Police abandon welfare check in Waiau until weather clears

By Ophelia Buckleton

10 year old Jack Satterthwite sits on the lip of a large crack in the road in Waiau caused by Monday's 7.8 M earthquake. Photo / supplied.
10 year old Jack Satterthwite sits on the lip of a large crack in the road in Waiau caused by Monday's 7.8 M earthquake. Photo / supplied.

A police attempt to reach the small North Canterbury township of Waiau by flight was abandoned today due to poor weather and low visibility.

Planning is underway for further flights in a New Zealand Defence Force Helicopter, to check on people's welfare in areas cut off by Monday's quake, once the weather clears.

Police have been working with other agencies to conduct welfare checks and needs assessments in remote areas of Kaikoura.

"As of this afternoon, we have received nearly 400 requests from people asking for welfare checks and only 28 of these remain to be cleared, Police forward commander Superintendent Chris Scahill said.

"We will continue our visits as soon as weather permits.

"The feedback we have had on these visits is that people are largely upbeat and are coping well, considering their situation.

"We have already conducted initial visits to remote areas and are planning further flights once the weather clears to reach people in need of assistance."

Today, Police choppered to the cut off settlement of Goose Bay to deliver medication and assess needs for further supplies.

"A roadblock is still in place at the junction of SH1 and the inland road as the road remains closed to private vehicles. We will work with the relevant agencies to facilitate public travel on this road when it is safe to open," said Scahill.

Yesterday Police, USAR, and welfare staff flew to remote and isolated areas north of Kaikoura, including Okiwi Bay, Waipapa Bay, Raukatara, Half Moon Bay, Blue Duck Valley Road, Puhi Puhi Valley Road, and Clarence Valley.

Local police with the support of additional staff continue to have a highly visible presence in the Kaikoura area.

- NZ Herald

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