Expert advisors met with Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Bishop Barry Jones, and diocesan personnel today to consider the badly damaged Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
An engineer’s report based on an exterior inspection reveals that the dome of the Cathedral is forcing outwards the weight bearing structures and presents a severe hazard to the surrounding area.
Another earthquake like that of 22 February would see the dome topple.
The decision has been made to remove the dome and this process will take some months to complete.
The present state of the building is so dangerous that no one may enter it for any reason.
The removal of the dome can only be done by cranes at a distance from the building.
No decisions will be made about the future of the building until a detailed engineering report is generated. This will occur when access to the building is safely restored, after the dome has been removed.