The Canterbury Plains in New Zealand experienced their first 2 major earthquakes in thousands of years. The second quake, at a magnitude of 6.5 was much more devastating then the first one, which shook in September of 2010 and was a magnitude 7.1. The difference between the two quakes was the location. The first quake occurred 40 kilometers West of Christchurch, whereas the epicenter of the second one was only 10 miles out of the city. The first quake occurred in farmland; life wasn’t threatened. The second one occurred in the city and many lives were lost.
One way to avoid many deaths is to educate people on building codes. Building codes make sure that buildings are built strong enough to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. New Zealand has high building codes, however, “many modern buildings were still damaged on Tuesday,” says Ingham, a seismologist who experienced the second quake. The quake was big enough to destroy any modern architecture. Sometimes disaster can’t be avoided.