BOP civil defence staff lend hand in capital for earthquake relief

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Staff work their posts at the National Crisis Management Centre in the Beehive bunker in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo/file
Staff work their posts at the National Crisis Management Centre in the Beehive bunker in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo/file

Earthquake recovery efforts are "flat out" in the capital and two Bay of Plenty Civil Defence staff are in the middle of the action.

Naomi Luckett and Paul Bourton are at the National Crisis Management Centre, in a bunker underneath the Beehive in Wellington assisting with social media and logistics.

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence staff Naomi Luckett and Paul Burton are helping out in Wellington following Monday's earthquake. Photos/supplied
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence staff Naomi Luckett and Paul Burton are helping out in Wellington following Monday's earthquake. Photos/supplied

In the wake of Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake the centre had turned into a "non-stop hub of activity".

The response operation was running 24 hours, seven days a week and there were a lot of tired people in the bunker, Ms Luckett told the Bay of Plenty Times from Wellington, after completing a graveyard shift.

"The team that have been there since day dot are starting to get pretty tired and need a break and spend time with their families, so it's great we can come down and provide a little bit of relief."

Ms Luckett was in the public information management team - coordinating media releases, managing social media and developing key messages.

Mr Bourton was in the logistics team, coordinating staff and resources at the crisis management hub and supporting relief efforts on the ground.

The duo were deployed for five days but Ms Luckett said it could be extended.

"There's continuing aftershocks and severe weather in the South Island over the next couple of days which may impact the response effort," she said.

Another Bay Civil Defence staffer from the Whakatane office, Megan Edhouse, arrived today to join the effort.

Wellington seemed to be business as usual though the weather was nasty and there were small visible signs of the earthquake, such as construction work to stabilise buildings, Ms Luckett said.

Many agencies were represented in the response effort, from the Ministry of Education to IRD to a raft of scientific advisers.

"It's full on but it's really great."

Kaikoura earthquake
• It struck on Monday at 12.02am not far from Hanmer Springs in North Canterbury in the South Island and was 15km deep.
• GeoNet said the 7.8 quake was from two separate earthquakes.
• Several fault lines ruptured during the earthquake and some were previously unknown.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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