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New earthquake resource reveals personal accounts

Compelling personal accounts from Christchurch locals who experienced the 22 February 2011 earthquake feature in a new online resource published on NZHistory.

The publication coincides with the fifth anniversary of the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake and documents the devastating moments of the event and its immediate aftermath and impact.

Dust clouds above central Christchurch, 22 February 2011. Credit: Gillian Needham,

Compiled by Imelda Bargas, a senior historian at Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, it provides an overview of the events that took place on 22 February 2011 alongside personal accounts drawn from the QuakeStories project, an online resource capturing people’s memories of recent earthquakes in New Zealand.

“The personal recollections shared through QuakeStories provide a unique insight into how people experienced the February 2011 earthquake.

“Everyone’s experiences varied, so it’s an important way of capturing local, personal stories while depicting a recent event that has had an enormous impact on many people’s lives around New Zealand and indeed the world,” says Imelda.

The feature can be viewed at

452 stories have been submitted to QuakeStories, to date, but the project team are keen to receive more. To record your own experience of the Canterbury earthquakes, visit

The new feature on NZHistory builds on information recently published on the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and information published on Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Both websites are produced by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Updated on 16th March 2016