Damage done to buildings near the Marist Community, Manchester St, Christchurch
The Marist order religious in Christchurch has reported that the community suffered only property damage in the earthquake that hit the city over the weekend.
"The earthquake seems to have hit central Christchurch particularly hard, and extensive damage has been inflicted on heritage buildings and those of brick construction," said a report on the Society of Mary, New Zealand website.
"The Marist parish community in central Christchurch, Manchester Street is probably the luckiest Marist community to escape with what seems only minor damage. The 105-year-old brick building has not been earthquake strengthened."
Parish Priest, Carl Telford, said of the earthquake" "It felt like the presbytery was going to break in half". The only damage to the Church seems to have been that the Baptismal font fell over. "Nonetheless, things will still need to be assessed", he said.
Damages were also reported from members of the community elsewhere in Christchurch, including a collapsed Sanctuary and damage to a school.
Older buildings in the city have suffered, said a separate report on stuff.co.nz from The Press.
Christchurch's iconic Anglican Cathedral in Cathedral Square and the Catholic Basilica in Barbadoes Street escaped relatively unscathed, but many of Christchurch's and Canterbury's character commercial buildings, which many regard as giving the city its soul, were badly hit and many of the region's smaller historic churches and grandest old homes have been devastated.
Former Christchurch City councillor and current member of the Historic Places Trust Board Anna Crighton said the earthquake had been ''unbelievably destructive''.
''What broke my heart was to see the facade of the 1882 Oxford Terrace Baptist church, the pedament and tableture, just split like paper and I can't see how that is going to be restored.''
''I worry for the heritage of the city because the whole character of the city and the what is Christcurch is articulated by those lovely little buildings as well as the big ones,'' she said.
Monsignor Charles Drennan said the damage to the Catholic basilica could have been a lot worse.
''There's considerable window pane damage but thankfully not the stained glass.''
Mortar and plaster had broken free but the ceiling of the nave seemed to be untouched. New cracks had appeared and these would have to be assessed before the Cathedral could open, he said.
Christchurch Marists safe after 7.1 earthquake (Society of Mary, New Zealand)
Quake devastates Christchurch's heritage (The Press/Stuff.co.nz)
Image from report on the Society of Mary, New Zealand website