The Impact of the 22nd February 2011 Earthquake on Christchurch Hospital
The 22nd February 2011, Mw 6.3 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand caused major damage to critical infrastructure, including the healthcare system. The Natural Hazard Platform of NZ funded a short-term project called “Hospital Functions and Services” to support the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) efforts in capturing standardized data that describe the effects of the earthquake on the Canterbury region’s main hospital system. The project utilised a survey tool originally developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to assess the loss of function of hospitals in the Maule and Bío-Bío regions following the 27th February 2010, Mw 8.8 Maule earthquake in Chile. This paper describes the application of the JHU tool for surveying the impact of Christchurch earthquake on the CDHB Hospital System, including the system’s residual capacity to deliver emergency response and health care. A short summary of the impact of the Christchurch earthquake on other CDHB public and private hospitals is also provided. This study demonstrates that, as was observed in other earthquakes around the world, the effects of damage to non-structural building components, equipment, utility lifelines, and transportation were far more disruptive than the minor structural damage observed in buildings (FEMA 2007). Earthquake related complications with re-supply and other organizational aspects also impacted the emergency response and the healthcare facilities’ residual capacity to deliver services in the short and long terms.