Christchurch earthquake: What you need to know

By Paul Harper

One of the main streets in Christchurch is seen littered with rubble. Photo / @PolarBearFarm via Twitter
One of the main streets in Christchurch is seen littered with rubble. Photo / @PolarBearFarm via Twitter

The devastating 6.3 magnitude Christchurch quake that struck on Tuesday afternoon has left more than 120 people dead, with many more unaccounted for.

A national state of emergency declared on Wednesday is expected to be in place for weeks to come. Emergency response teams have mobilised and are being coordinated through the National Crisis Management Centre to comb through rubble to hunt for survivors.

Accommodation

Housing New Zealand is providing a temporary accommodation service to those displaced by the earthquake. Its staff are coordinating accommodation offers from around the country along with Civil Defence and matching them to Canterbury residents in need.

To get housing help or to offer potential temporary accommodation, call 0800 435 700, visit www.housinghelp.govt.nz or go to one of the Christchurch welfare centres.

Injuries

Christchurch Hospital is now operational with some spare capacity. Canterbury DHB is advising people to only go to the accident and emergency department at the hospital if it is absolutely necessary.

A temporary field hospital has been set up near Cowles Stadium in Aranui. The 24 hour surgery on Bealy Avenue is open. Hagley Hostel and the Diabetes Centre have now been closed.

For anything but serious injuries needing urgent treatment, people are advised to see their GP. About 55 per cent of GP practices are now open in Christchurch. These include:

Amyes Road Surgery, Avonhead Surgery (Davey), Avonhead Surgery (Shand), Barrington Medical Centre, Belfast Medical Centre, Belfast North MEDIQUAL Doctors, Bishopdale Medical Clinic, Bryndwr Medical Rooms, Cashmere Medical Practice (limited hours), Cashmere Health & Physiotherapy, Christchurch South Health Centre, Darfield Medical Centre Ltd, Doctors on Riccarton, Eastcare Health, Fendalton Medical Centre, Ferry Road Medical Centre, Grahams Road Surgery, Greers Road Medical Centre, Halswellhealth, Harewood Medical Centre, Helios Integrative Medical Centre, Hillmorton Medical Centre, Hoon Hay Medical Centre, Hornby Medical Centre, Hornby Surgery, Isbell Medical Practice Limited (limited hours), Innes Road Medical Rooms, Kendal Medical Centre, Leeston Medical Centre, Lincoln Medical Limited, Lincoln Road Medical Practice, Linwood Avenue Medical Centre, Lyttelton Surgery, Main North Road Medical Centre, Mairehau Medical Centre limited (doing housecalls), Mansfield Health Practice, Merivale Medical Practice, Moorhouse Medical Centre, Mt Pleasant Medical Centre, New Brighton Health Care (combined with New Brighton Village Health), New Brighton Village Health Care combined with New Brighton Health Care, Normans Road Surgery, North Avon Medical Centre, Opawa Surgery (limited hours), Parklands Medical Centre (limited hours), Papanui Medical Centre, Prestons Road Surgery, Promed Edgeware Doctors, QE2 Medical Centre limited, Redcliffs Medical Centre, Redwood Clinic, Riccarton Medical Practice, Roimata Medical Practice, Selwyn Street Medical Centre, Settlers Health Centre (limited hours), Somerfield Medical Centre (limited hours), St Albans Medical Centre, Sumner Health Centre, Straven Medical Rooms, Travis Medical Centre, Te Rawhiti Family Care, Templeton Medical Centre, The Surgery, Upper Riccarton Medical Centre (Taylor/Olds), Upper Riccarton Medical Centre (HuntWheeler), Union and Community Health Centre, Waimairi Road Medical Rooms, Waltham Medical Centre, Wainoni Medical Centre limited hours, Woodham Road Health Care, Yaldhurst Family Doctors.

Christchurch Women's Hospital is open and receiving patients, as are Rangiora and Lincoln birthing units. Burwood birthing unit is closed today, while Lyndhurst Centre has opened and women with appointments will be contacted by a staff member.

Healthline 24 hours service is staffed by registered nurses who can assess your health needs, and give advice on the best level of care on 0800 611 116.

Meals on wheels are not available for the rest of the week - if you have elderly neighbours or people who live alone, please check on them and help out if you can with meals and support.

Water

Around 35 per cent of the city is still without water. Civil Defence says water needs to be conserved and is advising people not to take showers or baths, or use to use water for non-essential tasks such as watering the garden.

Authorities are now telling people if they can flush their toilet - it is safe to do so, but if it blocks do not use it. For those whose toilets do not work, continue to use a bucket or dig a hole outside. If it rains, collect water in buckets. Save all water for drinking.

About 5000 chemical toilets and nearly 1000 portaloos have been brought into the city to relieve pressure on the wastewater system which has been significantly damaged.

The after-hours phone line available from 5pm to 8am for urgent servicing of portable toilets is 0800 500 205.

Showers are now available at Pioneer Stadium.

A total fire ban is in place across Christchurch, including Banks Peninsula. No fire permits will be issued.

Emergency water supplies are available at the welfare centres and free-standing water tanks will be replenished at the following sites:

From 4pm to 4.30pm: St Albans, Cranford/English Park; Hammersley, Quinns Road; Marihau, Innes/Mahars; Waimari, Tilman/Blighs; West Spreydon, Lyttelton St.

From 11pm to11.30am and from 4pm to 4.30pm: Richmond, Alexandra/Pavitt; Banks Avenue; Burwood, New Brighton; Nth New Brighton, Leaver St; Wharenui, Matipo St; Somerfield, Somerfield St.

All day: Queenspark, Queenspark Ave; Pioneer Stadium; Cowles Stadium; Redcliffs; Shirley Primary; Parklands Mall; Diamond Harbour First School; Governor's Bay Fire Station; Lyttelton Main School; Lyttelton Port; New Brighton; Brooklands; Mansfield Hospital; Shirley Intermediate; Disraeli Reserve; Heaton Intermediate; Manning Intermediate; Cashmere, Hackthorne; Beckenham, Norwood; St Martins, Albert/Roscoe; Woolston, Ferry/Hopkins; Mt Pleasant, Hornbrook; Sumner, Hardwick/Colenso; Bromley, Kawau; North Linwood, Woodham.

The water needs to be boiled before being used for drinking. People must bring their own container to the sites. If it rains, collect water in buckets. Save all water for drinking.

For people who cannot get their own water, see if a neighbour can supply you. One suggestion is to leave an empty water container on your letterbox so that a neighbour can see you are unable to get your own supply and can fill it for you.

The Army is installing water purification plants at Lyttelton and New Brighton Pier.

Petrol

Motorists are being advised not to only drive if it is not necessary. People are advised not to buy petrol unless vital so as to ensure there is sufficient fuel for emergency vehicles. Some stations are running low due to delays bringing in more fuel, but supplies are on the way.

All BP stations apart from BP Connect QEII and BP 2go Redcliffs are open.

BP 2go Ashburton and BP 2go West Melton are only open to Emergency Services at present.

The following Shell stations are open: Belfast, Templeton, Carmen Rd, Kaiapoi, Curletts Rd, Southbrook, Ruapuna Raceway, Brywndwr, Yaldhurst, Burnside, Bishopdale, Darfield, Brougham, and Ferry Rd.

Shell truckstops are open in Hornby, Templeton, Southbrook and Amberly.

The following Mobil stations are open: Hagley South, Papanui, Redwood, Wigram, Amberley, Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia, and Rangiora.

The following Caltex stations are open: Ashburton, Hornby, Russley, Rangiora, Bishopdale, Redwood, Blenheim Rd, Kaiapoi, and Culverden

Electricity

Orion has restored power to 85 percent of their customers across the city and hoped to have 95 percent restored within the next week.

Around 36,000 customers are still without power, mainly in eastern suburbs and CBD.

Five generators have been connected to bring power to some 1150 customers in parts of New Brighton and Cashmere.

Those reconnected are asked to conserve electricity as the power network remains fragile.

People leaving their homes, or who do not have power reconnected yet, are asked to turn their power off at the mains, unplug all appliances and ensure the stove is turned off. This reduces the risk of fire when the power is restored.

Welfare Centres

There are welfare centres at Pioneer Stadium in Spreydon, Rolleston Community Centre, Burnside High School and the Rangiora Baptist Church.

A welfare centre has been established at the old Sumner School in Wiggins Street.

The welfare centre at Cowles Stadium in Aranui has closed due to concerns there could be an outbreak of measles or diarrhea and worries about sanitation.

The 378 people at the welfare centre have been trasferred to Rangiora and Rolleston. Addington Raceway is not being used as a welfare centre and Hagley Park has been closed.

The public are advised to take any essential medication, bedding and personal effects with them to welfare centres. There are also no sanitary products for women at the sites.

Police advise people who have evacuated their homes or buildings to report to their nearest Civil Defence sector post - usually schools.

People are encouraged to walk if they can to keep traffic off the roads and not to go to work unless they work in service industries supplying food. All schools and childcare centres in the city will be closed until further notice.

The city's kerbside wheelie bin collection has resumed, except for in Lyttelton.

Phone systems

The Government helpline for earthquake assistance is 0800 779997. Telecom has made all payphones in Christchurch free to use.

Both Vodafone and Telecom are advising people to limit calls so as not to overload phone lines. Text messages are preferable as they do not place as much load on the network as voice calls. People should not send photos or movies over mobile networks.

Yellow has made all calls to 018 originating from the Christchurch region free, as will calls from phone boxes within the Christchurch region when calling 018.

Proceeds from all other 018 calls, made by consumers around the rest of the country seeking Christchurch numbers, will be donated to the Canterbury Red Cross Earthquake appeal.

Civil Defence advises you to:

• Expect aftershocks. Geonet has advised it is likely there will be shocks up to magnitude 5 in the next few days. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on.

• Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.

• Check on neighbours, friends and family in their local area.

• Assess your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas.

• Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.

• Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.

• Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.

• Do not use lifts anywhere in Christchurch.

• Do not sight-see in affected areas - this is causing congestion and impacting on response vehicles. Roads are the lifelines for emergency services.

• Help people who require special assistance - infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Stay home

Roads between the CBD and Eastern Suburbs are particularly dangerous. People are encouraged to walk if they can to keep traffic off the roads and not to go to work unless they work in service industries supplying food. All schools and childcare centres in the city will be closed until further notice.

Finding people

The Red Cross has established a Person Enquiry Line on 0800 733 276 or 0800 RED CROSS.

For enquiries outside New Zealand the number is + 64 7 850 2199.

Google has launched a people finder page and on Twitter people can find loved ones or let them know they're alright on #eqnzcontact.

Support

The Government has launched an earthquake support subsidy to be paid to employers to pass on to employees.

To apply online go to: www.workandincome.govt.nz

To apply by phone call: 0800 779997

There are seven Work and Income offices open in Christchurch currently:
Ashburton Community Link, cnr Cass and Moore Streets
Hornby Service Centre, 25 Shands Road
Rangiora Service Centre, cnr Good and Blake Streets
Riccarton Service Centre, 76 Riccarton Road
Kaiapoi Community Link, 77 Hilton Street
Shirley Service Centre, 203-205 Hills Road
Linwood Community Link, 154 Aldwins Road

The Ministry of Health has created a series of fact sheets with advice and coping strategies for people experiencing stress or anxiety. These can be found on the Ministry's website www.moh.govt.nz under the banner headline "Christchurch Earthquake".

Mental health workers are asking those who experience mental health issues to make contact.

Counselling service Lifeline is up and running for those who just need to talk 0800 543 354 or if that number is overloaded, 0800 111 757.

Trauma and grief support line Skylight can be contacted on 0800 299 100 or 04 939 6767 or by email here.

Canterbury SPCA afterhours emergency number 027 534 9862 until Sat 26, for animal emergencies outside normal hours.

Federated Farmers has asked farmers who have been affected by the quake and need help to contact them on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) or email here.

All Child, Youth and Family sites are closed. Clients should call 0508 FAMILY (0508 326459) if they need assistance.

If you live in a Housing New Zealand house in Christchurch and have urgent health and safety issues resulting from damage to your house, please call immediately on free phone 0800 801 601.

The following Canterbury sites will be open from 8.30am to 5.00pm: Ashburton Community Link, cnr Cass and Moore Streets; Hornby Service Centre, 25 Shands Road; Rangiora Service Centre, cnr Good and Blake Streets. These sites are open for emergency assistance only.

The Corrections Department has begun making text and phone contact with all offenders in the Christchurch Area to confirm their safety and whereabouts. Offenders not yet reached are urged to phone 0800 222 337. This line will also be answered around the clock until further notice.

Business owners can get information by calling: 0800 424946

Free community laundries

Fisher & Paykel have set up free community laundry at two sites: 79 Shands Rd, Hornby, open 8am to 4pm, 03 344 4622; and Berswick and Charles St, (located in a Portacom), open 8am to 4pm, contact Dave on 021995973.

Fisher & Paykel plans to soon have additional sites operational at various locations around the city.

Animals

The SPCA is recommending all pets lost and found since the earthquake be registered with the petsonthenet.co.nz/christchurchquake database.

For lost or found dogs please contact Animal Control on 021 240 8310 or visit 10 Metro Place - open 8.00am to 6.00pm. To report animals inside the central city cordon area phone 03 941 8999.

Information about animal welfare and lost/found pets is also available on the SPCA New Zealand website: Christchurch Earthquake - Updates, Lost/Found Pets and How You Can Help.

Canterbury SPCA afterhours emergency number 027 534 9862 until Sat 26, for animal emergencies outside normal hours.

Road closures

Comprehensive road closure information can be found here.

Fitzgerald Ave between Avonside Dr and Harvey Tce; Summit Rd from Gebbies Pass Rd to Sumner Rd; Evans Pass Rd from Sumner Rd to Wakefield Ave; Sumner Rd from Oxford St to Evans Pass Rd; Moorhouse Ave from Ferry Rd to Blenheim Rd; SH 74 between Bridle Path Rd and Simeon Qy; 74 Heathcote Valley; 74 Christchurch - Anzac Drive Bridge.

The Lyttelton Tunnel has reopened but only to emergency vehicles. The tunnel canopy has been demolished and the tunnel will not be open to the public until it has been replaced.

The Lyttelton Bridge is due to open today.

In Redcliffs 12 streets have been exacuated. Cordons are in place at Moncks Spur at the intersection of Mt Pleasant, Cave and Main Rd, and McCormacks Bay and Glenstrae.

Christchurch Airport opened for domestic flights this morning and international flights will resume this afternoon.

Unnecessary travel into Christchurch should be avoided.

KiwiRail has reopened freight services to Picton, Greymouth and Dunedin. The TransAlpine and TranzCoastal services are cancelled until March 1.

The Lyttelton Port of Christchurch has sustained serious damage and operators are aiming to have limited container operations within 3-4 days with anticipated previous service levels in approximately 10 days. Other port operations are continuing.

The Lyttelton Port of Christchurch has sustained serious damage and will be closed for at least 24 hours.

Essential supplies are expected to start flowing through the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch tomorrow.

Cordons

There are restrictions on access to the CBD and a section of Park Ave for public safety reasons amidst fears of further building collapses.

The area within the four avenues (Deans, Moorhouse, Fitzgerald and Bealey) will be off-limits.

Police say everyone without authorisation must be out of the cordoned area by 6.30pm, or they risk arrest.

Flights, lost passports

Christchurch Airport has reopened for domestic and international flights.

Australian passport holders or Australian Permanent Residents who have lost or misplaced their passports must report to the Australian High Commissioner's Desk at the Christchurch Airport International Arrivals Hall before checking in for their flight.

Other foreign passport holders who have lost or misplaced their passports should report to the Burnside High School Welfare Centre where they can register with the Red Cross before going to the airport. The Red Cross will put them in contact with the appropriate embassy.

Donations

People wanting to contribute to the response are encouraged to contribute financially. Cash donations can be given to the Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org.nz/donate or the Salvation Army by calling 0800 53 00 00. Any ANZ Bank branch is accepting donations through the account number 01-1839-0188939-00

Vodafone customers can donate either $3 by texting 'Quake' to 333 or $5 by texting 'Quake' to 555. All donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

The New Zealand Blood Service says it does not need extra donations of blood at present. It says it has "sufficient stocks of blood at this time".

Temporary work

Christchurch City Council is offering residents out of work and out of pocket temporary employment.

Because of the number of claims coming in about the damage caused by last week's earthquake, it has had to hire around 120 extra staff.

People can apply for the roles - which include data entry, administration and customer service - on the Adecco website.

Supermarkets

Countdown's Avonhead, Hornby, Kaiapoi, Northwood, Rangiora, Church Corner, Northlands, Bush Inn and Ashburton stores are open. All other stores are closed.

SuperValue Sumner, Lincoln, Wairakei, Edgeware and Fendalton and FreshChoice Barrington, Merivale and Parklands are all open. All other stores are closed.

All Pak 'n Save (except Wainoni), New World (except South City, St Martins and Redcliffs) and Four Square (apart from Lyttelton) stores are opened and fully stocked.

The Bishopdale, Hornby, Rangiora, Rolleston, Shirley, Tower Junction and Woolston Henry's are open.

Riccarton Bunnings Warehouse on the corner of Blenheim Road and Foster Sreet is open for essential supplies only. The Shirley branch has sustained more substantial damage and will remain closed until further notice.

Westfield Riccarton has completed safety checks and retailers are now able to begin reopening their stores.

The building has been "green-stickered" and retailers on the ground level can reopen. Level one and Rotherham St shops are anticipated to reopen later in the week.

Pharmacies

The following pharmacies are open: All Ashburton pharmacies are open, Airport Pharmacy Ltd, Akaroa Pharmacy, Amberley Pharmacy Ltd, Avonhead Pharmacy Ltd, Barrington Health Centre Pharmacy, Wilsons Barrington Pharmacy, Barrington Unichem Pharmacy, Bastins Pharmacy, Belfast Pharmacy, Bells Pharmacy Lyttelton Ltd, Bush Inn Pharmacy Ltd, Unichem Bishopdale Pharmacy, Casebrook Pharmacy Ltd, Centre Court Pharmacy, Dales Pharmacy Ltd, Darfield Pharmacy, Ewart Douglas Pharmacy, Elmwood Pharmacy, Fendalton Mall Pharmacy, Ferry Road Pharmacy, Graeme Smith Pharmacy, Halswell Masons Pharmacy, Hammersley Pharmacy, Hardings Chemist, Hardings Pharmacy, HealthWorks Pharmacy, Hei Hei Pharmacy, Hillmorton Pharmacy, Hoon Hay Pharmacy, Hornby Unichem, Ilam Pharmacy, Kaiapoi Crossing Pharmacy, Kaiapoi Amcal, Kendall Pharmacy, Kirk Road Templeton Pharmacy, King Medicine Management (open for resthomes only), Leeston Pharmacy, Lincoln Pharmacy, Linwood Dispensary Limited (urgent patients only), Mairehau Pharmacy, Netherby Pharmacy, North Avon Pharmacy Practice, Oxford Pharmacy, Papanui Pharmacy, Parklands Pharmacy, Radius Church Corner, Rangiora Pharmacy, Redwood Pharmacy, Rolleston Pharmacy, Stantons Pharmacy, Unichem Ashburton, Wairakei Road Pharmacy, Merivale Medical Centre Pharmacy, Stavely Street Pharmacy, Searles Allenton Pharmacy, Selwyn Community Pharmacy, Shields Pharmacy, Skelley & Amcal Chemist, Spreydon Pharmacy, Staywell Pharmacy, Waltham Pharmacy, Wise's Pharmacy, Wyatt Chemist, and Union Street Pharmacy.

ATMs

The following ASB Bank ATMs are operational for ASB and non-ASB customers: Barrington, 256 Barrington Street; Bishopdale, 135 Farrington Avenue; Fendalton, Corner of Ilam and Clyde Roads; Hornby, 402-414 Main South Road; Northlands, Northlands Shopping Centre; Riccarton, 112 Riccarton Road, 129 Riccarton Road, Corner Blenheim and Acheron Drives. All ASB branches will be closed until further notice.

The following ANZ/National Bank ATMs are operational: Addington, 269 Lincoln Road, Corner of Clarence Street; Avonhead, Avonhead Mall, 218 Withells Road; Bishopdale, 21 Bishopdale Court, 129 Farrington Avenue; Halswell, BP 2go Halswell, 246 Halswell Road; Hoon Hay, 21 Halswell Road, Hornby, National Bank ATM, National Bank Branch, 415-417 Main South Road, ANZ ATM, ANZ Branch, The Hub Hornby, 418 Main South Road; Lincoln, Super Liquor, 5D Gerald Street; Merivale, 175-177 Papanui Road, Corner of Office Road; Northwood, National Bank ATM, Supa Centa, Belfast; Riccarton, National Bank ATM, 97 Riccarton Road, Corner of Clarence Street, ANZ ATM, 37-41 Rotherham Street; Rolleston, BP Connect Rolleston, Main South Road, Corner of Tennyson Street; Spreydon, ANZ ATM and National Bank ATM, Barrington, 256 Barrington Street; Upper Riccarton, National Bank ATM, 322 Riccarton Road, National Bank ATM, Bush Inn Centre Limited, 20 Waimairi Road, Corner of Riccarton Road. All city branches are closed until further notice.

The following BNZ ATMs are operational: Armagh Street, 137 Armagh Street; Canterbury University, University Drive; Hereford Street; Colombo Street, Christchurch Arts Centre; Worchester Street, Carlton Corner Shell, 1 Papanui Road; Eastgate Mall, Cnr Linwood Ave and Buckleys Road; Ferrymead, Unit 9, 2 Waterman Place; Linwood Shell, 214 Linwood Road; Lyttleton, 28 London Street; Moorehouse Ave Pak N Save, 297 Moorhouse Avenue; BNZ New Brighton, 99 Seaview Road; The Palms, Marshlands Road; Parklands Fresh Choice, 60 Queenspark Drive; Rangiora New World, 10 Good Street; Redcliffs New World, 188 Main Road; Riccarton Mall (Mall closed) Divison Street; St Martin New World (New World Closed), 96 Wilsons Road; Shirley Shell, 214 Linwood Road; Shirley Woolworths, Cnr Marshlands and New Brighton Road; Stanmore New World, 288 Stanmore Road; South City Centre, 555 Colombo Street; Wainoni Pak N Save, 172 - 174 Wainoni Road. All city branches are closed.

The following Westpac ATMs are operational: 113 Carters Road; Beckenham, 147 Columbo Street; Belfast Centre, 812 Main North Road; Bush Inn, Cnr Waimairi and Riccarton Road; Christchurch Airport; Countdown Church Corner, Cnr Riccarton Road and Hansons Lane; Countdown, Moorehouse Ave, 343 Moorehouse Avenue; Edgeware, 1066 Colombo Street; Ferry Road, 268 Ferry Road; Fresh Choice Avonhead, Cnr Withells Road and Merrin Street; Halswell Shopping Mall; Hornby Mall; Ilam, 213 Waimairi Road; Lincoln, Cnr William and Gerald Street; Merivale, 215 Papanui Road; Northlands Mall; Rolleston, 70-76 Rolleston Drive; Supervalue Plus, Fendalton Village; Supervalue Plus, Lincoln Road; Upper Riccarton, 3 Waimairi Road. All branches in the city are closed.


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