Christchurch earthquake: Latest updates

A damaged building on Worcester street. Photo / Getty Images
A damaged building on Worcester street. Photo / Getty Images

That concludes our live updates for today - thanks for following along, and check back tomorrow for the latest news.

9.15pm
Civil Defence says 55,000 properties are without water (out of a total of 150,000) and approximately 75,000 properties are without sewerage. It's estimated that 75,000 are without waste water.
People whose properties appear undamaged and without siltation can use their showers sparingly.
Functioning toilets can also be flushed sparingly. Toilet waste can be put in rubbish bins as long as it's wrapped in paper or plastic. Kerbside collection for rubbish and organics is continuing weekly but there will be no recycling collection until further notice.


8.26pm
A team of disaster victim identification experts from the United Kingdom is expected to arrive in Christchurch on Monday.
It will join a specialist UK rescue team which arrived yesterday.
That team of 55 is currently working at the Pyne Gould building.
The British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Vicki Treadell, has also been on the ground in Christchurch and says the the UK is only too willing to help New Zealand.
7.44pm
The University of Canterbury plans to restart some of its programmes on March 14.
It is committed to delivering a full-year academic programme, Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr said tonight.
The earthquake struck two days into the university's first trimester.
7.33pm
German-based musician Michel Montecrossa has released My Heart Is Bleedin', a song dedicated to Christchurch. Listen to it at vimeo.com/20379113.
6.50pm
Lyttelton Port is operational again.
The port suffered damage to infrastructure and facilities but was given the all clear by the Navy for use this afternoon.
The first ship to arrive was the Transfuture 7 carrying emergency vehicles and 15 pallets of fresh water and the Pacifica Shipping Spirit of Endurance container vessel arriving with medical, food and essential supplies.
Tomorrow two other ships will bring in more essential supplies and the Turoa will arrive at the oil berth.
6.32pm
Another welfare centre has opened at Windsor School, 170 Burwood Rd.
5.50pm
Half of all Lotto sales for this coming week will be donated to help with Christchurch earthquake relief efforts, Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission have announced tonight.
Under section 245 of the Gambling Act 2003, New Zealand Lotteries can promote a 'Special Purpose Lottery' for a community purpose.
"Given that the core purpose of Lotto is to raise money for the community, the Government has agreed to this move," Mr Guy said.
"Fifty cents from every dollar spent on Lotto, Lotto Strike and Lotto Powerball next week will be donated to the Christchurch earthquake relief. The March 5 Lotto draw will then take place in the usual way, in accordance with the game rules.
He said New Zealand Lotteries had budgeted to raise $155 million this year for the benefit of the community. It would still be able to reach that target, meaning other community groups will not miss out.
5.40pm
The official death toll for the Christchurch earthquake has risen to 144 this evening.
The number of missing people for whom there are grave concerns remains at more than 200.
5.23pm
It is anticipated limited postal services will resume on Tuesday. In the meantime New Zealand Post is holding all mail.
Where delivery cannot be achieved alternative locations for pickup will be arranged.
5.14pm
Police have again warned rubber neckers to stay away from earthquake devastated areas of Christchurch.
People coming from other suburbs to survey the damage wreaked by Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude aftershock are fraying the nerves of already distressed residents, a police statement says.
Minor incidents involving sightseers have flared up, draining resources away from the rescue operation still going on in the city, it says.
It advises people to stay away from Christchurch city centre unless travel is "absolutely necessary".
"Please do not make our job any more difficult, or the lives of local residents any more stressful. The Central City is no place for rubber-necking.
"While police appreciate that it is the weekend, and that people may be curious to come into the area, they urge the public to respect the fact that the Central City is a disaster zone."
Police say they are generally happy with how residents have adhered to public messages and warnings.
4.58pm
Six streets in the earthquake-damaged town of Lyttelton have been evacuated due to danger of rock falls.
A spokeswoman for Civil Defence said the situation is being monitored and residents may be allowed back into their homes within a day.
4.51pm
The Government will announce an economic package on Monday.
The packages are likely to last for a month, when further arrangements will be made.
4.42pm
The Prime Minister has asked for a two-minute silence on March 1 to mark the victims of Tuesday's earthquake.
"Canterbury will recover and we will do all we can to ensure it does.
"For now we must do all we can to show its people that all of New Zealand grieves with them."
4.30pm
Orion boss Roger Sutton says teams have been focusing on restoring power to homes in the Redcliffs, Sumner and Mt Pleasant areas today.
He said good progress was made on linking an overhead line to the Brighton substation.


4.10pm
The quake damaged Lyttelton Tunnel is now open for use by local residents.
The tunnel was re-opened at 3pm today, but only to Lyttelton residents because emergency and essential services were still relying on priority access to the tunnel for access to Lyttelton, New Zealand Transport Agency's networks operations manager for Canterbury Pete Connors said.
3.59pm
Christchurch-born and raised actress/director Anna Wilding has started fundraising in the US and abroad for her Christchurch registered charity. The charity intends to identify children who have lost their parents and to set up longer-term help for them. The charity takes donations worldwide by credit card or Paypal - see www.wildingfoundation.com.
3.39pm
Emergency payments to Cantabrians affected by the earthquake have topped $1million .
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says 6,267 Civil Defence payments have been made.
She says the greatest need is for food, clothing and bedding.
The average payment has been around $165.


3.06pm
SkyCity will donate $500,000 to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and has also set aside up to another $250,000 to match donations made by its staff across Australasia.
It has made available donation boxes at its properties in Auckland, Hamilton, Queenstown, Adelaide and Darwin.
The Sky Tower has been illuminated red since last Tuesday in association with the Red Cross to raise awareness for their appeal.
2.50pm
AA Insurance is reassuring Christchurch residents that thefts from unsecured homes following Tuesday's quake will be covered by insurance.
"It is important that customers know if you can't secure your home, and you suffer theft as a result, this won't affect your claim. You will be covered," chief executive Chris Curtin said.
2.35pm
A search by Urban Search and Rescue staff has found no-one inside the Grand Chancellor Hotel in central Christchurch.
Structural engineers are now recommending bracing the unstable building to prevent its collapse.
1.28pm
The quake damaged Lyttelton Tunnel is expected to reopen to local traffic by mid-afternoon today after emergency repairs, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says.
NZTA says it is important that only Lyttelton residents use the tunnel because emergency and essential services were relying on it for access.
The tunnel will be periodically closed in order to allow for the safe passage of fuel tankers.
Alternate access to Lyttelton is available for private vehicles via the Dyers Rd pass.


1.19pm
Police say they now have nearly 1200 officers in Christchurch, meaning they can respond easily to normal calls for service.
Superintendent Dave Cliff says two men were last night charged with burglary after being found in a damaged building and will appear in court today.
With the city now "saturated" with at least 600 local police, 324 Australian police and more than 200 from elsewhere in New Zealand, Mr Cliff says there is plenty of capacity to respond to usual calls for Police service.
12.36pm
An unstable building has caused police to close one of the access points in the cordon surrounding Christchurch's CBD.
Police say the access point at the Bealey Avenue/Montreal Street cordon has been temporarily closed and the Art Gallery cannot be accessed.
An initial release incorrectly attributed the closure to a gas leak.
12.25pm
The Canterbury Chamber of Commerce has asked for a $20 million package from the Government to keep business owners afloat over the next month.
Its CEO Peter Townsend says the assistance in September was good, but much more is needed this time around.
"We think the government will need to put aside about $20 million for the first four weeks."
Mr Townsend says the Government will be considering the proposal on Monday.
11.58am
Auckland Council Civil Defence says it has sent 102 specialists to Christchurch.
* 30 building inspectors
* 39 engineers
* 22 emergency response staff plus support vehicles
* 11 civil defence staff
*7 Watercare staff plus contractors and equipment including a mobile water chlorination plant
It says a welfare centre has been established in Manukau to act as a coordination centre for evacuees from Christchurch and more than 120 people have received welfare assistance from the team there or at Whenuapai Airbase.
11.49am
There have been eight aftershocks in Christchurch since midnight today, GNS Science reports.
The biggest was a 4.1 magnitude earthquake which struck at 6.52am at a depth of 9km within 5km of the city.
11.44am
Police say they are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to address the cultural needs of earthquake victims' families.
Police Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES) have 10 staff liaising with families from several countries who have arrived in Christchurch to be with their loved ones who have died or gone missing in the earthquake.
Part of this support includes repatriation of the deceased back to the families and involves working with the different ethnic communities and religions.
11.41am
SuperValue Sumner has now opened for customers.
Ten of Countdown's 15 stores in the Christchurch area are open. Eight out of the ten SuperValue & Fresh Choice stores are open.
Visit www.countdown.co.nz for details.
For the latest Christchurch Earthquake operational update for all Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets please visit the Countdown website (www.countdown.co.nz).
11.35am
HMNZS Canterbury is sailing Wellington from Lyttelton tomorrow to load up with disaster relief supplies.
On the cargo list are 28,000 litre fuel truck, 29 4 x 4 vehicles, six containers, eight pallets of water, telecommunications equipment, a front end loader and an Army Bailey bridge.
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the Canterbury is expected to arrive in Wellington at 6pm tomorrow, and depart for Lyttelton at 4am on Monday.
11.31am
Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, the Very Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore says Anglican cathedrals across New Zealand will hold services at 12.30pm on Tuesday to pray for the people of Christchurch.
At Wellington Cathedral the service will end at 12.51pm with the tolling of the cathedral bells, while in Auckland there will be silence.
The Anglican Church has also set up an earthquake fund. Click here for more details.
11.23am
The Wellington sports community is today hosting a fund-raising track meet for the people of Christchurch - a highlight of which will be Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis receiving his medal.
The track meet opens at 5pm with the presentation of Willis' medal and concludes with a 1.6-km race featuring Willis alongside United States' top miler Alan Webb, Britain's Lee Emanuel and sub-four-minute-milers Will Leer and Brandon Bethke.
11.14am
Wellington's Pipitea Marae says it will this evening stop receiving goods to be sent to Christchurch but will remain open for travellers.
It says two containers of non-perishable food and goods have been delivered to the marae in a little over 24 hours. A third container is being loaded and arrangements have been made to have those delivered those to Christchurch on Sunday or Monday.
The marae will remain open all weekend for travellers heading north from Christchurch who need a bed, a meal, a shower or just a place to rest.
10.34am
The numbers
123 confirmed dead
More than 200 missing
Nationals of more than 20 countries among the missing
329 people in welfare centres
About 120 patients moved to other NZ hospitals
About 180 aged-care residents moved out of Christchurch
60 per cent of properties in CBD deemed safe, 17 per cent as safe to access and 20-25 per cent deemed unsafe
More than 4000 checks carried out on residential properties
341 suburban properties deemed unsafe and evacuated
Power restored to more than 80 per cent of Christchurch
70 per cent of general practices up and running
10.09am
Orion CEO Roger Sutton says power is now back on in more than 80 per cent of Christchurch.
Power equipment in some suburbs such as Sumner is not as badly damaged as previously thought, he says.



10.09am
The fragile elderly in the aged-residential care sector remained a real concern, Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates says.
About 180 aged-care residents have been transferred around the South Island and to Auckland, he says.
10.08am
Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates says there is a high level of stress in the communities, and asks people to look after each other and talk to each other.
About 70 per cent of general practices are up and running, he says.
At Christchurch Hospital, the emergency department has been quiet for
36 hours, as expected. About 120 patients have been transferred to other hospitals around the country, and extra orthopaedic and cardiologist teams have been called in, he says.
No elective surgery will take place in Christchurch until at least March 7, he says.
10.06am
Mayor Bob Parker says that of the 1000 buildings that have been checked in the CBD, 60 per cent have been deemed to be safe, 17 per cent have been assessed as safe to access, but 20 to 25 per cent have been evacuated and deemed unsafe.
In the suburbs, 341 houses have also been red-stickered and have had to be evacuated.
Lyttleton was hardest hit in terms of day-to-day needs, such as food, he says.
9.56am
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says 329 people were in welfare centres last night, and that number was dropping as people move to the homes of friends and family.
He says 30 people were evacuated from Mt Pleasant yesterday due to instability.
Over 4000 house calls have been made in the suburbs, inspecting properties and checking on residents, he says.
9.54am
Firefighters are having to put out blazes throughout Christchurch, Fire Service chief Paul Baxter says.
The cause of some of the fires is yet to be determined, he says.
Engineers are still assessing the Grand Chancellor Hotel, which is on a noticeable lean. The building may be braced to allow rescue teams to enter and clear the building, he says.
There is is no reason to believe there was anyone in the hotel, he says.
Transalpine fire chief Ross Ditmer says some fires are expected as power is restored to the city.
9.49am
Police Superintendent Dave Cliff says rescue teams are still operating in the CTV and PGG building sites, and are still at the Christchurch Cathedral, where work was temporarily halted due to falling masonry.
Rescue teams are still working elsewhere in the city, looking through lifts, he says.
Mr Cliff says more than 200 people are still listed as missing after the Christchurch earthquake.
Grave fears are held for missing people from more than 20 countries, he says.
9.47am
The Fire Service says it still has more than 600 Urban Search and Rescue personnel in the city and they are being joined today by more staff from China.
9.45am
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says there has been a slight change in mood today.
A number of eastern Christchurch residents are feeling more and more isolated, he says.
"This might be a Saturday, and it might be that we haven't had good news stories we were hoping for in terms of finding people ... but for us this is just as important a day as the first day, the second day, the third day.
"Our approach will continue to be all of the people, all of the skills, to help us work through this tragedy. Our dedication has not moved one iota."
9.43am
Police Superintendent Dave Cliff says he swore in 324 Australian police officers last night.
He says the mood of the officers was sombre and that they described the experience of being in Christchurch as "humbling".
He says two men were last night arrested in the city for burglary.
9.41am
Police Superintendent Dave Cliff says the death toll now stands at 123. "We do expect that number to rise today."
9.39am
At a media conference in Christchurch, Mayor Bob Parker reassures all residents that - regardless of where they - they are at the centre of workers' thoughts.
"Everybody is on deck. All hands are on the pump, but you do need to realise the scale of what is in front of us at the moment is utterly immense" he says.
But he says the work that needs to be done dwarfs that following the September 4 earthquake and appeals for patience.
"The work we are doing right now is crucial to the restoration of services across the city."
9.32am
Countdown Moorhouse opened today and will trade until 6pm.
The store has a selection of produce and basic items such as bread. Fresh milk is being delivered today.
The store does not currently have supplies of fresh meat, deli meats, frozen food, seafood and other perishable items.
A full list of operation Countdown supermarkets in Christchurch can be found here.
9.17am
Contact Energy is providing free LPG to Christchurch residents.
9kg gas bottles can be filled free of charge at:
Challenge - 45 Halswell Road, Halswell
Challenge - corner Milton and Selwyn Street, Christchurch
Challenge Waimak - Main North Road, Kaiapoi
Caltex - Blenheim Road, Riccarton
Caltex - Lincoln Road, Addington
Caltex - 66 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton
Challenge - 11 Opawa Rd, Opawa
Butler Automart - 261 Stanmore Road, Richmond
Blighs Road Service Station - Corner Blighs and Idris Road, Papanui
Rockgas North Canterbury, Kaiapoi
9.08am
Rescuers are still holding out hope of finding more Christchurch earthquake survivors, police say.
Superintendent Russell Gibson tells Sky News the 10 international Urban Search and Rescue teams working in the city are adamant people can still be found in rubble nearly four days after the 6.3 magnitude quake.
"They have found people days later in places like Mexico.
"New Zealand deserves a couple of miracles here."
8.35am
Former All Black Ian Jones, double Olympic medallist Danyon Loader, and a host of Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmers are among 600 people taking part in an Ocean Swim to raise money for Christchurch.
The 600 swimmers are swimming a 1km course off Milford Beach, North Shore, Auckland.
The event is one of the largest ocean swims around New Zealand. Donations to the swim are still being counted and will go towards helping the earthquake victims in Christchurch.
8.16am
There have been five aftershocks since midnight, GNS Science reports, the largest a 4.1 magnitude tremor occurring at 6.52am.
8.10am
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker tells Sky News entire blocks of the city will be lost as a result of Tuesday's earthquake.
8.02am
The death toll from Tuesday's earthquake still stands at 113, Radio New Zealand reports.
7.46am
BNZ says two stores within the Christchurch area are open today.
Its Rolleston and Leeston branches will be open from 9am until midday.
BNZ Ashburton will also be open 10am until midday.
People wanting to donate to the Red Cross earthquake appeal can make a donation at any BNZ branch or to the BNZ Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Account: 02-0500-0982004-000
7.34am
A facebook page has been set up to connect people in Christchurch and around the world after the earthquake.
It's called Rise Up Christchurch.
6.41am
GNS Science reports there have been four earthquakes since midnight of magnitude 3.0 or more. The latest was a magnitude 3.8 tremor at 5.49am, 10km south-est of Christchurch at a depth of 9km.
6.39am
Police are warning people to stay out of the dangerous parts of Christchurch marked by cordons or emergency tapes after finding two journalists in a collapsed building overnight.
Police say the journalists acknowledged that knew they shouldn't be in the area and left when asked.
Police Superintendent Russell Gibson says emergency tape indicated the building was a safety risk.
Breaching the CBD cordon is a criminal offence he says.


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