for the most up to date pictures visit rebuildchristchurch
Wednesday September 8th 2010 (Day Five)
9.31pm: There’s been a 3.9 aftershock, 30 km south-east of Darfield, at 9.14pm.
9.20pm: Inland Revenue has pledged to assist Canterbury customers concerned they might have tax or payment issues they need help with. The IRD says it will take a sympathetic and realistic approach with businesses trying to get back on their feet and reopen their doors. The IRD Disaster Response line is 0800 473 566. There are also moves to give tax credits to individuals and tax deductibility to companies that donate cash to earthquake relief.
8.50pm: Another aftershock has beeen recorded by GNS Science – at 8.23pm, 10 km south-west of Christchurch with a focal depth 8 km and magnitude 3.2.
8.10pm: Aftershock of 2.6 at 7.03pm within 5km of Lyttelton, 7km deep. Then 2.9 at 7.51pm – 10 km south-west of Christchurch. Depth of 4km.
8.00pm: Fresh aftershocks: 3.6 at 6.57pm, 30 km south-east of Darfield, depth of 5km; 2.8 at 6.48pm, within 5km of Lyttelton, 8km deep; 3.0 at 5.29pm 10 km south-west of Christchurch, 7km deep.
7:00pm: Residents in the Christchurch CBD and Banks Peninsula no longer have to boil their water for 3 minutes. However people in other parts of Canterbury such as Waimakariri still need to boil water for at least three minutes.
6.40pm: All non urgent surgery has been cancelled at Christchurch, Christchurch women’s and Burwood hospitals for the remainder of the week.
6.30pm: State Highway 74, one of the main routes to the Port of Lyttelton, is still closed and will most likely reopen later this week.
5.44pm: Due to rock falls, Sumner Road, Lyttelton, will be closed to the public from Oxford Street to Summit Road until further notice, with access to essential traffic only.
5.12pm: The Ministry of Education has contacted 100 of the 165 state and state-integrated schools in the affected areas. None of them plans to open for students tomorrow, though many are likely to open for teachers and staff. Most have indicated that they don’t intend opening for students until Monday.
4.56pm: Latest aftershock was at 4.42pm and measured 3.4. It was centred 10 km south-west of Christchurch at a depth of 8 km. The total number of aftershocks since Saturday is now above 270.
4.43pm: PM John Key on special legislation for retrospective building consents: “We are not entirely sure about whether we need that legislation but we’re looking at that possibility.” If needed, it will be passed next week.
4.37pm: More than two hundred homes in Kaiapoi , or one fifth of the residential properties so far assessed for structural or sanitary safety, are now known to be impacted. Access is restricted to 155 and 50 homes are considered unsafe.
The central business district has now reopened, from 7am to 7pm only, but there is still limited access and intermittent closures due to ongoing repair work. A total of 22 commercial buildings are currently considered unsafe and access is restricted to 33 others.
Water has been restored to around 85% of the area, though it must be boiled in Kaiapoi, Waikuku, Pines and Kairaki Beaches and Woodend. There is a water tanker at the welfare centre at the Kaiapoi Rugby Football Clubrooms in Smith Street.
All surface water, including the Kaiapoi River, streams and water ponding on streets and properties, and all silt and sand, should be treated as contaminated.
4.32pm: Update from Gerry Brownlee:
– Details of a “rapid repair settlement” process, a retrospective consent process for building work and 10 field offices will be announced on Friday.
– New web site set up canterburyearthquake.govt.nz
– 91 firms have registered under the wages assistance scheme
– 36 more engineers are to arrive to assist with inspections
– 70 per cent of commercial buildings that have been inspected are OK
– 70 individual buildings have been red stickered (not safe), 210 have been yellow stickered (restricted access)
3.51pm: Treasury is now estimating that the cost of the damage will be $4billion and that GDP will drop by half a per cent.
3:50pm: An amazing visual display of the scores of quakes in Canterbury since Saturday, created by Paul Nicholls of the University of Canterbury, is proving a huge hit online. See it here
3.44pm: Police and the Fire Service say a rumour circulating that there is a fire at the Lyttelton petrol tank facility is untrue. The petrol storage facilities are secure.
3.32pm: Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is due to give a briefing about now. Earlier, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told a media conference: “We need to be talking as a community. That is one of the most healing things we can do for each other.”
3.24pm: There are now around 200 homes without power. Roger Sutton, CEO of Orion, is urging anyone still without power to contact the company urgently on 03 363 9898.
3.19pm: The Christchurch courts complex has been cleared to open following this morning’s aftershock. Essential court proceedings have continued where possible though four jury trials scheduled in Christchurch this week have been postponed due to the unlikely availability of many jurors. Some minor hearings are being postponed.
Any Canterbury residents with concerns about fines or reparations as a result of the earthquake should call 0800 4 FINES. Anyone due to be on jury service next week should ring 03 962 4399 over the weekend.
3.14pm: Another aftershock, 3.1 at 3pm, centred 10km south-west of Christchurch.
3.13pm: Another aftershock was recorded at 2.49pm. It was 30km south-east of Darfield and measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
2:45pm: There is an increasing demand from the public for services at welfare centres, St John ambulance says.
It also says its St Asaph Street ambulance station was evacuated this morning as it is structurally unsound. Ambulances have been relocated to other city stations.
There are currently 16 ambulances on the road covering the areas in Christchurch, Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Rolleston and Lyttelton, two more than usual. There are also three first-response vehicles and six patient transport vehicles working in Christchurch.
2:26pm: Care for elderly Christchurch residents affected by the earthquake will be provided at Princess Margaret Hospital.
The District Health Board is setting up a special respite ward.
2:20pm: There have been reports of sulphur smells in parts of Christchurch. Firefighters and Environment Canterbury’s Hazardous Substance team have been investigating the smell. They say at this point there’s no indication it should be of concern to residents.
It does not appear to be a gas leak.
2:17pm: Orion says power has been restored to all customers who lost supply due to this morning’s aftershock in Christchurch.The lines company says it is now again focussed on it’s original target of restoring power to all customers by the end of the week.
It’s estimated several hundred are still without power. All those with no power should contact Orion on 363 9898.
1:49pm: The latest aftershock came at 1.48 and measured 4.1 on the Richter scale. It was very shallow at just five kilometres.
1:35pm: Eastgate Shopping Centre in Christchurch is open.
1:28pm: The Earthquake Commission has updated the number of claims received since Saturday’s quake. As of 1.25pm today, there were 29,678 claims.
1:10pm: Christchurch did not suffer any significant damage from this morning’s big aftershock, Civil Defence says. Civil Defence director John Hamilton said some inspected buildings would require re-assessment.
12:48pm: The Kaiapoi Welfare Centre has been moved. It’s now located at the Kaiapoi Rugby Club Rooms on Smith Street. Any residents who need food or water, or have welfare issues, are urged to seek help there.
12:34pm: Three shopping malls have been closed in Christchurch following this morning’s big aftershock. It’s understood The Palms, Eastgate and Northlands have all closed their doors while they’re assessed for damage.
11:54am: John Key says a parliamentary bill may be needed to speed up the rebuilding process in Canterbury. Speaking to media from the quake-hit region, Key said Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was today meeting with Local Government New Zealand, the Earthquake Commission and private insurers to look at how repair processes might be hastened.
11:41am: The Lyttelton Tunnel has been re-opened. Up to date information on Canterbury state highways including the Lyttelton Tunnel can be found at highwayinfo.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 44 44 49.
11:38am: The government has set aside $2.4 million for trauma counselling for Christchurch earthquake victims, Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett says. Speaking in Christchurch, she said 34 counsellors from across New Zealand would head to the quake-stricken city today.
11:32am: Schindler Lifts is asking that people not use lifts in buildings following the latest aftershocks. Also, all Christchurch City Council Libraries, recreation and sport centres, art gallery and service centres are closed until further notice. However, Christchurch airport has escaped unscathed from the latest jolt – it’s still up and running.
11:12am: The NZ Transport Agency says assessment of the Lyttelton Tunnel is continuing and no decision on re-opening it is likely until early afternoon. The tunnel was closed shortly after the aftershock that struck at 7.50am this morning to allow safety checks to be carried out for possible damage.
10.55am: The State of Emergency in Christchurch will be extended for another seven days.
10:32am: The Queen has wished Cantabrians well following the earthquake .
“The Queen has today asked the New Zealand Prime Minister to send her good wishes to those affected by and helping with the aftermath of Saturday’s earthquake in Christchurch,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
10:30am: KiwiRail says this morning’s aftershocks continue to affect South Island rail services. Passenger train services out of the city are affected, but freight services are unlikely to be affected. Trains within the earthquake zone stopped shortly before 8.00am but trains are likely to be cleared to move after track inspections.
10:01am: Telecom says while this morning’s large aftershock caused a brief interruption to services in central parts of Christchurch, the majority of service has been restored.
9:55am: Canterbury District Health Board says all outpatient clinic appointments at Christchurch Hospital have been cancelled today. The situation will be reviewed later today, although at this stage tomorrow’s appointments are still going ahead.
9:52am: 3.5 aftershock 20km south-east of Darfield.
9:39am: 4.0 aftershock 10km south-east of Christchurch.
9:05am: Lyttelton Tunnel (SH74) is closed until further notice.
9:01am: GeoNet says an aftershock measuring 4.4 occurred 20 km east of Darfield at a depth of nine kilometres.
8:42am: Orion CEO Roger Sutton says the 5.1 aftershock did take out “quite a lot of power”. He told TV ONE’s Breakfast that, for safety reasons, “a lot of the power system is actually designed to go off when something like a big earthquake happens”.
8:31am: 3.8 aftershock 10km south-east of Christchurch.
8:30am: John Key has arrived in Kaiapoi. He has visited several homes affected by the quake this morning.
“One of them shows you how well the building code works in New Zealand,” he said. “The house was literally picked up and ripped apart, yet the structure survived enough to ensure the people inside were able to escape.”
8:15am: GeoNet says another larger aftershock hit at 7.49am. This one was measured at 5.1 and was 10 km south-east of Christchurch. Do you have video of the large aftershock?
7:57am: GeoNet says the aftershock is 4.1 20km south-east of Darfield. ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams described the quake as very sharp and very sudden. “That certainly gave everyone a bit of a fright,” she said.
7:50am: Canterbury residents say there has been another big earthquake in the area, with some describing it as the biggest since the first one on Saturday morning.
7:39am: Civil Defence says all schools in Christchurch city, Selwyn and Waimakariki Districts will now remain closed today.
The Director of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, John Hamilton, said some schools might reopen tomorrow, but that it is a decision for individual Board of Trustees to make.
Parents can contact their own schools for specific information about the situation there.
7:36am: Attempts will be made today to find new homes for quake-affected Christchurch businesses. The cordoned-off area in the CBD has shrunk as more buildings are assessed, but a part of the city is still closed off.
Central City Business Association General Manager Paul Lonsdale is meeting with the city’s main leasing agents to talk about where to house their tenants.
6:46am: tvnz.co.nz has collated together essential information about the earthquake – including helplines and official site information, as well as donation information. Check it out here.
6:25am: Farmers in areas affected by the Canterbury earthquake are being warned to check whether damage to their irrigation systems has left equipment “live” with the electricity connected to pumps.
The full extent of damage to irrigation wells, pipelines and systems has not yet been assessed, but Irrigation NZ today warned farmers to take extreme care .
“As power is restored there is potential for real danger in irrigation electrical systems,” said the body’s technical spokesman, Stephen McNally.
Farmers should turn off the power supply at the mains if electricity supply to the pump had been cut, but needed to be wary of surface water around electrical hardware and fallen lines.
“If in doubt, do not touch,” McNally said.
6:22am: 3.5 aftershock 20km east of Darfield.
6:09am: 3.7 aftershock 20 km south-east of Darfield.
5:29am: Schools in the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts may be cleared to open this morning, while schools in Christchurch could start opening from tomorrow.
Schools were meant to remain shut until next week, but Civil Defence is now allowing individual boards of trustees to decide when it is safe for their students to return.
Parents should contact their schools for specific information.
5:26am: Authorities say a state of emergency will remain in place today and this will be reassessed throughout the day.
The building evaluation team have now assessed 970 buildings within the CBD and along the edge of arterial roads. Teams will now move their focus to suburban areas, starting with Brooklands and Bexley.
Water is still off in approximately 66 streets. There is also approximately 500 homes without power.
Sewage issues in some areas remains a key concern. Port-a-loos were delivered to areas without water last night and more will be going out this morning.
3:59am: 4.5 aftershock within 5km of Darfield.
3:47am: 3.7 aftershock 30 km east of Darfield.
12:41am: 4.6 aftershock 30 km south-east of Darfield.
Tuesday 7th February 2010 (Day Five)
9.55pm: Christchurch City Council says the demolition of two buildings on Manchester St planned for today was postponed.
A demolition plan for the seven-storey Former New Zealand Express Co/MLC Building is to be developed by the owner. The two-storey Cecil House/Country Theme building no longer has a demolition notice in place and further assessment will be undertaken to determine its future.
9.36pm: 3.8 aftershock 20 km south-east of Darfield
9.26pm: 3.9 aftershock 30 km east of Darfield
9.04pm: 3.9 aftershock 10 km south of Darfield
8.58pm: The Christchurch City Council says schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch may re-open on Thursday depending on individual decisions by the Board of Trustees for each school. In the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts some schools and early childhood centres may be open from tomorrow depending on decisions made by each Board of Trustees. This updates earlier information, saying all Canterbury schools would remain closed until Monday. Parents should try to contact their own schools for specific information.
8.42pm: 3.5 aftershock 10 km north-east of Darfield
8.21pm: 3.4 aftershock 10km north-east of Darfield
8.08pm: Christchurch City Council says building evaluations are not likely to be completed until Monday 13 September, at the earliest, and essential inspections were being given priority.
There have now been 821 building evaluations completed.
Seventy percent of buildings have received a green placard, meaning the building is considered safe for its intended use. A yellow placard means the building has limited access and further structural assessment is needed – 25% of buildings have received a yellow placard. A red placard means the building is considered unsafe and further structural assessment is needed. These buildings have generally been isolated with barriers – 5% of buildings have received a red placard.
7.06pm: The City Council says water tankers are at the following roads and locations:
– McBratneys Road
– Palmers/New Brighton
– Linwood High School
– Avondale Retirement Home – Locksley Avenue
– Bishopdale Mall
– Brooklands Community Centre
– Banks Ave School
Residents are asked to bring their own water containers, and are reminded the water should be boiled before use.
6.54pm: 3.8 aftershock 30km south-east of Darfield.
6.29pm: 3.1 aftershock 20km south-east of Darfield.
6.25pm: Seven Christchurch libraries will reopen tomorrow. They are Bishopdale, Fendalton, New Brighton, Papanui, Shirley, South and Spreydon. The libraries have all been assessed and deemed safe to resume operations.
The Libraries’ call centre, the Finger Tip Library, will open tomorrow, but with limited services.
6.19pm: 3.2 aftershock 20km south-east of Darfield
5.53pm: The Government has announced a wage subsidy for small businesses seriously disrupted by the Canterbury earthquake.
The subsidy of $350 per week will be paid to businesses with fewer than 20 employees where earthquake damage means they cannot operate and they cannot pay staff wages.
Main points of the subsidy are:
– $350 per week gross wage subsidy;
– Advance lump sum paid to employer;
– Employer can `top up’ subsidy;
– Backdated to date of earthquake; and
– Firms holding insurance cover for loss of earnings will be expected to use this before accessing the wage subsidy.
5.23:pm A major supermarket chain is reassuring Canterbury customers it has all its supermarkets running as normal, apart from one.
Foodstuffs South Island says Kaiapoi New World is the only store that’s closed.
Chief executive Steve Anderson says all its distribution centres are picking, dispatching and receiving stock.
4.53pm: All jury trials scheduled in Christchurch this week have been postponed because jurors were unlikely to be unavailable.
4.51pm: A new welfare centre has opened up for Selwyn District residents at the Rolleston Community Centre.
The District Council says additional centres will be opened in other locations around the district in the next 24 hours.
4.49pm: Lines company Orion says it has approximately 500 customers still without power. Most of those are served by cables one to two kilometres long that have been stretched, meaning they will have multiple breaks.
It’s brought in generators to supply some of the affected customers. It says it’s network remains fragile and vulnerable to after-shocks.
4:46pm: 3.5 aftershock 30km south-east of Darfield.
4.23pm: Schools and early childhood services in the Christchurch City, Waimakariri and Selwyn districts will be closed to students and children until Monday, 13 September.
Staff will be allowed back before that, subject to buildings being given safety approval.
4.18pm: Labour leader Phil Goff told parliament: “I pay tribute to the people of Christchurch and Canterbury for their resilience and courage, and readiness to look after each other and think of others whose plight is worse than their own.
“I want to pay tribute to the work of Civil Defence and emergency services, and the contractors who have made amazing efforts to help restore vital services.”
3.35pm: Christchurch City Council says most of the CBD is back to normal, with businesses and services running as usual. However, a cordon remains in place in the small area bounded by Worcester Street, St Asaph Street, Colombo Street and Madras Street.
Elsewhere, buildings throughout most of the central city are safe and in working order, the council says. It said in a statement: “We encourage people to resume day-to-day activities in this area as Christchurch gets back to normal after the earthquake.”
3.03pm: Christchurch’s waste collection service is operating as normal despite the quake. However, collectors faces a daunting task of trying to collect rubbish from impassable roads.
Residents can help by not putting masonry, bricks, rubble and soil into their wheelie bins. This material can be dropped off at the various public transfer stations.
Contaminated food waste from supermarkets, distribution centres and other sources has to be given priority due to public health concerns.
2.42pm: PM John Key has made a statement to parliament in which he said: “It was a frightening experience for everyone, but it has proven one thing: that in the worst of times, you see the best of New Zealand. I have been impressed by the community spirit shown – from private individuals, to government agencies, NGOs, and businesses, both local and national.”
He praised the local mayors for their leadership, neighbours who have taken people in, Work and Income staff who have visited or called elderly people and students who have used Facebook to round up volunteers.
2.17pm: KiwiRail has reopened the Main South Line and Midland Line in Canterbury to rail traffic after being closed this morning following strong earthquake aftershocks overnight. Track and bridges were inspected before trains were cleared to operate. The Main North Line, which has been closed between Christchurch and Rangiora as a result of track formation and bridge damage near Kaiapoi, is expected to re-open mid-afternoon today.
2:04pm: A website has been set up to help Canterbury residents access services and keep informed in the aftermath of the quake. The site contains useful numbers and weblinks to assist residents.
1:40pm: Social development minister Paula Bennett is urging any of the around 7000 elderly people living on their own in the Christchurch district to contact the government help line on 0800 77 999 7 to let the authorities know they are okay.
1.31pm: a summary of the latest information this afternoon:
– The state of emergency remains in place
– Aftershocks as large as magnitude 5.4 are continuing
– A significant number of people remain in welfare centres, up to 300 last night
– Cordons remain in place around the restricted access zones in central Christchurch and Kaiapoi
– People are able to access through two checkpoints. Those people going through the cordon are being logged by police in case of evacuation
– About 2000 homes are still without power. Every dairy shed in the district now has power
– There are still 60 streets where water mains are shut off
– Testing of water supplies has begun but it will be up to two days before results are available
1.26pm: People are being asked by Red Cross to make a donation of cash not goods. A spokesman said: “Managing goods during a response to and recovery form from a civil defence emergency can be difficult and divert essential resources. It is also logistically easier to use cash donations to obtain the goods required.” More information – www.redcross.org.nz
12.44pm: Two inner city buildings in Christchurch will be demolished later today. The exact timing is not yet known. They are:
1. The seven-storey former New Zealand Express Co building/MLC building at 160 Manchester Street on the corner of Hereford and Manchester Streets. This is a caetgory 1 New Zealand Historic Places Trust building and was built in 1906.
2. The Cecil House/Country Theme building at 68-76 Manchester Street, on the corner of St Asaph and Manchester Streets. This is a two-storey, neo-classical style building built in 1877 which is not listed by New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
12.35pm: Foodstuffs has confirmed that all New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square stores are open except in Kaiapoi.
The chain is distributing products to stores from its distribution centre in Dunedin, while the Papanui and Hornby distribution centres are operating on a limited basis.
Loss from damage to buildings and products will run into millions, but the exact figure will take weeks to establish, the company said.
12.25pm: Aftershocks have forced police to move one of the checkpoints in the Christchurch CBD restricted zone. A building near the checkpoint on the corner of Cashel and Madras streets had become unsafe due to the ongoing tremors.
It has been moved to the corner of Manchester Street and Worcester Street.
Senior Sergeant Pete Cooper said: “I’m asking the public who are accessing the restricted zone to take care, walk in the middle of the road, and observe areas that are further fenced off. ”
12.17pm: Teachers in Canterbury have called off their strike due to take place next week. The Post-Primary Teachers’ Association executive has voted unanimously to exempt Canterbury from the September 15 strike to help support residents as they try to rebuild.
PPTA president Kate Gainsford said: “Exempting our Canterbury colleagues from industrial action is a way for us to help restore the community to some sort of normality.” The strike will continue, as arranged, everywhere else.
12.03pm: There are growing concerns over the water supply. There are 20 cases of gastroenteritis at the Linwood welfare centre and eight at the Addington centre, reports ONE News’ Max Bania.
11.30am: Rockers Metallica say they will still play in Christchurch. Fans were worried they would cancel the show but the band says its performances at the CBS Canterbury Arena – close to the epicentre of the earthquakes – will go ahead as planned on September 21 and 22.
11.00am CCTV footage of the Noel Leeming store in Moorhouse, Christchurch, has been released, of the moment the quake hit. Also some footage of one of the aftershocks. See it here.
10.44am: Labour leader Phil Goff will travel with PM John Key on an air force plane this afternoon. They will then attend a briefing in Christchurch at 5pm in a rare display of unity.
10.42am: Key says schools may be closed for longer than was thought. All schools and pre-schools in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts were closed today and yesterday.
Five schools are badly damaged and will have to close for longer. Details on the schools to come later.
10.40am: Phase two of the government response is being worked on and will be announced in Christchurch this afternoon.
It will include a wage subsidy package for workers who are not getting paid. There will also be some form of assistance grant, probably administered through WINZ, available to workers who are not getting paid. Finance Minister Bill English is talking with banks and IRD about them going easy on chasing up businesses for tax and debts.
10.38am: PM John Key has not yet told Buckingham Palace that he has cancelled his visit but he says he is sure they will understand.
10.34am: Almost 200 residents from a number of resthomes in Canterbury are being relocated over the next few days due to structural problems with the buildings and on-going problems with the water supply.
David Meates, chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board said: “Despite the extra measures staff have put in place, the situation is not sustainable.”
10.30am The TRN building and Clarendon Towers both have red stickers, meaning they are not safe to enter.
10:15am: The numbers of Canterbury residents with gastroenteritis has risen. Around 12 people are in quarantine at the Addington welfare centre and there are also cases at the Linwood shelter. Mayor Bob Parker says even though most households now have a water supply, people need to boil it for three minutes before use.
10.00am: Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson will meet with others in the farming community to discuss how they can be assisted in the clean up. He’ll also meet with MAF and the Rural Support Trust to set up a plan of attack for the coming days. Nicolson hopes a command post will be set up following the meeting where they can do all their planning in one place.
9.53am: To help non-English speakers, the earthquake telephone helplines are now linked to a service that has professional interpreters in 40 languages. The helpline numbers are 0800 77 999 7 for information about all government services and support, 0800 611 116 for the Ministry of Health and 03 941 8999 for Christchurch City Council public information. Online information: www.ccc.govt.nz or www.languageline.govt.nz
9.30am: The Prime Minister has cancelled his overseas trip to concentrate on the Canterbury quake. He was due to meet the Queen in Britain and visit France.
9:20am: Police reduce the cordons surrounding Christchurch CBD. Restricted area now bounded by Colombo, Worcester, Madras and St Asaph Streets. Entry through checkpoints at Colombo and Lichfield St, and Madras and Cashel Street intersections. Staff at these checkpoints will be keeping a record of all people who enter the restricted areas.
8.57am: Aftershock of 3.6 felt at 8.14am; another of 3.4 at 8.24am.
8.50am: A group of students is travelling around Canterbury, and helping out residents affected by the quake. They will be in Kaiapoi today. Around 250 people came together after a group was set up on Facebook.
8.15am: The advice is still to boil water for 3 minutes, in a pot on the stove. Most jugs have electric cut-outs, so do not boil for 3 minutes.
8.10am: Six out of 10 Canterbury homes will need some kind of repair after the quake.
8.00am: Seismologist Dr Warwick Smith told Breakfast there is a general rule that the biggest aftershock is one magnitude unit less than the main shock, so Canterbury could be looking at a magnitude 6.
7.40am: The welfare centre at Burnside High School is closed this morning – it’s been damaged in aftershocks. People staying there will be given the choice of re-locating to the main welfare centre at Addington Raceway. There was an increase in the number of people staying in the welfare centres overnight. Linwood welfare centre had 105 people, Addington another 145 and 71 people stayed at the Burnside welfare centre.
7.39am: Overnight aftershocks have opened up fresh cracks in Christchurch’s domestic airport terminal. The terminal was closed briefly this morning but airport spokesman Gareth Owen says it’s now back up and running.
7.13am: From 7am today, the cordoned-off area extends to Gloucester Street in the North, St Asaph Street in the South, Cambridge Terrace in the West and Madras Street in the east.
There are only two points by which vehicles may enter the cordon:
– North of Cathedral Square at the corner of Gloucester and Colombo.
– South of Cathedral Square at the corner of St Asaph and Colombo.
Within this cordon, people can move around relatively freely but there remain areas and streets that are completely off-limits to the public due to the danger of falling buildings (e.g. Manchester St between Worcester and Gloucester).
7.05am: Bob Parker is calling on locals to refrain from driving around Christchurch to look at the path of destruction left by Saturday’s earthquake. Police say there have been some car accidents, and instances where people are removing road cones and safety barriers to see damaged areas. The mayor says it makes it a lot tougher for authorities to move around the city to do their job.
7.00am: Hirepool is bringing in porta-a-loo toilets from across the country as Christchurch struggles with the sewage problem. Kaiapoi and New Brighton are the suburbs most affected.
6.39am: Metro buses and ferry services are operating today. from the first service. The only exceptions are school services and routes 51 and 480. Passengers should refer to the Metro website for further information.
6.30am: Civil defence rescue manager John Buchan says 670 buildings in the CBD have been inspected by engineers. Teams have also been to 12-hundred homes throughout the city, and will continue working through the suburbs today, starting in Brooklands.
6.10am: Strong aftershocks that shook the city overnight meant the inner-city cordon that has kept the public out of the city centre, could not be reduced to the extent initially planned. It will still relax at 8am, with Cathedral Square and Colombo Street reopening.
5:56am: The following quakes have been recorded since midnight. 4.7 at 12:21am; 3.9 at 12.51am; 3.1 at 2.52am; 3.7 at 3.14am; 5.4 at 3.24am; 3.5 at 4.17am; 3.9 at 5.14am
5:55am: NewsTalk ZB is broadcasting out of Jason Gunn’s Production Company building, after the ZB building was closed yesterday.
5.53am: Christchurch will have a showery day, a high of 15 degrees.
5.50am: Male prisoners will be moved around the city this morning out of the central prison. The prison itself is not damaged, but water pressure may not be effective in event of a fire, so they are being moved for their safety.
Monday 6th September (Day Three)
(My very boring Birthday)
12:51am Another aftershock, much smaller this time. 3.9, 20 km south east of Darfield at a depth of 5km
12:41am There are reports coming in of further damage to structures in Christchurch after the 5.4 and 5.2 magnitude aftershocks struck within 16 minutes of each other. They are the biggest recorded since Saturday morning
12:21am Smaller aftershock compared to the last one but still significant. 4.7, 20 km southwest of Darfield, depth of 15km
11.40 pm Another major aftershock and now the biggest felt since quake first hit on Saturday morning. 5.4, 20 km southeast of Darfield, depth of 9km.
11.37pm: The Christchurch City Council’s engineers have now surveyed all 550 buildings in the central business district. City Rescue Manager Steve McCarthy said 5% of those buildings have been red stickered meaning they are deemed unsafe and unable to be entered. A further 16% have been given a yellow sticker, which allows for building owners to enter the property to assess the extent of the damage. The remainder have been green stickered meaning they are safe and able to be used as normal.
“Some of the red stickered buildings are heritage buildings and we want to manage carefully what happens with these,” he said.
Mr McCarthy said buildings that were most badly affected were generally those built in the 1860 to 1940 era. He said there were a number of six and seven storey buildings that have been red stickered.
11.38pm Another aftershock. 4.0, 20 km west of Christchurch, depth of 15km
11.24pm Biggest aftershock felt since quake first hit on Saturday morning. 5.2, 20 km southeast of Darfield, depth of 9km.
11:14pm Another aftershock. 3.7, 10km southwest of Christchurch, depth of 5km. Since 6pm tonight there have been 8 aftershocks, the largest was 4.4 at 6.01pm.
10.00pm Metro buses and ferry services will be operating on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 from the first service. The only exceptions are school services and routes 51 and 480. please refer to the Metro website for further information
9.30pm Work and Income is apologising to people who can’t get through on the 0800 77 999 7 emergency number. Mike Smith, spokesperson, says he knows this must be incredibly frustrating.
“I want to assure you that we are doing our very best to ensure that calls are answered quickly and that people are getting the information they need,” he said.
I urge people who have still been unable to reach us on the 0800 number to keep trying. We have taken over 4500 calls to date with most calls now being answered within 20 seconds.”
9.00pm: Prisoners from Christchurch’s Men’s and Women’s prisons will be moved to other sites as a precautionary measure. The Department of Corrections says the prisons are operating safely, but there is a safety risk that water pressure would not be effective enough in the event of a fire.
8.30pm: The cordon around quake-damaged central Christchurch has been reduced. The area from Gloucester to Armagh Streets was reopened from 1.30pm today.
79% percent of buildings were considered safe and 16 percent needed further structural assessment.
The 5% of buildings considered unsafe were isolated with barriers.
Armagh, St Asaph, Durham, Tennyson and Madras Streets remained closed.
8.10pm: Christchurch jury trials have again been postponed, despite the court complex being undamaged and outside the central city cordon.
Ministry of Justice media adviser Steve Corbett said tomorrow’s jury trials would be postponed as many jurors were likely to be unavailable.
The ministry would make decisions on proceedings “day by day” so potential jurors should check the jury phone line regularly, he said.
All disputes and tenancy tribunal cases were also postponed.
7.30pm: The government is urging Canterbury residents with elderly neighbours to continuously check on them, as the aftershocks continue.
Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett says there’s still a lot of danger as the city keeps rumbling, and concern is held for the elders.
7.19pm: All classes at the University of Otago’s Christchurch campus have been cancelled this week.
The main building was today cleared of any structural damage but there were still “significant internal cleaning needs”, university dean Peter Joyce said. The St Elmo’s Court building remained off limits as a “status yellow”.
Professor Joyce said all facilities would be closed tomorrow, but most staff could return to their offices on Wednesday.
Classes were expected to resume next week.
5.54pm: The cordon marking no-go areas in the Christchurch CBD has been reduced again. The area from Gloucester to Armagh Streets has been reopened.
All buildings in this area have been inspected.
Civil Defence says building owners and the public now have full access except to unsafe buildings which have been isolated by barriers and tagged with yellow and red paint.
5.43pm: Questions have been asked about what support there will be for those in Christchurch without insurance cover.
Prime Minister John Key says they have to treat this carefully as the Government does want to send the message people need to have insurance.
He says true hardship would have to be proved and each claim would likely be treated on a case by case basis.
5.10pm : People volunteering to help after the earthquake are being directed to the Christchurch City Council call centre.
The number is 03 9418999. The council’s asking to phone rather than turning up in person.
5.03pm: Cantabrians have felt another aftershock. There was a tremor of magnitude 3 at about 4:30pm.
It was quite shallow at just eight kilometres deep.The aftershock was five kilometres from Darfield and 40 kilometres from west of Christchurch.
4.51pm: The government is making an initial donation of $5 million to the Mayoral fund set up for the quake recovery. That is on top of the $6 million already in the fund and is part of a government response just released by Prime Minister John Key. Ilam MP Gerry Brownlee has been made the minister responsible for earthquake recovery and a special cabinet committee will be formed.
Key says no decision has yet been made on whether a special commissioner will be appointed to run the response. At this stage the PM will still leave on Friday for a planned trip to France and Britain, but if the situation worsens, that decision may be revised.
4.40pm: Pockets of the suburb of Bexley are being evacuated this afternoon after houses have been deemed unsafe. Police say it is too early to say how many people will be affected, but people are having to leave their homes.
4.38pm: Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has told a press conference in the city that there is no room for complacency and said some of the latest aftershocks had been “crackers”.
4.33pm: Prime Minister John Key has just said the Earthquake Commission has had about 15,000 claims so far. He said it faces an “enormous workload”.
“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the response to this disaster, there has been a real community spirit,” he told a press conference at the Beehive.
4.17pm: A new cluster of five aftershocks has hit over the past two hours, including one measuring 4.4 at 3.07pm.
4.00pm : The police cordon around the Christchurch CBD has moved. The no-go area is now bounded by Cambridge, Gloucester, Madras and St Asaph Streets.
Anyone wanting to enter the area has to to through checkpoints at the corners of Glouchester and Colombo and St Asaph and Colombo. A cordon also remains in place on Cranford and Westminster Street area.
3.44pm: Orion says it’s aiming to have less than a thousand customers in Christchurch and rural Canterbury without power by tonight. 3500 homes were without power at midday. Over 400 Orion staff and local contractors are working on the network at the moment.
3.25pm: Housing New Zealand has checked 650 of its properties in the area with problems ranging from plumbing issues to collapsed chimneys. A spokesman says several hundred need re-roofing, 20 need urgent action and they’re seriously concerned about six properties. He says there are around 50 vacant homes which will be used to re-house those without somewhere to stay.
Port-a-loos are also being brought in to areas which still don’t have running water.
3.02pm: Newstalk ZB’s Christchurch headquarters has been evacuated. The 12-storey building on Worcester Street near Cathedral Square has had its restricted notice upgraded to a no-go zone by engineers.
3.00pm: Demolition work has begun in the St Albans area of Christchurch. A digger has pulled down a building which was shops at floor level and flats above. Residents of the building were ignoring advice and were going into the unstable property, Radio NZ reported.
2.48pm: AMI Insurance says it has had more than 4000 claims lodged already. Assessors have been flown in from all around the country and are now on the ground.
2.00pm: New streets have been cordoned off in Christchurch. Police have cordoned off Westminster and Cranford Streets in Christchurch and are asking the public not to enter this area due to danger from falling debris. They say cordons may vary depending on the weather conditions and possible aftershocks. As civil engineers and Urban Search and Rescue teams move through the city further buildings may be deemed to be at risk. Police ask the public take due caution around these buildings.
Inspector John Price said safety is paramount: “Unfortunately it appear as though a small number of people are interfering with taped off areas and removing safety cones. They are there to ensure people know what areas still pose a danger. Removal prevents the protection and safety of everyone.”
1.30pm: Rumours about a collapsed roof at Westfield Riccarton, which appeared on Twitter and were repeated in some media, are incorrect, the company says. Westfield says the centre opened today after safety checks, though some stores remain closed to clean up damage.
1.07pm: Orana Wildlife Park lost Gidro, a 10-year-old lemur, as a result of the earthquake. The animal drowned.
There are also concerns about a kiwi egg that is due to hatch soon. “We lost power for almost four hours and that poor little egg was rocked about inside its incubator. Today we saw movement in the egg so we are hopeful that the chick will hatch – but it will be a miracle if the chick is alright” says Tara Atkinson, Head Keeper of Native Fauna.
The wildlife park was closed over the weekend but has re-opened today and is operating as normal. There is no structural damage.
12.45pm: Another aftershock has knocked out the lights at Christchurch Airport.
Quakes today: 12.35pm – 4.5 on the Richter scale; 12.18pm – 3.5; 9.46am – 3.5; 9.31am – 3.6; 7.18am – 3.8; 5.42am – 3.6; 5.18am – 4.2; 5.07am – 3.6; 4.10am – 4.0; 4.06am – 4.8; 12.52am – 3.5; 12.52am – 3.9; 12.18am – 4.7; 12.16am – 4.3.
12.41pm: The ANZ says it sees the short-term impact of the Canterbury earthquake as negative, but the precise effect is impossible to predict. Building work will be boosted in 2011 and 2012 but the bank expects a downturn in tourism will balance out any gains.It said: “Of immediate concern is the impact on confidence, which requires decisive leadership and pragmatism by policymakers to support.”
12.36pm: All Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets in the Canterbury region are open but distribution centres were significantly damaged. Grocery supplies are being shipped from Auckland or direct from local suppliers to ensure essential items are available.
Progressive, which owns the supermarkets, is donating $100,000 to the earthquake fund and customers are able to contribute donations at any Countdown, Woolworths, Foodtown, SuperValue or FreshChoice store throughout the country.
12.26pm: Telecom says 1,000 callers have taken advantage of free calls on payphones in and around Christchurch. It is asking people to use the payphones responsibly by keeping calls brief and making important calls only.
The companu said 111 services are fully-operational and fixed lines are performing well as are both Telecom mobile networks. All four Civil Defence social assistance sites have telecommunications service. Enough back-up generators and diesel have been secured to maintain core services.
12.21pm: The Council of Trade Unions has been in talks with business leaders and the government about the impact on workers.
CTU president Helen Kelly said: At this stage I am pleased to note that a number of employers are reassuring workers about being paid if it is not practicable to work, and are taking care around issues such as health and safety, alternative work and also allowing staff to be with their families at this time.
12.18pm: Health Minister Tony Ryall has thanked the hundreds of Canterbury health workers who spent the weekend treating and caring for the earthquake struck people of the region and are continuing to work this week.
Ryall said: “I know that many staff had their own homes damaged by Saturday morning’s earthquake – some quite badly – but they put patients’ needs – and the needs of Canterbury people – ahead of their own and went in to work like the professionals they are.”
He also acknowledged and thanked radiographers and lab staff who cancelled their scheduled strike action at Christchurch hospital to lend a hand.
Midday: Orion says it still has 4000 customers in Christchurch and rural Canterbury without power. CEO Roger Sutton says they hope to have power connected to at least half of the homes by nightfall.
11.15am: MetService has issued a heavy rain warning for the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers in the 12 hours from 9am to 9pm today.
Forecasters are warning people in the area to expect a further 60mm of rain on the divide on top of what has already fallen, and over 30mm within 15km east of the divide.
The strong wind warning has been cancelled, although further gusts to 100kmh are possible in exposed inland places until mid afternoon.
10.57am: The Unite union in Christchurch says its office has been flooded with phone calls and text messages from worried workers. “Many workers at Christchurch’s restaurants, cinemas, hotels and security firms are worried that they will not be paid for the working days lost because of the earthquake. We are very worried that some employers will seek to withhold payment for work that employees were rostered to do over the weekend,” said Unite’s Christchurch organiser Matt Jones.
“Union members with young children have also been calling us concerned that their employer will force them to work before schools and childcare centres reopen after Wednesday.” said Mr. Jones.
10.16am: There will be limited court sittings in Christchurch today. The court house has been deemed safe by structural engineers but jury trials have been postponed because of the unlikely availability of jurors. Jurors summoned for jury duty are advised to call later today on the Christchurch jury service phone number 03-962-4399 for further instructions.
10.10am: Water and toilet issues are causing strain for people in some parts of Christchurch. Bowie Place is home to over 60 city council flats, and none of the residents have power, water or phones. Residents are resorting to desperate measures to get rid of their waste including collecting water from a local river to flush their toilets.
10.01am: Canterbury is being warned by another city hit by a major earthquake that it is facing a long road ahead. Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says his city is still fixing up buildings, three years after its 6.8 magnitude quake in December 2007.
9.59am: Despite the fact that sewage has been flowing into the Kaiapoi River, there are reports keen whitebaiters have been out with their nets trying to secure catches of the delicacy.
9.48am: Police are warning anyone wanting to get access into the centre of Christchurch City that they can only use two checkpoints and will not be allowed in at any others. They are: the corner of St Asaph and Colombo Streets, and the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets.
9.25am: A health advisory has been issued reminding people that people should boil water even to brush their teeth, as fears of gastroenteritis grow.
9.20am: Eighty soldiers now in the Christchurch CBD, assisting the fire and police services.
8.59am: Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says ways will be found to help people without insurance. Over the weekend, John Key had warned that some uninsured Cantabrians will be left out of pocket. But Parker said today: “It’s a difficult situation, but we are working on a human level. We can’t make value judgments. We have to find ways to help people. Of course there are complexities when people don’t have insurance, but people have to have a roof over their head and we have a responsibility to do that.”
8.35am: Radiographers will join a nationwide strike tomorrow, but Christchurch radiographers have pulled out and will work as normal. Hospitals across Canterbury have been operating smoothly, but non-urgent surgery has been deferred yet again at Christchurch Hospital today. Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman Mary Gordon says most general practices and pharmacies are open.
8.00am, The main points so far today:
– The state of emergency has been extended to midday Wednesday. The overnight curfew lifted at 7am.
– The storm overnight has not been as bad as feared but power has been knocked out to thousands of homes and there is a danger of flooding from rising rivers.
– Cabinet meets at 11am to discuss emergency relief for Canterbury.
– There have been dozens of aftershocks overnight, with the largest measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale
– The army is now helping police on road cordons
7.54am: The number of homes in the region without power has doubled overnight to 6,000 as a result of bad weather which brought down powerlines, Orion, the local power company, says.
7.51am: Police report that a couple of “well-known criminals” have tried to get into the cordoned off area of the CBD by posing as council workers. Superintendent Dave Cliff told Radio NZ that he expected the local courts would be strong in their response.
7.46am: Prime Minister John Key signalled on TV ONE’s Breakfast programme that the government would be bearing much of the cost of infrastructure that was previously paid for by Canterbury rate-payers. He said the government would need to “step-up” and pay for much of the re-building.
7.43am: The aftershocks are continuing to come regularly. The latest came at 7.18am and measured 3.8 on the richter scale. It was centered 20 km south-west of Christchurch.
7.25am: Water is on everywhere except for 60 streets in the city. There have been 360 breaks in pipes, 100 have been fixed. Water must be boiled even if it seems clean.
7.00am: The overnight curfew has been lifted. Schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch, Waimakariri, and Selwyn districts closed until Wednesday. Also Rangiora schools. More details on the Ministry of Education website.
6.53am: The state of emergency declared for Christchurch has been extended until midday on Wednesday.
– Schools and public buildings closed until Wednesday
– Stay home if you work inside the CBD cordon
– Call employer if unsure whether you can go to work
– No buses running
– Continue boiling water for 3 minutes
– Treat all powerlines as live
– Schools and pre-schools closed
– Universities, CPIT closed
– No bus services
– SH74 partly closed, most roads open
– Trains are operating
– Hospital surgery cancelled
– Libraries are closed
– Rubbish collections as usual
– Three welfare centres still running – at Burnside High, Linwood College and Addington Raceway
– Don’t light open fires
6.33am: Cordon in CBD to be lifted at 7am. People should call their employer if they unsure whether they are working. No buses will be running in the city.
6.25am: Aftershocks continue – there have been 79 since the major quake.
6.00am: Cabinet will discuss today what aid it will give to Canterbury residents facing a huge rebuilding effort and ongoing disruption as schools, and many public buildings and businesses remain closed following Saturday’s massive earthquake.
Hundreds of people spent their second night away from home in aid shelters in Christchurch after their houses were destroyed.
The state of emergency in the city will be reassessed today, but Mayor Bob Parker believed it may need to be continued.
5.00am: TVNZ weatherman Tamati Coffey says it is about 18C in Christchurch right now but a southerly change is coming. That will bring cold temperatures and snow down to around 600m in Canterbury and 300m in Otago.
Coffey says the stormy weather largely skipped the Canterbury region but winds of 175kmh were recorded in Dunedin and 100 kmh in Wellington.
No aftershocks recorded between 1am and 4am but then two occurred – a 4.8 and a 4.0 magnitude – at 4.06am and 4.10am. Both measured at a depth of 10 kms.
4.30am: Engineers say when the rubble is cleared they think the city will have stood up well. A platoon of engineers is descending on affected buildings, ticking off those safe to enter and marking others down for further action.
The director of engineering at the Institute of Engineers, Charles Willmot, says the collapse of older buildings is likely to change the face of Christchurch forever but it is pleasing that most modern buildings have stood up well.
3.45am: The working week will be severely disrupted for Canterbury residents as workplaces and schools grapple with assessing the extent of the quake damage.
Schools and universities are closed, bus services are cancelled and employers must ensure their buildings as safe before allowing their employees to enter them.
2.10am: Emergency services say Christchurch has so far escaped serious storm damage as the hurricane-force winds earlier predicted have not arrived.
Trees and power lines have been blown over, and minor slips have come down in North Canterbury and around Oamaru and Dunedin, but so far there is no major damage from an expected storm.
1.00am: Primary Care says GPs are up and running in Canterbury and people should consult their normal doctors.
Most pharmacies in Canterbury will be operating as usual from Monday apart from those in the CBD. All mall pharmacies are open, as are all rural pharmacies.
Patients who cannot access their pharmacy in the CBD should use Urgent Pharmacy in Bealey Avenue to collect new and repeat prescriptions. The scripts should be requested through their usual GP.
Patients unable to contact their regular pharmacy by phone for repeats can get a seven day emergency supply of medicine from the Urgent Pharmacy in Bealey Avenue. This is for urgent medical supplies only.
Pharmacies in the cordoned-off area of Kaiapoi will be operational for urgent medical supplies.
Sunday 5th September 2010 (Day Two)
11:55pm: The Fire Service says it is coping well and the weather seemed to be calming down slightly. It is experiencing a lull in call-outs.
GeoNet has recorded four more aftershocks since 9pm, strongest was 4.1 magnitude.
11:05pm: Police urge people in Canterbury to stay off the roads as wild weather lashes the quake-ravaged region. Power is expected to be restored to most areas around Oxford by about 11.30 pm.
The Old Waimakariri Bridge, Main North Road, is closed until further notice.
10.00pm: Electricity company Orion says power has been restored to 98% of customers, leaving about 3000 in the dark.
8.00pm: The Ministry of Justice says jury trials are off in Christchurch tomorrow due to the quake cordon and juror availability. Court buildings have been cleared for safety but are within the cordon so they are not able to be accessed.
7.45pm: The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) will be closed until Wednesday.
7.18pm: Electricity company Orion says it’s managed to restore power to 95 percent of earthquake-hit customers in Canterbury.
Chief Executive Roger Sutton acknowledges it’s frustrating for those who haven’t been able to get electricity, but he says crews are working around the clock.
7.15pm: The wild winds forecast for Canterbury tonight are unlikely to reach full force in Christchurch, where many residents are spending their second night away from home following the massive earthquake yesterday morning.
6.33pm: Access to water has been restored to 85% of homes in Kaiapoi, following the Canterbury earthquake.
Fifteen gangs of contractors, as well as 50 council staff and numerous volunteers have worked to restore water, fix sewage systems, and assess buildings.
Jim Palmer – the chief executive of the Waimakariri District Council – says good progress is being made.
6.22pm : Police will maintain cordon points in central Christchurch overnight.
The CBD is again under a curfew between 7pm and 7am.
6.02pm : Ministry of Justice says Jury Trials are off in Christchurch tomorrow due to the quake cordon and juror availability.Jurors should call the jury line (03) 962 4399 for instructions beyond Monday.
6.00pm: Metro bus services covering Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri are cancelled for at least 24 hours.
5.25pm: ANZ and ASB are the latest banks to set up earthquake appeal funds.
Donations for both can be made online or by going into any one of the nationwide branches.
5.16pm : A fourth welfare centre is opening in Brooklyn’s Community Centre. It’s in addition to the centres at Addington, Linwood and Burnside where 250 people stayed last night.
It’s not yet known how many people will be staying in these centres tonight.
4.45pm: Transport New Zealand has updated road closures in Christchurch.
State Highway 74 between Breezes Road and Metro Place is closed due to a broken sewage pipe. Single lane access is expected to be restored tomorrow morning.
To the north of the city the Chaney’s Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 remains closed. West of the city State Highway 77 has re-opened with a two kilometre detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy. All major bridges, including the Lyttelton tunnel have been assessed and given the all clear.
Highway operations manager Peter Connors says further analysis of bridges and other structures will continue on the state highway network will continue throughout the week.
4.07pm: Christchurch Hospital is putting off a number of deferrable hospital services tomorrow in a bid to cope with disruption caused by the earthquake. All surgical and medical procedures other than non-deferrable cases have been cancelled for tomorrow.
It includes all arranged admissions for Christchurch, Christchurch Women’s and Burwood Hospitals. Affected patients are being contacted.
Caesarean and labour inductions will continue as scheduled. Outpatient services will be maintained.
3.55pm : The SPCA has issued the following advice – Stray dogs should be reported to Christchurch City Council Animal Control, and anyone who found a stray cat, provided it was not injured, should leave it alone and not feed it. If the cat is still around in a few days it should be taken to the SPCA in Hornby.
Emergency animal welfare incidents can be reported on 03 366 3886. Anyone who had lost an animal for more than 24 hours should call SPCA Track-A-Pet on 0900 56 787.
3.45pm Agriculture Minister David Carter is expecting the damage bill for rural Canterbury to reach hundreds of millions of dollars. He has been visiting farming areas today .Parker says he’s seen widespread damage to houses and infrastructure and suspected damage to some of the buried mainline irrigation systems.
3.25pm Aftershocks continue to rattle Christchurch and Canterbury. A total of 64 quakes, measuring more than 3 on the Richter Scale have struck the region up until 2:34PM this afternoon.
Seven of the aftershocks have measured higher than five, two of which struck today. Thirty five were between 4 and 4.9 on the Richter Scale and the rest under 4.
3.20pm : Labour Party Leader Phil Goff has visited Christchurch today. He is promising Christchurch and Canterbury a bi-partisan approach from Labour. Goff said he is relieved at the low human casualty rate realising how much worse it could have been had the quake struck at a different time.
3.16pm: Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast has offered for council staff to travel south to help out in Christchurch and around Canterbury if they are needed. She made the offer to Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker yesterday and that a formal offer has also been made via the Ministry of Civil Defence.
“While I’m aware that everyone is coping very well with the tasks at hand, extra civil-defence staff, water and drainage engineers, structural engineers, building inspectors and environmental health staff might end up needed as the true scale of the damage in Canterbury becomes more apparent and the local people start to need a break,” Prendergast said.
2.54pm : All schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts will remain closed until Wednesday, it has just been announced. This will allow engineers to make essential structural checks before giving the go ahead for staff and students to return. All public buildings will also be closed.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said: “I think a lot of parents would have found it very, very difficult to get children to school anyway.”
The Secretary for Education, Karen Sewell, says these school closures are advisable in the best interests of safety and continued assessment of school property. “This allows more time for structural assessment of school buildings and grounds. Safety is paramount and the time will be used for the ongoing assessments to ensure school buildings are safe and to make sure water and sanitation is clean in school grounds,” Sewell said.
2.43pm: Public health authorities are urging everyone in Christchurch to boil their water for at least three minutes, not just those with burst pipes or flooding. This is because underground sewer pipes have the potential to mix with the water pipes. Even the tiniest amount of mixing can lead to gastroenteritis, a serious condition which can be fatal. Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Alastair Humphrey advises people to put their toothbrushes next to the jug to remind them to only use the boiled water.
Water is available from tankers at Parkview School and the Linwood Welfare Centre at Linwood College. People are asked to take a large container, such as a bucket, to collect the water.
1.44pm : Natural Dairy, the Hong Kong based company that wants to buy the Crafar farm, is to donate $200,000 to earthquake relief for Christchurch.
Spokesman Bill Ralston said: “The company is seeking advice from New Zealand authorities as to how this aid can be best distributed to the Canterbury community and what form this assistance should take. Natural Dairy sends its sincere sympathies and best wishes to the people of Canterbury at this difficult time and wants to help in any what it can.”
Separately, Fonterra has announced a $1 million donation towards recovery efforts in earthquake-affected Christchurch and the surrounding regions. BNZ said it would donate more than $1 million. And Westfield has announced it will donate $250,000.
1.09pm: Another couple of significant aftershocks have struck. One measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was centred 20km south-west of Christchurch just after midday. Then at 1.04pm an aftershock measuring 5.0 struck 20 km south-west of Lyttelton at a depth of 12km.
1.04pm : Civil Defence Minister John Carter said assistance has been offered by the United Nations and the United States, but it has been turned down as New Zealand is in a position to cope with the aftermath of the disaster.
12.58pm: The government faces a “moral dilemma” over what to do with the uninsured, Prime Minister John Key told ONE News today. He is warning that some Cantabrians will be left out of pocket after yesterday’s earthquake. “Ultimately if you don’t have insurance and you don’t fit in the category of real hardship, then there’s no question there will be a cost,” he said.
He said there would be assistance for people suffering hardship, but there would be some that are going to find it a very “distressing experience”.
Key said the early numbers indicate 341 houses are condemned and 337 had substantial weather damage.
12.42pm: Confirming the correct number for people affected by the earthquake needing information on government services is 0800 77 999 7. The number given out by the PM last night was not the correct one. Use 0800 77 999 7 for information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service.
To log a claim with the Earthquake Commission call free phone 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) or go to www.eqc.govt.nz
12.35pm : Lincoln Maternity Hospital and Burwood Birthing Unit remain closed until further notice. Women who were intending to birth at the units should go to Christchurch Women’s Hospital instead. The Rangiora Birthing Unit and Ashburton Hospital remain open for birthing mothers. Pre-planned caesareans and induction of labour will continue at Christchurch Women’s Hospital tomorrow as scheduled.
12.32pm: A KiwiRail train carrying almost 300,000 litres of fresh water is due in Christchurch early this afternoon. The water was loaded into Fonterra milk tanks at Temuka last night with the intention of bringing it to Christchurch last night. However because of the risk of track damage caused by aftershocks, the decision was made to delay the final leg of the journey from Ashburton until daylight.
Midday: More than 2700 insurance claims have been received. 350 of those are for houses considered uninhabitable so people will need to stay with friends, family or in welfare centres. People requiring information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service can call the Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 77 999 7.
11.55am: More than 500 buildings in Canterbury have been destroyed, and 90 of those are in the CBD. Water supply is back on for all but around 20% of the city, but leaking pipes are still causing some problems. Any tap water should still be boiled before it’s used.
10.58am: Ministry of Education says only two Canterbury schools are officially closed tomorrow – Kaiapoi and West Melton schools are closed until further notice. School authorities are still meeting with the Ministry of Education and other schools are likely to be added to the list throughout the day. Many school principals and boards are on site checking schools. The bulk are expected to have a superficial clean up which will be done either today and early tomorrow by staff. Updates on Ministry website.
10.35am: Telecom has made around 300 payphones in and around Christchurch free for local, national and mobile calls. There are still some parts of Christchurch without landline services, due to prolonged loss of power and damage caused by the earthquake. Telecom asks people to use the payphones responsibly, by keeping calls brief and making important calls only.
10.30am: School pupils in the Canterbury region should know very shortly if they are going back to school tomorrow. The Ministry of Education is meeting school authorities now to make the decision on whether they open.
10.07am: A large number of schools and businesses throughout Canterbury will remain closed tomorrow. Chamber of Commerce chief Peter Townsend says there are some parts of central Christchurch that you simply can’t get into – and others that are relatively unscathed. He says employers should use their commonsense, and if there’s any doubt stay closed.
10.05am: A lot of damage has been done to churches in the Canterbury region. As mentioned earlier, Christchurch Cathedral is closed, along with St Michael’s. Christchurch Dean Peter Beck says many other churches are still open or are meeting in halls. He says St Luke’s in the City has a lot of damage.
9.55am: Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker believes the 7pm to 7am curfew will again be in place in the city tonight. He’s sure businesses in the CBD will not be open for business tomorrow. This is still to be confirmed by police and local businesses.
9.50am: Christchurch City has been bolstered by the arrival of 50 urban search and rescue personnel. Mayor Bob Parker says they’ll start by be combing the CBD.
9.12am: The power company that looks the Canterbury region, Orion, says it is aiming to have 95% of customers in the whole network with power by midday. At the moment, 90% have power. Orion Chief Executive, Roger Sutton said the company was also hoping have a better estimate of how long it will be for the remaining 5% to get power back.
9.01am: More aftershocks: 4.1 at 8.13am; 4.2 at 7.51am; 4.2 at 7.41am; 3.7 at 7.30am; 3.7 at 7.11am. 16 have been felt since midnight.
9.00am: Winds have arrived already on the Canterbury Plains earlier than expected. Darfield and Sockburn already experience high winds.
8.54am: Christchurch Cathedral is not open for services today.
8.36am: Christchurch City Council says building evaluators are working today to assess buildings. Red placards will be placed on buildings deemed unsafe and which cannot be entered. Yellow placards will indicate restricted use, and green will show buildings that are safe.
8.35am: 80 kilometre winds already gusting in Darfield.
8.30am: Hornby and Eastgate Malls will be open from 10am for necessities only.
8.20am: Residents in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, have been left stunned by yesterday’s earthquake. Five hundred to 1000 homes in Kaiapoi are affected by lack of power, water or sewage. Waimakariri District Council chief executive Jim Palmer says the welfare centre at the Kaiapoi North School reopened at 7.30am. He says if people have concerns, they should go there.
8.15am: Movers Allied Pickfords have crews on standby if people need to move items into storage ahead of the stormy weather.
8.10am: Cantabrians worried about the safety of their homes are being urged to call a council building inspector or a certified builder. Anyone needing advice on anything should call 0800 77 999 7 or the Christchurch City council locally 941 8999 .
8.05am: No buses in and around CBD until further notice.
8.00am: Residents still being told to boil water for 3 minutes even if it looks clear.
7.30am: No sewerage or power in the Selwyn district of Rolleston – people should minimise water usage, as in Kaiapoi. About 6 houses uninhabitable in Rolleston. Rural water supplies out of action, but hopefully on later today. 95% of areas should have power by the end of the day.
7.25am: Around 20 houses in Kaiapoi still uninhabitable. Some have remained intact but may have dropped up to a metre.
7.20am: Many areas of Kaiapoi still don’t have sewer utilities. Crews are working on this right now and hope to have it sorted today.
7.00am: Curfew lifted but people being told to stay out of the CBD.
Electricity lines company Orion says 90% of customers in the Christchurch urban area got their power back on last night but 15,000 people are still without power.
More than 500 buildings have so far been identified as being substantially damaged with over 90 of those are in the central city area.
15-20% of the city is still without water and there are more than 200 water leaks around the city – around a 100 of which are being described as reasonably significant.
6.06am: An emergency welfare centre for people in the Waimakariri District has been set up at North Kaiapoi School in Williams Street.
Three more quakes between 5 and 6am. All recorded over 4.5 on the Richter scale and less than 15km depth. Around 50 aftershocks have been recorded by GeoNet.
AMI Stadium says it has escaped almost unscathed. Stadium CEO Bryan Pearson says early assessments have shown nothing too major.
5.02am: Another cluster of aftershocks rattle the area surrounding Darfield. 4:08 am, magnitude 4.0, depth 15 km; 4:23 am magnitude 4.4 depth 5 km and 4:31 am magnitude 3.8 depth 7 km.
Police say there are no reports of any trouble in the city. Nobody breaking curfew, no looting and no issues with cordons.
3:30am Fire services say they are waiting for daylight before they get back onto the streets and they have a backlog of more than 100 jobs to get to. The Army says they are ready to help. Colonel Roger McElwain says locals are showing true spirit in the toughest of times. He says people have been helping their neighbours with medical support, meals and even taking down chimneys which were cracked in the quake.
3.00am: Aftershocks – five quakes recorded by GeoNet this morning. All less than 10km depth and magnitude from 3.2 to 3.9. All within 30 kilometres of Darfield.
Sunday 1.05am: Police say 80 staff from Auckland are doing the night shift – working 8pm to 8am to relive Christchurch personnel. About 150 police officers working around Christchurch city overnight, also 6 dog handlers.
Saturday 11.15pm: Aftershocks continue. This one reported at 10:38 pm, measured at 4.9, same location (30 km north-west of Darfield) but only 8km deep. Another aftershock reported at 10.34pm. Magnitude 4.6, location 30 km south-east of Darfield and depth 20 km. Worried residents have headed to the emergency shelters.
Saturday – final Civil Defence update
More aftershocks are expected. The likelihood of aftershocks of up to around magnitude 6 will remain for the next week.
There has been widespread minor structural damage to buildings and smaller bridges.
Across the Canterbury region the delivery of water, sewerage and power services has been impaired but is being restored.
One person is in the Intensive Care Unit of Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries; a small number have been treated for fractures and lacerations. It is estimated that around 100 injured patients seen on Saturday relate to the earthquake.
All hospitals are functional, although Christchurch Hospital is operating on generator power.
A severe weather warning for gale force wind on Sunday could place significant stress on already damaged buildings and damage temporary repairs to buildings. On Monday evening rain is expected in the Canterbury region with 150 mm falling around the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers.
The National Crisis Management Centre will be functioning overnight to ensure any central government support and coordination that might be needed is available at first light in the morning, New Zealand time.
Police have imposed a cordon for the Christchurch CBD, inside Kilmore, Madras, St Asaph and Montreal streets, and for the Kaiapoi CBD, from 7pm to 7am.
People requiring information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service can call the Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 77 999 7 . The 0800 information line will operate daily between 7am and 10pm.
If you have a health emergency call an ambulance on 111. For other health advice call the 24/7 Healthline: 0800 611 116.
Water and sewage have been affected in several regions. There is expected to be limited flooding in places as a result of the damage to pipes. Residents should conserve water.
For information about storing or treating water
All Selwyn residents are being asked to conserve water, but especially in Rolleston. Rolleston water supply is contaminated. Minimise water use, e.g. flushing toilets.
Urban Search and Rescue. NZ Fire Service Task Force in Christchurch is deployed with support coming from Auckland and Palmerston North.
September 4th 2010 (Day One)
11:15pm Aftershocks continue. This one reported at 10:38 pm, measured at 4.9, same location (30 km north-west of Darfield) but only 8km deep.
11:00pm Another aftershock reported at 10.34pm. Magnitude 4.6, location 30 km south-east of Darfield and depth 20 km. Worried residents have headed to the emergency shelters .
9.50pm The Ministry of Education says it is not aware of any major damage to schools or services in the Canterbury region following today’s massive earthquake. Canterbury University is closed until September 13. Lincoln is closed on September 6. Christchuurch Polytechnic is closed until further notice. Another announcement will be made on Sunday.
9.40pm A loss of electricity is a concern to farmers. Federated Farmers of North Canterbury would appreciate any loan generators – contact Neil Stott on 03 318 8577.
9.00pm Another aftershock at 8.54pm. 4.6 on the scale and 60 km west of Christchurch.
8.15pm Weather analyst Philip Duncan says overnight weather won’t be too bad in Christchurch but gale-force winds are expected to pick up by tomorrow evening. Those winds could be strong enough to bring down damaged buildings.
8.00pm A central city business manager believes the full extent of the damage won’t be revealed until inner city cordons are lifted. General Manager of the Central City Business Association, Paul Lonsdale, says a lot of people won’t be aware of the damage. He says owners of businesses in the city haven’t been able to get past the cordons so they don’t know how bad it really is.
7.30pm More aftershocks are being felt. A 4.6 quake, 10km west of Christchurch was felt at 7.03pm. A 4.3 quake was felt at 6.54pm, 10km south west of Chch at a depth of 12km. These follow two quakes of 3.8 at 6.35pm and 6.38pm, 20km south east of Darfield.
7.15pm Anyone who is without power or feeling unsafe is urged to head to a welfare centre in Christchurch tonight. Welfare centres have been opened at Linwood High School, Burnside High School and Addington Raceway. Prime Minister John Key says anyone who feels alone or frightened now it’s dark should head along and spend a night in the company of others.
7.10pm Some of Canterbury’s oldest buildings in the city centre have pulled through with just minor damage. Buildings at Christ’s College, a school established in 1851, survived the full force of the quake. Spokeswoman Jane Leese says one of the older buildings, in particular, surprisingly suffered little damage.
7.00pm ANZ has made a $1m donation to support Canterbury residents and businesses in the aftermath of today’s earthquake. The ANZ and National Banks will also offer a special package of assistance for personal and business customers impacted by the earthquake. It’s suspending repayments on all loans for three months, waiving a number of fees, and will consider temporary adjustments to customer lending limits. Westpac has announced a special relief package for customers. It includes deferral of home loan repayments, a temporary overdraft, and interest only payments on loans.
6.40pm Aftershocks still shaking area. Latest was a 3.7 shake at 5.07pm, 20km west of Christchurch.
6.24pm Power has been restored to 90% of the Christchurch urban area and 80% of the rural network.
6.15pm KiwiRail says the Main North Line could be closed for up to three days at Kaiapoi, but it’s expected the network will be reopened as far south as Rangiora today.
6.10pm Crews are working to repair Canterbury’s railway lines so essential supplies can be delivered. There are plans to bring 300 thousand litres of drinking water into Christchurch from Temuka later tonight. The Main South Line’s been cleared, so that can now go ahead.
6.00pm The Prime Minister’s estimating the cost of earthquake damage in Canterbury to be around $2 billion. John Key says the Earthquake Commission has enough money to cover it, with $15 billion in assets.
5:45pm Canterbury Police will be supported by 80 Auckland Officers flying in this evening to assist with general duties and recovery. The CBD will remain shut overnight with Police manning cordons throughout the area.
5.30pm One person, believed to be a taxi driver, is still in intensive care in Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries; a small number have been treated for fractures and lacerations.
5.20pm There is a formal curfew in place under Section 88 of the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am. The areas affected by this curfew are the CBD block between Kilmore Street, Madras Street, Montreal Street and St Asaph Street, currently cordoned off, and the shopping centre and township area of Kaiapoi. Anyone found in the CBD will be arrested.
5.15pm The largest aftershock yet has been felt in Canterbury. The 5.4 magnitude jolt was centred 10 kilometres southwest of Darfield at a depth of 10 kilometres. It struck just before 5pm.
5.10pm Prime Minister is surveying the scene in Christchurch . Key said it will take time before the size of the bill is known but he said it will be substantial.
5.00pm Water remains a major concern with people facing a night without their normal water supply. Residents are urged to check their chimneys before lighting their fires.
4:30pm A fire has broken out in a CBD building but was brought under control quickly. It’s believed to have been caused by a surge as power supply returned, in combination with a gas leak. Residents and businesses are being warned to take care.
4pm Police would like to reiterate to the public that the CBD is shut and cordoned off and is likely to remain that way for most of the weekend. Police say all bars and businesses will be shut so there is no reason to come into town. They say there is extensive damage and some buildings are still unstable.
3.30pm People making claims for commercial buildings and businesses should go straight to their private insurers. Commercial businesses are covered not just for damage but also for business interruption if they have taken out business interruption cover.
3.25pm Chris Ryan clarified that Earthquake Commission covers damage to homes, including subsidence, of $100,000 and contents to $20,000. After that people’s personal insurance will cover the rest.
3.20pm Chris Ryan CEO of Insurance Council says people should get claims in asap no matter how small they are. If they have to leave their houses, they should try and secure their houses as best as possible. People should take photographs and get evidence of the damage they have experienced and send that in too.
3.15pm People being warned to conserve water and not to flush toilets. Water is coming back on in some areas. Sewer mains have been shattered and the waste water system is still not functioning in all areas.
2:42pm The number to call for insurance claims is 0800 DAMAGE or through ECC website .People have 3 months to claim. Damage could hit $1 billion dollars according to Ian Simpson of the Earthquake Commission. First $100,000 of damage to residential property is covered. 100,000 claims expected. Message to people looking at making claims is make them as soon as possible in the next week.
2.41pm Christchurch Hospital numbers have been steady. The Hospital is functioning well and is fully staffed. Most people have had mainly minor injuries. The number of cardiology admissions to the hospital is higher than normal.
2.40pm Lincoln Maternity Hospital and Burwood Birthing Unit will be closed until further notice. Women who were intending to birth at the Units prior to the earthquake should go to Christchurch Women’s Hospital.
2.36pm Canterbury University will be closed for a week so it can be assessed for safety. Campus will reopen on Monday September 13.
2.29 Welfare centres are being set up around Christchurch. Mayor Bob Parker says preparations are being made at Linwood High School, Aranui High School, and Addington Raceway. There is also one at Burnside High.
2:20pm Contractors clearing streets in Christchurch. The only people being allowed into the CBD are contract workers. Any moment there is an aftershock any building could come crumbling down, so very dangerous area. State of emergency means the authorities have power to arrest people who come into the area.
2.15pm Biggest earthquake since 1931. Strong aftershocks still being felt. Last one, at 12.18pm, was 4.0 on Richter scale and 10km east of Darfield, 30km west of Christchurch.
1:55pm Could be up to two days before all power is restored to the region. However 80% of houses should have power by nightfall Saturday.
1:40pm Some supermarkets are open – these are: Countdown Rangiora, Fresh Choice Parkland and Super Value Leeston. This is in addition to Countdown on Church Corner and Ferrymead, Fresh Choice Barrington, and Super Value on Stanmore Road, in Oxford, Woolston and Sumner.
1:30pm Airport is open, but people should expect long backlogs. People should contact their airlines because their flight may be put off until tomorrow.
1.15pm: Latest roundup from Civil Defence:
– A state of emergency remains in place in Christchurch and Selwyn District. Selwyn, Waimakariri and Timaru have activated their emergency operation centres
– There are power outages in the northwest of the city although the CBD is operating normally.
– Water and sewage have been affected in several regions. Residents should conserve water. All Selwyn residents are being asked to conserve water, but especially in Rolleston where the supply is contaminated.
– Christchurch hospital is functioning normally.
– All State highways are currently open to traffic.
– Lyttleton Tunnel has been checked and reopened.
– Ashley River Bridge has had an initial check by a structural engineer and is open.
– The only current closure is on SH74 on the ring route around Christchurch. It is closed at Bromley due to major road damage.
– The rail network across the South Island remains closed, except for Dunedin
– Christchurch Airport remains closed.
1.02pm : An historic pub in the South Canterbury town of Temuka has been badly damaged and the proprietor is unsure when it will reopen. Damage to the town of Temuka, 18km north of Timaru, was not widespread but both the Royal Hotel and the St Joseph’s Catholic Church were damaged. South Canterbury as a whole appeared to escape severe damage.
1.01pm: More on the storm heading for the area: WeatherWatch.co.nz said strong winds would increase during the day, with severe gales gusting to 130kmh possible later. MetService is also watching the storm, issuing a severe gale warning for the city predicting winds averaging 65kmh (gale force) with gusts to 130kmh. “Winds of that speed can be damaging and with many buildings extensively damaged it could cause a major headache for emergency services,” a spokesman said.
12.40pm: The Earthquake Commission says claims are expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
12.29pm : Civil Defence Minister John Carter says people will be evacuated from Christchurch CBD this afternoon though the exact scale of that is not yet known.
12.25pm: The earthquake’s scale and the amount of damage has made the story lead news across the world including on the BBC, CNN and Australian media websites. Australia has a particular interest due to the number of Australians who visit the city on their way to South Island skifields.
11.52am: PM John Key said he was very concerned when he heard the news. He received a text from his sister who lives in the city. He said “we are very happy and blessed” that no one died.
He said: “We are here to support them. We are not going to let Christchurch suffer this great tragedy on their own.”
Key said it would be some time before the scale of the damage is known and it was likely central government money would be needed to help rebuild infratructure in the region.
11.49am: Prime Minister John Key is arriving at Whenuapai airport in Auckland to fly to Christchurch. A team of 20 search and rescue personnel have just taken off in an RNZAF Hercules from the base and are on their way to Christchurch.
11.33am: A round up of the latest information from authorities in Canterbury:
Road closures include Manchester Street, Hereford St, Cashel Street and Gloucester Street. Police are telling people not to come in to the CBD.
Power will back back on for 90% of Christchurch city by 6pm. Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, as well as rural Canterbury between the Waimakariri River in the north and the Rakaia River in the south is without power.
Christchurch Airport is still closed but an announcement is due around 1pm.
Christchurch Hospital is on generator power and is being over-run.
The Rail network remains largely closed across the South Island. There has been damage to a 5km stretch of track near Kaiapoi. Less extensive track damage has also been reported near Belfast and at Rolleston.
The Lyttleton Tunnel has been inspected and is safe.
11.26am: Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker compared the scale of the damage to an iceberg: though the city is not levelled, the amount of damage under the surface could be very severe. He said residents must conserve water, not flush toilets, and not come out and “rubber-neck”.
11.16am : New aftershocks are being felt in central Christchurch. Details of the original quake have been amended slightly to 7.0 on the richter scale (Later upgraded again to 7.1), with the centre at a depth of 10km and 41km west of Christchurch.
10.58am : Central Christchurch has now been cordoned off to prevent people going into the CBD to view the damage or attempt to get to shops or businesses. Mayor Bob Parker told ONE News it is not clear when water supplies could be turned back on.
10.31am : Civil Defence Minister John Carter has confirmed there are two serious injuries: One man has been seriously injured by a falling chimney, another person was badly cut by falling glass. He said: “We are extremely lucky as a country that we have no fatalities. We are blessed actually.”
10.29am : A state of emergency declared in the Waimakiriri area could last for seven days, says chief executive Jim Palmer. The worst hit area is Kaiapoi – much of the area is without water and sewerage.
10.28am: Striking radiographers have abandoned their industrial action to respond immediately to the earthquake. Staff in the city were scheduled to take part in a partial strike today but the union says they’re turning up to work. A spokeswoman says they will also not proceed with the strike in Canterbury scheduled for Tuesday.
10.26am: Petrol seems to be running low in Christchurch. Eyewitness Graeme Price says Shell Linwood is out of petrol and BP Dellington is closed. BP Linwood is open but it’s not certain how long it will stay that way, he says.
10.25am: MetService has issued a severe weather warning for much of the South Island, including Canterbury. The worst of the storm will hit the area tomorrow. It will bring heavy rain and severe gales. Temperatures tonight could fall as low as minus 2 in some parts of the region.
10.12am : Orion Power expects 90% of power to be restored by nightfall tonight. Supplies to the airport and Brighton have been restored.
10.10am: A resident of Kaiapoi, just north of Christchurch, told ONE News: “It went on so long, I have never felt an earthquake like that before. You just thought, how could the building survive? I was just screaming for my flatmate.”
10.06am: A State of Emergency has now been declared, giving authorities extra powers to handle the crisis following the earthquake.
The Prime Minister is expected to arrive in the area at about 2pm.
Christchurch Airport is likely to open this afternoon after an assessment showed there is no serious damage to the runway or terminal.
9.57am: Ron Crone at Kairaki Beach tells ONE News there are holes in the road in the area. Power is out and his toilet overflowed. He described the quake as “violent”. He and his partner and dog sheltered in a doorway and said his house was now “buggered, it’s gone”.
He said: “It is like the movies. There is a bit of carnage, power poles are down everywhere.”
9.55am: Telecom says mobile networks in the South Island are holding up well but is asking people to make only emergency calls. Wireless landline phones will not work where power is out and customers are advised to use old-style wired phones where available.
9.54am: There are now reports that the earthquake was felt as far south as Invercargill and Gore.
9.48am: Water is returning to parts of Christhchurch, but many areas are still without supplies.
9.42am: Christcurch Airport about to re-open, says ONE News reporter Hannah Ockleford.
9.28am: A state of emergency could be declared within the next two hours following the massive earthquake near Christchurch this morning, the government said.
9.15am: The size of the quake is downgraded to 7.1 on the richter scale, from 7.4.
9.08am: Police advise people to stay out of Christchurch city and look at shutting the CBD down.
8.38am: A man has suffered serious injuries after being hit by a falling chimney when a massive earthquake struck Christchurch early this morning. He is intensive care.
8.03am: Christchurch’s Mayor has asked residents to check on the health of their neighbours but to otherwise stay indoors following this morning’s massive earthquake.
Bob Parker said there were concerns about the city infrastructure, including water and sewage. Residents were asked to conserve water and not go out far. “The one thing I would ask people to do is just to check on your neighbours, particularly in areas where there are elderly people and others who would have been perhaps startled,” he told Newstalk ZB.
7.55am: Large aftershock, at magnitude 5.2, brings the total to about dozen aftershocks.