On the 14th of November, 2016, a massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the Kaikoura area. Two casualties have been reported and the devastation caused is beyond comprehension. Ruptures have occurred on multiple fault lines (at least ten at this stage)
We grabbed our bags and bikes and caught a flight to Christchurch. My friend Geoff picked us up and we headed North to the small town of Oaro.
Damage to State Highway One is widespread
The Oaro Bridge has been uplifted by more than a meter.
Train tracks bent and buckled near Oaro
From here, the road was impassable due to massive landslips covering the road and train line, so we jumped on our bikes and went exploring.
We experienced multiple after shocks, including one that triggered a large landslip right in front of us.
One of the many train tunnels completely blocked by a massive landslip.
These rocks have been thrusted out of the ocean (in parts by more than 5 metres). Kelp and fish are dead everywhere.
Kaikoura is completely cut off from both ends and is a ghost town.
The area North is even worse. Large boulders the size of cars are everywhere. This will take years to clear.
We took a chopper back to Oaro before returning to Auckland.