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Science Alive staff and visitors uninjured in earthquake

On February 21, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand—the second major earthquake to hit the city in six months. ASTC-member Science Alive, damaged in the first quake on September 4, 2010, suffered additional damage to its building, but all staff and visitors were evacuated safely.

CEO Neville Petrie reports: “Science Alive withstood the quake with damage obvious under the steel framing and plywood that encased our clock tower after the first quake, but very little other damage. All staff were able to evacuate the tenants and visitors. We had no injuries, for which we are very grateful. It will be a long healing process. Financially this will be very hard for us. We were only just starting to return to our normal visitor numbers after six months of hard work, and we had some major exhibitions planned for later in the year and these plans will have to be reconsidered.

“We are encountering some severe aftershocks, some up to 5.7, making it very unnerving, and there was very little sleep last night. Geologists are saying this will continue for a while, so I anticipate that Science Alive is going to be closed for a while so that staff can clean up their homes, and then we will look at where we go from there.”

About the image: Following the September 4 earthquake, Science Alive’s damaged clocktower was encased in steel and plywood. The clock stopped when that first quake hit at 4:35 a.m. Photo by Flickr user Cafe Cecil