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City of Seattle

February 22, 2:47 PM click here to comment > 4

Christchurch Earthquake

At 12:51 pm yesterday, our sister city of Christchurch, New Zealand was struck by a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The destruction has been widespread, with many fatalities.

I want to extend condolences and sympathy to the families of those who have perished. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Christchurch during this very difficult time.

Given the widespread devastation this earthquake wrought, the need for relief assistance will be great. The citizens of Seattle will be eager to help, in part because this tragedy is a reminder of the vulnerability to earthquakes that we also share. Christchurch and Seattle have been sister cities since 1981. In today’s State of the City address, I asked our community to honor that connection by coming to their aid.

Local donations can be sent to:
Seattle Christchurch Sister City Association
Rachael Jacobsen, President
7307 40th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: (206) 527-1896

You can also donate directly to the Red Cross, New Zealand, which is conducting emergency relief on the ground. Their website is here:

To learn more about the Christchurch Seattle Sister City Association, and get involved:

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn


Comment from Matt the Engineer
Time February 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I think it would be a nice gesture if the City of Seattle gave some direct support. I know times are tough right now, but I loved the Vinyl Cafe (a CBC radio show) story about the “New Zealand Room” in the Ottawa Parliament. Apparently after the Parliament building was burned down, the country of New Zealand shipped some of their wood over to help build a new one. Of course Canada has plenty of wood, but the gift was appreciated and helped cement the two countries’ friendship.

What do we have to send? I don’t know – Seattle doesn’t have many trees to spare, though we could certainly find some nearby. Software and jets won’t rebuild a city.

We have plenty of out-of-work architects and engineers. How about sending a few over to help with the rebuild?

Comment from Matt the Engineer
Time February 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm

(forgot a link to the story)

Comment from Lars
Time February 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

This is a great idea, Matt! Right now, emergency relief is needed; next month and over the next year there will be a need to rebuild and rethink the infrastructure and Seattle’s engineers, architects, and planners should consider stepping in to help. I know I’ll be keeping my eyes open for opportunities to assist in this way.

Comment from Will Howard
Time March 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

Someone linked me over here. As a resident of Christchurch, I find this a touching message of support. Thanks for thinking of us? I don’t really have much else to add.