Quake Stories: The Human Side of a Disaster

September 2011

QuakeStories is a collaboration between NV Interactive and the Ministry of Culture & Heritage, capturing the human stories of the devastating earthquakes that hit Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010 and 2011.

NV Interactive was founded in Christchurch 15 years ago and we still have strong roots in the city.  Like many, our lives were irreversibly changed in February 2011 when the city was struck by a devastating earthquake. Thankfully our team and their families were unhurt and all we lost was our building and other material possessions.

This experience has profoundly affected everyone who lived through it. 

We have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a number of important post-quake initiatives. These include the award winning Share an Idea, Recover Canterbury and The University of Canterbury led CEISMIC. Each of these projects have been significant in their support for our city through its recovery and rebuild and we are proud to have been involved.

But perhaps the project we are most proud off is one that has received the least amount of media coverage or attention.  But is perhaps the most important piece of work we have ever been involved in.

The site is QuakeStories and was a collaboration between NV Interactive and the Ministry of Culture & Heritage. 

The earthquakes that struck Canterbury in 2010 and 2011 are among the most significant events in New Zealand history and certainly in our lifetimes. QuakeStories is a place where you can tell your stories about the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 and their aftershocks. Whatever your age, whether you’re an individual, part of a community, a business or an organisation, you have stories to tell.

The site has collected over 500 heart wrenching stories of survival, loss, heartbreak and love, submitted by members of the public. In addition, over 600 personal photos have been submitted, creating a unique archive of the human stories behind the news footage.

This is a site you can get lost in – average time on site extends to an incredible 17 minutes. For a spine chilling insight into these devastating quakes we highly recommend exploring the QuakeStories archive.

QuakeStories is part of the University of Canterbury CEISMIC consortium (which includes Christchurch City Libraries and National Library), a long-term project dedicated to the preservation and study of information relating to the Canterbury earthquakes. Over time the site will evolve as the recovery efforts move towards the rebuild.

This project was a rare opportunity to work in a truly collaborative way with the New Zealand Government and one that we are very grateful to have been able to be involved in.

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