Kaikoura: More than 800 tourists evacuated

Civil Defence Director Sarah Stuart-Black said all the tourists who wanted to leave the quake-ravaged town have now been evacuated. Photo / NZDF
Civil Defence Director Sarah Stuart-Black said all the tourists who wanted to leave the quake-ravaged town have now been evacuated. Photo / NZDF

The Defence Force has now evacuated more than 800 people from Kaikoura, Civil Defence says.

Director Sarah Stuart-Black said all the tourists who wanted to leave the quake-ravaged town have now been evacuated.

"Only people who did not express their wish to be evacuated are remaining in Kaikoura. More evacuations will continue tomorrow."

The evacuees were being supported by Canterbury Civil Defence, she said.

"Many evacuees are foreign visitors and embassies from their countries were there to greet and comfort them. Embassies include Australia, Korea, UK, Germany, France, USA and Japan.

"Wrap-around support is being provided to make them feel safe, provide translation services, and assist them with either returning home, or continuing with their planned travel."

Having successfully completed its rescue mission, HMNZS Canterbury was in Lyttelton where it would be restocked with relief supplies to deliver to Kaikoura.

Homes in the valley downstream the Ure (Waima) river were evacuated mid-morning today after geotechnical engineers discovered landslides had dammed and blocked the flow of water.

Poor weather put a stop to efforts to open Kaikoura's Inland Rd, because of fears of slips.

The road was a top priority for NZTA, Stuart-Black said, but it was unclear when it would reopen.

The New Zealand Defence Force helping evacuate travellers and locals from Kaikoura following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Photo / NZDF
The New Zealand Defence Force helping evacuate travellers and locals from Kaikoura following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Photo / NZDF

- NZ Herald

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