Christchurch earthquake, Day 3 updates

What's happening in the quake-ravaged region today?
Send us your stories, video and pictures.

Police officers are loaded into NZ Army vehicles outside the Christchurch central Pplice station, bound for Burnham military camp. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Police officers are loaded into NZ Army vehicles outside the Christchurch central Pplice station, bound for Burnham military camp. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Tracking today's events as they happen on Day Three of the Christchurch earthquake disaster.

6.49pm
That concludes our latest updates coverage of the Christchurch earthquake for today. If you are in the region and need assistance, please refer to our list of emergency contacts.

We will continue our latest updates tomorrow.
Thanks and goodnight.

6.38pm
Some residents in parts of Bexley are being evacuated as Saturday's earthquake and its aftershocks have left their houses uninhabitable.

TV3 reported removal trucks have gone into the suburb and some residents have left, but others are confused and unsure of what to do next as there has been no official communication of who is being evacuated and who can stay.

Some houses are reportedly full of sand, with large cracks in the floors.

5.37pm
A 97-year-old man has had to leave his Akaroa home where he has lived since he was two years old.

Heather Chapman from Akaroa said four chimneys came down in the elderly man's home. She said many other homes in the township have been damaged and some have structural damage.

Ms Chapman said patients at the local hospital were evacuated to a nearby resthome.

"We've sort of looked after ourselves but the local fire brigade has been great," Ms Chapman said.

Christchurch City councillor Claudia Reid said many of the historic buildings - "the greatest treasures" - of Lyttelton have lost chimneys and others have structural damage.

But power and water have been restored despite the poor weather and gale-force winds overnight.

"It is very quiet. Everything is... it's just unnaturally quiet and calm after what was a huge earthquake," Mrs Reid said.

5.30pm
Bus services will resume around quake-ravaged Christchurch tomorrow, with commuters warned to expect delays. Metro buses will run to normal weekday timetables, however the 51 to New Brighton and 480 to Kainga have been cancelled until further notice.

Central city services will operate from limited pick up and drop off points and some buses will deviate from their normal routes due to cordons and infrastructure damage.

4.45pm
The army is now assisting residents of Seabreeze Close in Bexley to evacuate. The Herald reported this morning that residents said most houses in the street were "write-offs".

4.15pm
Aftershocks continue to shake Canterbury this afternoon. The latest was a 3.7 magnitude quake at 3.54pm, centred 20km west of Christchurch at a depth of 20km. Twenty minutes earlier a 4.2 quake centred within 5km of Darfield shook the region.

At 3.07pm, a 4.4 quake hit 20km west of Christchurch and at 2.48pm,
a 4.1 quake shook the region 20km south-west of Christchurch. For further details, see our aftershocks map.

4.07pm
The Department of Conservation is asking people to stay clear of tracks and huts in the Canterbury area, as fallen debris and damaged structures could pose a risk. A number of tracks, including the Pinnacles Hut track, are closed due to damage.

3.54pm
Police have moved the cordons in central Christchurch, which are now bounded by Cambridge, Gloucester, Madras and St Asaph Streets.

Checkpoints to gain entry to the city centre are at the corner of Gloucester and Colombo and St Asaph and Colombo. A cordon remains in place on the Cranford and Westminster Street area.

3.50pm
The 12-storey Radio Network building in Worcester St was evacuated after the 12.35pm aftershock.

According to Newstalk ZB, which broadcasts from the building, it had sustained some damage during Saturday's quake and the aftershock made some of the cracks worse.

Radio Network stations will continue to broadcast from back-up facilities.

3.44pm
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) has closed two historic properties in Canterbury due to earthquake damage - Timeball Station in Lyttelton and Coton's Cottage in Hororata.

Christchurch City Council's new civic building in Hereford St has also been closed due to internal damage and a detailed structural assessment is underway.

3.00pm
A Common Operational Picture is a single display of information collated from multiple sources. Here's one of the 7.1 scale Christchurch earthquake, provided by Eagle Technology Group.
And here's an nzherald Google map of where the aftershocks have hit since.

2.45pm
More cordons have been put up by police in central Christchurch after fresh fears that debris could fall off buildings.
Police have cordoned off Westminster and Cranford streets.
Inspector John Price said civil engineers and search and rescue teams are searching buildings to make sure they are safe.
Police are concerned that a small number of people are interfering with taped off areas and removing safety cones.

2.38pm
People in Christchurch needing legal work have been told it may get done on time but Saturday's earthquake may also cause serious delays.
The New Zealand Law Society said people with urgent legal matters should contact their own lawyer first as many law firms reopened for business, particularly those in suburban Christchurch.

2.34pm
Yet another aftershock has hit Christchurch this afternoon.
The quake reached 3.7 on the Richter scale and was reported as "slightly damaging" by a Mairehau local on the GNS website .
The quake struck 20km south-west of Christchurch.

2.25pm
Five water tankers have been set up around Christchurch for those still without running water.
Water would be available at the corner of Locksley Ave and McBratneys Rd in Dallington and Anzac Drive and Birch St in Bexley until 3pm.
From 4pm-8pm, water tankers would be stationed at Central New Brighton School, Palmers Rd and Rocking Horse Rd in New Brighton. (NZPA)

2.05pm
The rental accommodation website Room4Rent is trying to bring together displaced Christchurch residents with people in the city who can offer some space in their home (for a small token rent) until something more permanent is found. No fee to list. Register here.

1.56pm
The Cat's Pajamas blog traces how news of the earthquake spread via social media networks. If you're into Twitter hashtags, this is for you.

1.50pm
Two Christchurch people have reportedly been in a very lucky escape as a building collapses.

1.50pm
Don't forget, if you are in Canterbury, the APN Regional website Star Canterbury has up-to-date local information and resources.

1.45pm
The Radio Network building in Christchurch has just been evacuated.

1.40pm
Business, maybe not as usual:
A number of listed companies today formally advised investors of the impact of Saturday's earthquake on their businesses in notices to the stock exchange.

1.28pm
Your questions about the earthquake answered. That story here.
And if you want the total picture on nzherald's comprehensive earthquake coverage since early Saturday morning, visit our Christchurch Earthquake special feature.

1.25pm
The earthquake could be the tipping point for many businesses in Canterbury already struggling through the recession, writes nzherald Business reporter Susie Nordqvist.

1.20pm
Canterbury has just been hit by another big aftershock.
It was measured at 4.5 of the Richter Scale and it's knocked out the lights at Christchurch Airport, Newstalk ZB reports.

1.17pm
Orana Wildlife Park staff are mourning the loss of Gidro, a 10-year-old lemur who drowned as a result of the earthquake.
Park spokesman Ian Adams says Gidro had a great personality and would be sadly missed. He added he was grateful that the other animals in the Park were unharmed, and didn't seem to be spooked by the many aftershocks.

1.05pm
Four men accused of looting during the aftermath of the disaster have appeared in a Christchurch courtroom this morning. The judge expressed disgust at the thought of anyone stealing the possessions of residents who had been forced to abandon their homes after an earthquake.

12.50pm
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says a number of cases of gastroenteritis have been reported in the city, according to Newstalk ZB.
He says this is a pointed reminder that people must boil their water.
Sewerage pipes as well as water pipes have been leaking.

12.45pm
Many are asking how they go about filing a claim with the Earthquake Commission. This story on emergency contacts has such information.

12.40pm
Many workers in Christchurch will be understandably concerned about their jobs, with so many workplaces inaccessible today. The Unions' representatative, the CTU, says it hopes Government and employers are reasonable in understanding the human side of the crisis.
Key issues such as pay, ongoing employment, and health & safety are paramount at this time, the CTU says.

12.20pm
Telecom has offered Christchurch residents free use of payphones, as the telco works to restore telephone services throughout the region.
Payphones in and around the city are free for local, national and mobile calls.
Telecom said that 111 services were fully available.

12.05pm
Ngai Tahu marae may be used to house Christchurch families too scared to sleep in their own homes.
Te Tai Tonga electorate MP Rahui Katene says several inner-city marae have mattresses and an attached whare kai (eating house).
"Some people just don't feel safe in their homes," she said.

11.55am
The entire front facade of Mexican restaurant Alvarados collapsed on Saturday, leaving tables and chairs all perfectly in place - just no walls! The owners have displayed a sense of humour in a very trying time. A notice on their website talks about the restaurant being "totally remodelled", but regrets that lack of amenities has ruled out the possibilty of "alfresco dining".

11.40am
Corporate New Zealand has been quick to leap to Canterbury's assistance. Construction company Fletcher Building has pledged $1 million, as has Fonterra Co-operative Group. The dairy giant has also offered immediate practical relief to victims through donations of product such as longlife milk.

11.34am
Work and Income expects to be busy at this time, with Benefit and Superannuation enquiries. Some of the WINZ offices in Christchurch are closed due to structural damage, so the phone is the best first option.
Social Development minister Paula Bennett says more than two thousand people have called the 0800 779997 Government helpline so far.
Staff from Work and Income and Child, Youth and Family (CYF) are also available at the Canterbury Civil Defence Welfare Centres.

11.25am
Arms of local government are reaching out to help their colleagues in Canterbury. The Far North District Council has offered the services of building inspectors and engineers.
"We were told it is a bit early at this stage because they need time to sort out their next steps", said mayor Wayne Brown.
"They will come back to us when ready."

11.15am
Contractors have begun tearing down dangerous buildings half destroyed in Saturday's earthquake.
Diggers on Victoria and Bealey St are tearing down what is left of a two storey food market that used to stand oposite Knox Church.
The area has been cordoned off.
Builders are also up on several roofs in the CBD, removing lose tiles and bricks to make the area safe.

10.46am
Photos are still pouring in from the damage in Christchurch.
You can check out some of them here at Twitpic. You could film an effective post-apocalyptic thriller in the eerily deserted CBD streets, for example.
Flickr also has a great gallery.

10.40am
The nice story of the Christchurch dairy owner who gave away free milk and batteries to quake victims is receiving a lot of attention.

10.25am
All rail services in the Christchurch area likely to be restored by tomorrow, following repairs to damage after the earthquake.
The main south line, south from Christchurch, has reopened with speed restrictions, KiwiRail public affairs manager Kevin Ramshaw said this morning.

10.20am
The Christchurch Star, a sister paper for the New Zealand Herald, is compiling "stories of the quake" for citizens to tell their tales of coping in an earthquake-stricken city.
To tell your story email Philippa Williams.

10.16am
Latest figures from lines company Orion indicate around 4,000 residents of Christchurch and surrounding areas are still without power today. Spokesperson Roger Sutton says some cables originally damaged by the earthquake have now faulted due to water entering the cable. Technicians are working on the problem. No exact time can be given for full restoration of power.

10.12am
Army vehicles are currently taking scores of uniformed police officers from central Christchurch to Burnham military camp, where they are being fed and accommodated during the crisis.

10.07am
Cabinet will today meet to get an early overview of the damage caused by the earthquake, and the likely costs. Prime Minister John Key says the bill outside private insurance and Earthquake Commission funding will be "large".

10.05am
NO GO ZONE: The central business district of Christchurch remains closed to the public but police have set up two checkpoints.
Inspector John Price said people wanting access to the CBD should go to the Asaph and Colombo Street intersection or the Armagh and Colombo St intersection.
Those two points are the only ways people can get into the CBD. Period.

10.00am
Heard of the Hikurangi Margin? Or the Kermadec Trench? How about lithospheric geodynamics? Well, everything you ever wanted to know about tectonic plates - and why Christchurch came to be hit by a 7.1 earthquake - can be found here.

9.50am
There will be limited court sittings in Christchurch today.
The court house has been deemed safe by structural engineers but jury trials have been postponed.
Anyone wondering about jury duty should call 03-962-4399.

9.45am
The Red Cross Earthquake Appeal info is here.
There is also a plan to sell T-shirts, with proceeds going to quake victims.
We have set up a nzherald page that lists the important phone numbers for those affected by the earthquake and for those who want to offer help.

9.35am
Lots and lots of broken windows have been left in the wake of the disaster. We have been advised that all stocks of glass in Christchurch have been destroyed, and it may be a number of days before glass can be replaced.
If you have property to be secured, call AMN (Asset Management Network) glaziers directly on 0800 221 331.

9.30am
ASB Bank has opened an account for victims of the Canterbury Earthquake. Donations can be made at any of their branches, via internet banking direct to the appeal account or through their Contact Centre (0800 803 804).

9.20am
Christchurch City Council has extended the state of emergency until midday Wednesday.
Big ups to St John Ambulance volunteers who are working around the clock to support those affected by Saturday's massive quake. Around 85 St John ambulance and events staff have been volunteering their services, helping distressed people.

9.05am
Don't forget, if you are in Canterbury, the APN Regional website Star Canterbury has up-to-date local information and resources.

8.40am
These are still bumpy times for Canterbury people, with the region hit by a series of aftershocks this morning.
Ten earthquakes measuring between 3.6 and 4.8 on the Richter scale have been recorded by GNS Science, between midnight and 7.30am.
The epicentre of the latest quakes centred between Darfield and Christchurch.

8.30am
Radiographers are striking up and down the country this week, but Christchurch medical imaging staff have sensibly pulled out of tomorrow's planned national action day following Saturday's earthquake.
People are still turning up at hospitals in the region for treatment, mostly with minor injuries.

8.12am
New Zealand's Sciblogs has used Google Maps to create a fascinating storyboard of seismic activity for the Christchurch earthquake and its aftershocks. The data for the maps comes from New Zealand's GeoNet data portal.

8.10am
News of the Canterbury quake has been widely reported in international media.
The story remains the fourth most popular on CNN's website.

7.55am
The Christchurch quake has led to a record number of baby births at Christchurch Hospital.
Twenty one babies were delivered, the most ever for a Saturday, NZPA reports.

7.40am
Canterbury has been spared the worst from wild weather overnight but Civil Defence warn that the region could still be hit by floods from rising rivers.
The major rivers of Canterbury - the Rangitata, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui, and Waiau - will probably rise sharply today and tonight.

7.00am
Sleep-in time for all the schoolchildren in Christchurch and surrounding disctricts today as damage to school buildings is assessed.
Rangiora is apparently the exception, where schools will be opening as usual, Newstalk ZB reports.
But don't despair too much, parents - all schools are projected to be open again from Wednesday.

- NZ Herald

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