Safety, wellbeing the top priority: Quake relief efforts to continue tomorrow, says Civil Defence

By Brittany Keogh

Supplies are offloaded from an Air Force NH90 chopper in Kaikoura. Civil Defence said locals should prepare for more aftershocks and stay informed through media and social media reports. Photo / NZDF
Supplies are offloaded from an Air Force NH90 chopper in Kaikoura. Civil Defence said locals should prepare for more aftershocks and stay informed through media and social media reports. Photo / NZDF

Civil Defence said a national support effort would continue tomorrow following Monday morning's 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Kaikoura.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel declared a state of emergency in Canterbury and local Civil Defence and emergency management crews were equipped with the resources they needed to assist those affected.

Civil Defence Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black said the safety and wellbeing of the people affected by the quake was Civil Defence's top priority.

"With Canterbury declaring a local state of emergency, we are able to mobilise collective force of the region to provide communities with the support they need."

Staff from local chapters were going door-to-door in Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough to find out what people needed.

Local authorities at Woodend in Christchurch also met evacuees flown in from Kaikoura.

"We know that water, food and fuel are required in Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough, and we're co-ordinating relief supplies and transport to get those essentials in.

"We are working with government agencies to provide the right level of support to Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups. In particular we are co-ordinating with the New Zealand Fire Service, New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force to make sure groups get what they need."

Four military NH90 helicopters transported emergency workers and resources Hurunui and Kaikoura communities.

The HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Wellington vessels were en route to Canterbury, carrying food, water and other emergency supplies.

Welfare centres are operating in the district. Landslide specialists from GNS Science are ensuring land stability.

Civil Defence said locals should prepare for more aftershocks and stay informed through media and social media reports.

"Aftershocks will to continue. Remember to drop, cover and hold. It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target and protects your organs. Do not run outside or stand in doorways."​

Residents must also follow the advice of local Civil Defence groups, Stuart-Black said.

"It's heartening to see so many people help their loved ones, neighbours, friends and others in need.

"We are also getting lots of requests from generous members of the public wanting to donate goods to people in need. At this stage, civil defence teams are unable to receive these, but we are very grateful for the support."​

Important advice:

• Look after yourself and get first aid if necessary. Help others if you can.

• Do not enter buildings in areas that have had strong shaking, especially in central Wellington, Christchurch and Blenheim unless they have been cleared by building inspectors

• Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas.

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

• Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls. Text friends and family to see if they are okay.

- NZ Herald

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