Impacts of site specific information on post-earthquake cordons: A comparative case study of Christchurch, New Zealand and L'Aquila, Italy (2020)
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AuthorsShrestha, Shakti Raj, Orchiston, Caroline, Elwood, Ken, Becker, Julia, Johnston, Davidshow all
Post-earthquake cordons have been used after seismic events around the world. However, there is limited understanding of cordons and how contextual information of place such as geography, socio-cultural characteristics, economy, institutional and governance structure etc. affect decisions, operational procedures as well as spatial and temporal attributes of cordon establishment. This research aims to fill that gap through a qualitative comparative case study of two cities: Christchurch, New Zealand (Mw 6.2 earthquake, February 2011) and L’Aquila, Italy (Mw 6.3 earthquake, 2009). Both cities suffered comprehensive damage to its city centre and had cordons established for extended period. Data collection was done through purposive and snowball sampling methods whereby 23 key informants were interviewed in total. The interviewee varied in their roles and responsibilities i.e. council members, emergency managers, politicians, business/insurance representatives etc. We found that cordons were established to ensure safety of people and to maintain security of place in both the sites. In both cities, the extended cordon was met with resistance and protests. The extent and duration of establishment of cordon was affected by recovery approach taken in the two cities i.e. in Christchurch demolition was widely done to support recovery allowing for faster removal of cordons where as in L’Aquila, due to its historical importance, the approach to recovery was based on saving all the buildings which extended the duration of cordon. Thus, cordons are affected by site specific needs. It should be removed as soon as practicable which could be made easier with preplanning of cordons.