Christchurch earthquake: Students form volunteer army

Volunteers cleaning up in Kaipoi after September's earthquake. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Volunteers cleaning up in Kaipoi after September's earthquake. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A 10,000-strong student volunteer army has been gathered via social networking site Facebook to help those suffering in the wake of Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Christchurch.

"We are working closely with Civil Defence in this operation. At this very early stage we are focusing on helping everyday people in their homes in low risk areas with non-life threatening situations," student organiser Sam Johnson said.

The volunteers planned to meet at the University of Canterbury Students Association tomorrow morning before shipping out to dozens of sites across the city "to roll up their sleeves and help out".

Louis Brown, from Te Waipounamu Foundation, which has joined forces with the volunteer army, said Christchurch had been brought to its knees.

"It is our job to support Civil Defence the best we can and provide suitable opportunities for those who want to help. It could be lifting shelves off beds for elderly or clearing garages of silt and muck, whatever we can do to help."

- NZPA

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