Portacom City

BWB Texts

Book 63
Bridget Williams Books
Free sample

The ripples the earthquake sent across the region and down the years continue to affect our lives, our livelihoods and endeavours.

On 4 September 2010, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck 30 kilometres west of Christchurch. Half a year later, a 6.3 aftershock hit Christchurch, killing 185 people and causing widespread damage throughout the city. In November 2016, multiple faults ruptured near Kaikōura in a massive 7.8 earthquake.

Paul Gorman reported on the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes. In Portacom City he describes his own deeply personal story of working as a journalist during the quakes, while also speaking more broadly about the challenges that confront reporters at times of crisis.
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About the author

Paul Gorman is now an assistant editor at the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin, following a brief stint at the University of Otago. However, for much of the time he was writing this book he was a senior writer at The Press in Christchurch, where he was also editor of the weekly Fairfax Media science page, ‘Catalyst’. He has won two Qantas Awards: the best investigation of the year award in 2006 for uncovering Transpower’s overseas South Island electricity grid deals, and science and environment reporter of the year in 2008 for stories on the controversies surrounding A2 milk. He was also a finalist in 2011 and 2013 in the renamed Canon Awards for his science reporting on the Canterbury earthquakes.

He was editor of the Press’s most recent book on the earthquakes, A City Recovers: Christchurch Two Years After the Quakes (Random House, 2013), was a contributing author for the first two quake books, Earthquake: Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 February 2011 (Random House, 2011) and The Big Quake: Canterbury, September 4, 2010 (Random House, 2010), and was co-author of Snow Storm: The South Island’s Big Chill (Random House, 2006).

Before joining The Press in 2002 he worked for the University of Canterbury, the Otago Daily Times and the New Zealand Meteorological Service. He has a BSc in physical geography and a GradDipJ, both from Canterbury University. Born in London, he emigrated to New Zealand at the age of nearly ten. He is married to Lucie and has three sons – Joseph, Ambrose and Bede.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Dec 8, 2017
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Pages
135
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ISBN
9781927277379
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Disasters & Disaster Relief
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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The Wenchuan County earthquake of 2008 was the most severe earthquake, as measured in sheer magnitude, in the history of the People’s Republic of China. Killing almost 90,000 people and creating economic losses of 845 billion yuan (US$132 billion), the earthquake also elicited a vigorous response from various government agencies, private businesses, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The ways these actors’ responses to the earthquake proved effective in distributing appropriate aid to those in need and the areas where the actors’ earthquake response needs to be improved are discussed and analyzed in Earthquake Lessons from China: Coping and Rebuilding Strategies. The authors identify three earthquake responses that proved helpful to earthquake-affected communities: the use of a pair-wise aid policy, in which a donor province or city is assigned to give aid to a particular earthquake-affected area; expanded NGO and volunteer involvement; and various kinds of public financial aid to earthquake-affected households. They also pinpoint areas that need further work: public aid specifically for home reconstruction, which has been inadequate, and the capacity of local communities to manage their own disaster responses, which is too low. Perhaps most important, the authors found that the high levels of NGO and volunteer involvement in disaster response should be expanded and sustained beyond what they were in the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake. The authors believe that increased nonpublic sector involvement can not only improve the level of response to natural disasters but also foster a robust civil society and grassroots democracy in China.
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