help. The sailors joined survivors to fight the fires, rescue trapped people and help give them medical treatment. The Veronica’s radio was used to transmit news of the disaster to the outside world and to seek assistance. The crew from two cargo ships, the Northumberland and Taranaki, also joined the rescue works, while two cruisers, HMS Diomede and HMS Dunedin, were dispatched from Auckland that afternoon with food, tents, medicine, blankets, and a team of doctors and nurses. The cruisers sailed at high speed overnight, arrived on 4 February and provided valuable assistance in all areas until their departure on 11 February.
A group of prisoners working at Bluff Hill in Napier had four of their number buried in a landslip by the quake. The remaining prisoners dug them out, but two had been killed. The prisoners re-assembled without any attempt to escape and were locked up in the Napier Jail. In Taradale, Mission Estate missionaries accommodation block had been built and opened in February 1931. The next day the Hawke’s Bay earthquake struck, causing serious damage to the entire Mission. Two priests and seven students were killed when the stone chapel was destroyed. In Havelock North, St Luke’s church was damaged (but not destroyed) just before a wedding was due to take place. The couple got married later in the day, but outdoors.
Within four days of the quake, cinemas around New Zealand offered news specials about the disaster.
Another casualty of the earthquake was the Napier trams. The tracks were twisted by the earthquake, and were never restored.
New Zealand’s first commercial air disaster occurred six days after the quake, when a Dominion Airlines Desoutter monoplane crashed near Wairoa. The small airline had been making three return trips a day between Hastings and Gisborne, carrying passengers and supplies. All three on board were killed.
The Napier Daily Telegraph had recently celebrated its diamond jubilee with an article describing Napier as “the Nice of the Pacific”. The newspaper office was destroyed by the quake. The Hawke’s Bay Herald offices in Hastings were also destroyed.
It is still possible to see the original path of the earthquake from Napier Prison.
The rebuild of both Hastings and Napier were carried out in the Art Deco style which I love. Every year in February we have the Art Deco Festival with Great Gatsby picnics, cabarets, vintage car parades and other activities. We all dress up in Art Deco costume which is so lovely to see such colour. The atmosphere is just brilliant. So much fun.
We do still get earthquakes but thankfully nothing as bad as this one.
I used FX Photostudio Pro for the post editing. I thought the sketch filter suited the images and gave a more timeless look to them.
Sorry about the history lesson – this is for lady sighs.
Thank you for visiting and have a nice day for the last one of this year.