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Here's an update on Christchurch after the latest 6.3 earthquake that struck the city on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Christchurch's Central Business District was hit the hardest, with the inner city and the East side affected as well. A State of Emergency will exist for at least another two weeks and the cordons around the inner city will likely be in place for up to six months as emergency crews assess and demolish over 775 inner-city buildings.

The rest of the South Island is not affected. Tourism in both the rest of the South Island, outer Canterbury, and the North Island is operating as normal. This can't be stressed enough.

Here is an overview of the damage as well as updates about the region:

  • Over 775 inner city buildings are red-stickered for demolition. Many of those the heritage buildings featured in both Frommer's guides.
  • The heart has been ripped out of the cities hotel and hospitality industry
  • At least eight major hotels are severely damaged
  • Several B&Bs in historic homes are already demolished or badly damaged
  • No one will have any access to the inner city for several months apart from search and rescue and service crews.
  • Tourism is still operational beyond the inner city.
  • There is accommodation on the west side of the city.
  • Tour operators are simply moving people from Christchurch Airport off to the other key Canterbury tourism regions: Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, Kaikoura and then further south -- all of which are undamaged by the latest quake.
The following hotels, inns, and hostels are currently closed, but not necessarily up for demolition:
  • Copthorne Durham Street
  • Copthorne Central
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Holiday Inn Central
  • Hotel Inn on Avon
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor
  • Millennium Hotel
  • Rydges Hotel
  • YMCA
  • YHA Manchester St
  • Stonehurst
  • Charlie B's backpackers
  • Windsor Hotel
  • The Weston
  • The Marque Hotel
  • Hambledon
  • The Turret House
Other closures and changes to be aware of:
  • Christchurch Wildlife Cruises are canceled due to extensive damage in Lyttelton. Lyttelton & Sumner villages are extensively damaged.
  • Roads in Port Hills: many badly damaged & several hillsides collapsed.
  • Local buses: No local buses are currently running.
  • Intercity buses: Currently operational with pick-ups departing at the corner of Colombo St. & Bealey Ave. near the CBD Cordon. This will change.
  • Rental cars: Please contact suppliers, as CBD closed down and many have shifted depots to outer suburbs.
  • All Christchurch beaches currently contaminated as raw sewage is being pumped directly into ocean in the immediacy of the disaster. Do not swim at any Christchurch beaches.