Marlborough emergency management teams are continuing to assess people and properties.

Welfare requests are starting to come in and 40 visitors have been housed in commercial accommodation.

The New Zealand Defence Force has mobilised hundreds of personnel, at least seven aircraft and the HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Wellington, to support the Government's response to the powerful earthquake.

The aircraft include four Air Force NH90 and A109 helicopters to help evacuate a large number of tourists and residents who are stranded in Kaikoura. A Hercules and an Orion are also helping with the rescue effort.