On February 22, 2011, at 12:46 pm local time, a 7.1 moment magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. This week, memorial activities were held to honor the victims. Radio New Zealand has extensive coverage of the events and many retrospectives and articles about how recovery efforts are going 10 years later.
From an engineering perspective, many lessons were learned as a result of this devastating event, and the revised building codes in Christchurch and all of New Zealand are now some of the most comprehensive anywhere in the world with respect to earthquake resiliency. For me personally, anniversaries like this are an opportunity to remember that my first obligation as an engineer is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. I join with New Zealand to honor and remember the victims from that day.