"Hundreds" flock to Nelson region following quake

Authorities in Nelson are working hard to accommodate fleeing Christchurch residents amid reports that hundreds have escaped to the region following Tuesday's earthquake.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence staff had been working all weekend to gather information and provide assistance to those arriving, Roger Ball, of Nelson Tasman Emergency Management, said.

"It is difficult to gauge the number of arrivals, however, anecdotal estimates have people arriving from Christchurch over the weekend numbering many hundreds," Mr Ball said.

Civil Defence staff had been in touch with campgrounds as well as marae and social agencies to provide accommodation and support for those affected by the quake.

Offers of accommodation from the public were also being collated by Civil Defence.

Some accommodation providers were providing free or discounted rates for people from Christchurch.

The Red Cross had been greeting visitors at the airport and visiting marae to register arrivals, he said.

There had been reports that some were looking to shift to the Nelson-Tasman area long term, with some enrolling in schools.

- NZPA

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