Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Eastbourne house destroyed by hillside slip.

I've been a bit of a weekend builder much of my life. Mostly been building somewhere on the hillside I still live on. The first house I built, that we named 'Paripari', was close to the waterfront in Sunshine Bay. A rather ambitious project that I undertook in my spare time. I started that in
1969. Finished it about 1974 and the family lived in it for only about two years before moving to
the old Hutt County Council roadman's cottage just north along the road. Sold Paripari after a while and yesterday probably saw the last day it will be lived in by anybody when a hillside slip came down on top of it.

One large rock penetrated the roof, landing in the laundry. The current owners escaped about 5.30 am, unhurt.

Emergency services closed the road as the hillside continued to tumble down making passage along the road potentially dangerous as rocks bounced over the roof of the house.

The slip was interesting as much of the material appeared quite dry although the weeks prior to the slip have been very wet. It was loose, friable, light clay and broken rock.

The area where the house was positioned had initially been formed as a quarry for material to upgrade the marine drive to Eastbourne sometime in the early to mid 1900's. Possibly blasting the hillside to quarry that material had left some of the under-lying rock shattered.

One very large outcrop above the house has been prominent for some years. With loose material having slipped away from around the large rock it appeared as though it could come down at any time and the decision was made by City council engineers to loosen it manually so as to make the area safer. Abseilers were called in and the following photos show them in action.

With the big rock broken up the abseilers worked to shift other loose material before climbing off the slip face. Down below, the space at the rear of the house has partially filled up - especially in the south east corner - and slip material was spilling or bouncing onto the roof.

Engineers, insurers, owners all have to consult over the viability of the property being habitable again. Most likely the house will be written off, becasuse of uncertainty over the stability of the hillside above the house. A sad end for the owners, and Eastbourne people generally as we come to acknowledge the vulnerability of our steep hillside to slippage.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Head down

Nothing much to say - just waving the flag in between rather busy times. Lots of other computer work, some tidying in the small orchard where a few trees are just coming into flower. The area has been neglected over the last three years as I built a new house.

We've had more than our share of rain over the last month or so and last night it produced a small lahar down the usually dry stream bed that runs through the gully next the house. On reaching the bottom of the hill it blocked the storm water pipe under the main marine drive to Eastbourne.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All the photos below are of Wellington harbour - views from my deck and similar to what one sees when using our visitor accommodation ( Check out ). I've almost finished building the house on our steep, 30 deg, hillside. Still a bit to do but it waits while my over-stretched shoulder rests. And I learn to use my left hand for computer mouse activity. Doing well actually.

Somes - Matiu Island

Harbour blues

Harbour sunset

View of Wellington harbour from my home.

Just a beginning Hello!

I am sitting at my computer trying to get back into learning AchiCAD and instead reading some interesting blogs and decided to begin one myself. So this is simply a few words to no one one at all except whoever happens, totally accidentally, upon this page. I will be back with this and that from Eastbourne downunder.

I actually started a blog with a different title, redirected it to another domain and then could not direct it back - so started another . . . . . Ah the delights of being not very technically savvy . . . . . . . . . cheers