The earthquake was quite powerful, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, and it showed the amount of damage through natural disasters. We can have the best defences and the best technology but we can never be sure that they are enough.
Yet, nobody expected to see the spire of the iconic 130-year-old Christchurch Cathedral shearing off and crumbling down as rubble on the grounds below. That it did is a great tragedy for worldwide heritage.
This is another heritage church building that was destroyed during yesterday's quake: the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
There's also a report that some 30 million tons of ice broke off from the Tasman glacier about 200 kilometres from Christchurch. A 1.2km long, 300m high, 75m wide piece of ice on the face of the Glacier in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park claved and plummeted into the Tasman Lake, creating waves of up to 3.5 metres high which swept up and down the lake for 30 minutes.