Why was the Christchurch earthquake so devastating?

A M6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand on 22 February (21 Feb in UTC), leaving at least 75 people dead and hundreds injured or missing. Hundreds of houses were destroyed, including the Christchurch Cathedral, and damages will probably sum up to some billion dollars. On 4 September 2010 (3 Sept in UTC), a M7.0 event struck Christchurch, but then no one was killed. So: what’s the difference between the two events?

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Teaching Paleoseismology – Excursion to Greece

Paleoseismology and archeoseismology do only rarely appear in the curriculae of geoscience studies. Those topics will be covered in courses on tectonics and structural geology in most universities. Practical courses that allow applying the knowledge in the field can be a very good supplement, but in Germany, active faults are rare. RWTH Aachen University therefore organized a field trip to Greece, where active faults, fault scarps, archeological sites and beautiful outcrops are omnipresent.

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