Constant aftershocks expose remains in New Zealand graves

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:56 EDT
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Constant aftershocks in Christchurch have pushed human remains up from burial plots in one of the quake-ravaged New Zealand city’s graveyards, according to a report.

In a grim reminder that the ground in Christchurch remains unstable 12 months on from a quake that killed 185 people last year, television images showed what appeared to be human bones in the city’s Bromley Cemetery.

The remains, possibly rib and leg bones, were on the top of burial plots found by a group of people visiting the graveyard on Sunday, TV3 reported.

One of the group, Cassie, said at least 10 graves were affected.

Christchurch City Council told the television station it was the first report it had received of remains being disinterred by the aftershocks, some 10,000 of which have rocked the city since September 2010.

The aftershocks, which have delayed the city’s NZ$30 billion ($24.5 billion) reconstruction, push sand and silt from the swampy Christchurch ground in a process called liquefaction.

The Bromley Cemetery opened in 1918 and all its burial plots are now full, according to the council’s website.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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