I visited Christchurch about two weeks after the first earthquake. Driving into the city my taxi driver spoke of the effect the aftershocks were having on his family and that they were very close to leaving.
Last night and following the seven (I think) aftershocks that occurred between 7 and midnight a colleague e-mailed me to say that was it. They were walking away from their home and would not be returning.
Can I suggest that, in addition to a much changed skyline, Christchurch is also going to take a hit with its population ... and the double whammy will be that many of those going will be precisely the people the city can't afford to loose.
There is no real answer to that but it is something that both central and local government are going to have to get their heads around as they seek to rebuild.