Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Update on the NZ earthquake

Kaikoura is situated on SH1 half-way between Christchurch and Kaikoura to the south and the Marlborough Sounds (Blenheim), to the north -  and is completelely cut off as, as far as I can ascertain, Blenheim. The only road is a very long road, via Nelson.


I am wondering if we are going to be seeing if we are going to get a lesson as to what happens when supply lines fail:

There has been a rush on essential supplies in Kaikoura, which still remains cut off.

Reporter Tim Graham said there was a queue of about 200 people outside the New World supermarket in town. The store was only letting in six customers at a time, and essentials such as bread and milk were being rationed.

At the local petrol station, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic, waiting to fuel up.”



New Zealand earthquake strands cows

Three cows are stranded on a patch of grass in New Zealand, when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck that nation collapses the ground around them.

Hundreds of aftershocks had since followed, keeping residents of North Canterbury on edge.

High winds and seas may hamper the military's ability to help people stuck in Kaikoura, Minister of Defence Gerry Brownlee says.

"It wouldn't have been the most comfortable night," Hurunui District Council chief executive Hamish Dobbie said on Tuesday morning.

Civil Defence's acting national controller Shane Bayley said anyone who wanted to get out would be able to do so on helicopter flights throughout Tuesday.

There were four NH90 helicopters in operation "ferrying people in and out as well as supplies", which would be used to fly out those wishing to leave.

Tourists began being airlifted out of the region on Monday night, with a chartered helicopter flying some Chinese nationals out, Bayley told media in a briefing at Civil Defence's national emergency control centre at Parliament.

Hotel guests gather in a car park after an earthquake in Wellington.
Hotel guests gather in a car park after an earthquake in Wellington. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Tour agency Stray Travel planned to fly a private plane in on Tuesday morning to carry 30 foreign tourists and their driver to Christchurch.

"The weather's always going to be a factor, and potentially it will affect helicopter flights and the use of ships," Bayley said.

Large cracks are seen on Highway 7 following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Large cracks are seen on Highway 7 following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

However, the weather was forecast to ease later on Tuesday.

Two Navy vessels en route to the area from Auckland would arrive on Wednesday morning with supplies, and would also evacuate people.

Groceries litter the aisle of a supermarket in Miramar.
Groceries litter the aisle of a supermarket in Miramar.  Photo: AP/Ross Setford
The full extent of the damage to the area was still not known.

On Monday night, between 70 and 100 people remained at Takahanga Marae with nowhere to go.

Damage on New Zealand's south island following the earthquake.
Damage on New Zealand's south island following the earthquake.  Photo: Facebook: NZ Transport Authority - South Island

That was a significant drop on the 700 people who had stayed at the marae following the earthquake in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Canterbury Civil Defence Management Group would send building inspectors and council staff into Kaikoura on Tuesday to "support the response and to boost capability on the ground".

Power and communications were still "intermittent" and there was a big effort going on to get the inland roads into Kaikoura up and running but it will take a couple of days.

As for reopening State Highway 1, which was closed between Blenheim and Kaikoura, and Seddon and Chevior, Bayley said, "that's a major project".

In the meantime, those still in Kaikoura were asked to sit tight.

Some supermarkets took precautions as water stocks ran low.

They were urged to conserve water, with just three days' supply remaining.

"The message is to conserve water and be prepared for a long period of time not being supplied properly," Bayley said.

A welfare centre remained open in Waiau, one of the town's hardest hard by Monday quake. Other welfare centres in the district closed after the tsunami warning was lifted.

Leader Rd and Inland Rd, between Waiau and State Highway 1 on the east coast, remained closed on Tuesday.

State Highway 7 (Lewis Pass) reopened on Monday, and one lane of State Highway 7A to Hanmer Springs village reopened on Tuesday morning.

"We understand some people have got through (on Leader Rd) but we understand it's pretty difficult going through there," Dobbie said.

Some local roads were also expected to have been damaged.

"There's a lot of roads that we haven't got to through there, so we don't know what the condition of them is yet."

The council's priority on Tuesday was getting Inland Rd open between Waiau and Kaikoura and restoring power back to water pumps across the district, Dobbie said.

Generators were being used to keep affected pumps going, but residents were urged to conserve water until power was restored and should boil water as a precautionary measure until further notice.



"We're asking people to only use what they need."

Here is a live up-date from Radio NZ. Go to RNZ for updates

LIVE: New Zealand's 7.5 quake: rescue missions, aftershocks
As strong aftershocks continue after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, a rescue effort is gearing up for Kaikoura.


15 November, 2016

Key facts:

  • A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Hanmer Springs at 12.02am on Monday.
  • There have been two confirmed deaths. One person died in a house that collapsed in Kaikoura, and a second person died at a house in Mt Lyford, inland from Kaikoura.
  • More than 800 aftershocks had hit by early Tuesday morning.
  • Kaikoura is still cut off from the rest of the country, with major landslides blocking the roads in and out.
  • Six people suffered moderate to serious injuries in Kaikoura and were airlifted to hospital; another 18 were treated for minor injuries.
  • Most of Wellington's CBD opened as normal this morning, with parts of Featherston St cordoned off.

13:24
The Hutt Valley line has been suspended between Wellington and Petone until futher notice due to flooding.
13:24
The Hutt Valley line has been suspended between Wellington and Petone until futher notice due to flooding.
13:23
The whole seabed raised out of the ground



13:11
"Earthquakes suck. No two ways about it. But take it from a Cantabrian, time will develop you a decent gallows humour, I promise."

Some words of wisdom and comfort from expert Cantabrian Beck Eleven for those of us rattled by the quakes. 


Well this road is pretty "munted" quake damage + flooding

Power poles on a back road close to Waiau are barely upright after the shakes this week. Photo / Conan Young

12:45
Wellington mayor Justin Lester said the double hit of quake damage and flooding in the area meant people should not attempt to travel in or out of the city at this stage.

"This advice does not apply to people who live in inner city Wellington suburbs as most local roads are fine at this stage."

Mr Lester says some people have been choosing to ignore the cordons that are in place in and around Featherston Street.

"These are in place for safety reasons as there is a real risk of falling glass and debris in these areas.  People need to use commonsense, respect the barriers and cordons that are in place. It doesn't take long to walk or drive around them."  

12:43
RNZ reporter Phil Pennington says there is a back-log of 600 to 700 tourists who want to get out of Kaikoura, and there has been some discontent about the response. 

"I talked to a Belgium man, he said that the army should be there, he said that politically it's been a failure but that the Marae and the local volunteers had been very good. But he wants faster action and that was echoed by a few people that we talked to.

"Others did say they thought it was going well but there were the people we talked to in the rugby club rooms just half an hour ago, including an eight an a half month pregnant Wellington woman, and they were obviously happy to get out and so they were happy with things."

12:40
Both the United States and Malaysia have offered logistical support to help get people out of Kaikoura today.

During a media conference at Parliament this morning, Mr Key said about 140 people were on a priority list to transport out of Kaikoura today, which will be done by four NH90 helicopters, based out of Woodbourne airbase near Blenheim.

The American ship the USS Sampson was also here for the the New Zealand Navy 75th anniversary celebrations this week, and Mr Key said the US has offered its two helicopters to help with the evacuation effort.

"In addition to that, the Americans have a P3 Orion which they're going to add to our P3 Orion to undertake the aerial surveillance work and the Malaysians have also offered a helicopter."

12:28
Cracks in a closed section of State Highway 1, just south of Seddon. Photo / Kate Newton

12:25
Heavy rain is still causing issues in Wellington and Marlborough, and prompting evacuation preparations as the regions deal with aftershocks and damage from yesterday's quake. 


12:20

By midday more than forty tourists had been flown out by military choppers, which began flying out from the town's rugby field near the beach at about 9.30am.

There are still several hundred to go, and the airborne evacuation may take four days.

Several hundred people crowded around tables on the road outside the marae above the field were told the priorities are those with medical conditions, families with children and the elderly.

11:59

GNS seismologist Anna Kaiser is live online with RNZ to answer your quake questions. See the Q+A here.
11:47
People looking for information on friends and relatives in Kaikoura can use a Kaikoura Check In page that has been set up on Facebook here.

11:34
Ngāi Tahu have opened marae doors to help those effected by earthquake.

Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura - which is also a civil defence welfare centre - had 500 people on its register despite not having any water, power or sewerage.

They provided shelter to hundreds of Kaikoura residents and stranded tourists.
Hot meals were cooked on the marae's gas cookers and the Ngāi Tahu fishing company donated seafood, including hundreds of crayfish.

Tā Mark Solomon said "with the power outage all the tanks there stopped working so lets use the food".

Mr Solomon's whānau have lived in Kaikoura for 15 generations and it is his ancestral home.

"It's a horror shock to everybody, it's our community and we've lived there, my family have been there for 15 generations so to have it affect you and your community is terrible but it is part of the natural process of the planet and we just have to come through it."
Some people based at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura will be airlifted out today and Mr Solomon said all their marae will be open to those needing and wanting shelter.

11:25
There is still a risk of tsunami being triggered by aftershocks following the deadly magnitude 7.5 quake centred near Hanmer Springs, a marine geologist warns.
Dr Joshu Mountjoy led  research into the Kaikoura canyon off the South Island’s east coast in an attempt to understand the potential hazard posed by underwater landslides generating tsunami.
He told Nine to Noon this morning that a large event like yesterday’s quake will have “shaken the canyon a lot”.
It will have damaged the rock material to some degree. [The] potential is there that there is some very weakened parts of the canyon rim that are now susceptible to failure and may not take too much of an earthquake trigger to make them fall.”
Dr Mountjoy said it wasn’t a huge issue for people in Kaikoura township or north of the peninsula but South Bay and Owaro were “vulnerable”. It was known tsunami there could reach a few metres in height and there would be little warning.
After any large aftershocks people should move to higher ground. The key message is to stay away from the coast.”
Dr Mountjoy said there was a good understanding of faultlines in the area but this quake had shown there was a gap in knowledge around ruptures which began on land and then travelled out to sea. The key initial element was understanding which faultline the quake had originated on. It was too early to say what it meant for the future.
11:22
Bricks have tumbled off this building in Culverden, one of the towns closest to the epicentre of Sunday nights quake. Photo / Conan Young

Wellington is getting back on its feet today following Monday's strong earthquake but some buildings and areas of the inner city are set to remain off limits for some time.

Specialist engineers were inspecting 50 earthquake damaged buildings this morning.

Many of the damaged building are on reclaimed land on Wellington's waterfront including the BNZ Building on Waterloo Quay and the nearby Statistics New Zealand building.

One of Statistic House's floors is believed to have pancaked onto the one below and the building is unlikely to reopen anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa said engineers have inspected the building and found no structural issues. Te Papa would reopen shortly she said.

Commuter trains and bus services - with some diversions -  have resumed today, but some areas of the CBD including Featherston Street remain cordoned off due to the risk of further glass and debris being dislodged by strong winds.
Alan Bannister of  commuter rail operator Transdev said passenger numbers are well down on normal.

Commuters arriving in Wellingon said carriages had about a quarter of the usual number of passengers.

13:11
"Earthquakes suck. No two ways about it. But take it from a Cantabrian, time will develop you a decent gallows humour, I promise."

Some words of wisdom and comfort from expert Cantabrian Beck Eleven for those of us rattled by the quakes. 


Power poles on a back road close to Waiau are barely upright after the shakes this week. Photo / Conan Young

12:45
Wellington mayor Justin Lester said the double hit of quake damage and flooding in the area meant people should not attempt to travel in or out of the city at this stage.

"This advice does not apply to people who live in inner city Wellington suburbs as most local roads are fine at this stage."

Mr Lester says some people have been choosing to ignore the cordons that are in place in and around Featherston Street.

"These are in place for safety reasons as there is a real risk of falling glass and debris in these areas.  People need to use commonsense, respect the barriers and cordons that are in place. It doesn't take long to walk or drive around them."  

12:43
RNZ reporter Phil Pennington says there is a back-log of 600 to 700 tourists who want to get out of Kaikoura, and there has been some discontent about the response. 
"I talked to a Belgium man, he said that the army should be there, he said that politically it's been a failure but that the Marae and the local volunteers had been very good. But he wants faster action and that was echoed by a few people that we talked to.

"Others did say they thought it was going well but there were the people we talked to in the rugby club rooms just half an hour ago, including an eight an a half month pregnant Wellington woman, and they were obviously happy to get out and so they were happy with things."

12:40
Both the United States and Malaysia have offered logistical support to help get people out of Kaikoura today.

During a media conference at Parliament this morning, Mr Key said about 140 people were on a priority list to transport out of Kaikoura today, which will be done by four NH90 helicopters, based out of Woodbourne airbase near Blenheim.

The American ship the USS Sampson was also here for the the New Zealand Navy 75th anniversary celebrations this week, and Mr Key said the US has offered its two helicopters to help with the evacuation effort.
"In addition to that, the Americans have a P3 Orion which they're going to add to our P3 Orion to undertake the aerial surveillance work and the Malaysians have also offered a helicopter."
12:28
Cracks in a closed section of State Highway 1, just south of Seddon. Photo / Kate Newton

12:25
Heavy rain is still causing issues in Wellington and Marlborough, and prompting evacuation preparations as the regions deal with aftershocks and damage from yesterday's quake. 


12:20

LIVE: Ask an expert your quake questions - GNS seismologist Anna Kaiser is live online to answer your quake Qs.
12:10
By midday more than forty tourists had been flown out by military choppers, which began flying out from the town's rugby field near the beach at about 9.30am.
There are still several hundred to go, and the airborne evacuation may take four days.

Several hundred people crowded around tables on the road outside the marae above the field were told the priorities are those with medical conditions, families with children and the elderly.

12:06

LIVE: Ask an expert your quake questions - GNS seismologist Anna Kaiser is live online to answer your quake Qs.
11:59
GNS seismologist Anna Kaiser is live online with RNZ to answer your quake questions. See the Q+A here.
11:47
People looking for information on friends and relatives in Kaikoura can use a Kaikoura Check In page that has been set up on Facebook here.

11:34

Ngāi Tahu have opened marae doors to help those effected by earthquake.
Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura - which is also a civil defence welfare centre - had 500 people on its register despite not having any water, power or sewerage.
They provided shelter to hundreds of Kaikoura residents and stranded tourists.
Hot meals were cooked on the marae's gas cookers and the Ngāi Tahu fishing company donated seafood, including hundreds of crayfish.

Tā Mark Solomon said "with the power outage all the tanks there stopped working so lets use the food".

Mr Solomon's whānau have lived in Kaikoura for 15 generations and it is his ancestral home.

"It's a horror shock to everybody, it's our community and we've lived there, my family have been there for 15 generations so to have it affect you and your community is terrible but it is part of the natural process of the planet and we just have to come through it."

Some people based at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura will be airlifted out today and Mr Solomon said all their marae will be open to those needing and wanting shelter.

11:25
There is still a risk of tsunami being triggered by aftershocks following the deadly magnitude 7.5 quake centred near Hanmer Springs, a marine geologist warns.
Dr Joshu Mountjoy led  research into the Kaikoura canyon off the South Island’s east coast in an attempt to understand the potential hazard posed by underwater landslides generating tsunami.

He told Nine to Noon this morning that a large event like yesterday’s quake will have “shaken the canyon a lot”.

It will have damaged the rock material to some degree. [The] potential is there that there is some very weakened parts of the canyon rim that are now susceptible to failure and may not take too much of an earthquake trigger to make them all.”

Dr Mountjoy said it wasn’t a huge issue for people in Kaikoura township or north of the peninsula but South Bay and Owaro were “vulnerable”. It was known tsunami there could reach a few metres in height and there would be little warning.

After any large aftershocks people should move to higher ground. The key message is to stay away from the coast.”

Dr Mountjoy said there was a good understanding of faultlines in the area but this quake had shown there was a gap in knowledge around ruptures which began on land and then travelled out to sea. The key initial element was understanding which faultline the quake had originated on. It was too early to say what it meant for the future.
11:22
Bricks have tumbled off this building in Culverden, one of the towns closest to the epicentre of Sunday nights quake. Photo / Conan Young
11:18
UPDATE || One of our Seasprite helicopters is also heading south to assist in the earthquake evacuation //
Wellington is getting back on its feet today following Monday's strong earthquake but some buildings and areas of the inner city are set to remain off limits for some time.

Specialist engineers were inspecting 50 earthquake damaged buildings this morning.

Many of the damaged building are on reclaimed land on Wellington's waterfront including the BNZ Building on Waterloo Quay and the nearby Statistics New Zealand building.

One of Statistic House's floors is believed to have pancaked onto the one below and the building is unlikely to reopen anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa said engineers have inspected the building and found no structural issues. Te Papa would reopen shortly she said.

Commuter trains and bus services - with some diversions -  have resumed today, but some areas of the CBD including Featherston Street remain cordoned off due to the risk of further glass and debris being dislodged by strong winds.

Alan Bannister of  commuter rail operator Transdev said passenger numbers are well down on normal.


Commuters arriving in Wellingon said carriages had about a quarter of the usual number of passengers.


Ngāi Tahu have opened marae doors to help those effected by earthquake.
Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura - which is also a civil defence welfare centre - had 500 people on its register despite not having any water, power or sewerage.
They provided shelter to hundreds of Kaikoura residents and stranded tourists.
Hot meals were cooked on the marae's gas cookers and the Ngāi Tahu fishing company donated seafood, including hundreds of crayfish.
Tā Mark Solomon said "with the power outage all the tanks there stopped working so lets use the food".
Mr Solomon's whānau have lived in Kaikoura for 15 generations and it is his ancestral home.
"It's a horror shock to everybody, it's our community and we've lived there, my family have been there for 15 generations so to have it affect you and your community is terrible but it is part of the natural process of the planet and we just have to come through it."
Some people based at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura will be airlifted out today and Mr Solomon said all their marae will be open to those needing and wanting shelter.

There is still a risk of tsunami being triggered by aftershocks following the deadly magnitude 7.5 quake centred near Hanmer Springs, a marine geologist warns.
Dr Joshu Mountjoy led  research into the Kaikoura canyon off the South Island’s east coast in an attempt to understand the potential hazard posed by underwater landslides generating tsunami.
He told Nine to Noon this morning that a large event like yesterday’s quake will have “shaken the canyon a lot”.
“It will have damaged the rock material to some degree. [The] potential is there that there is some very weakened parts of the canyon rim that are now susceptible to failure and may not take too much of an earthquake trigger to make them fall.”
Dr Mountjoy said it wasn’t a huge issue for people in Kaikoura township or north of the peninsula but South Bay and Owaro were “vulnerable”. It was known tsunami there could reach a few metres in height and there would be little warning.
“After any large aftershocks people should move to higher ground. The key message is to stay away from the coast.”
Dr Mountjoy said there was a good understanding of faultlines in the area but this quake had shown there was a gap in knowledge around ruptures which began on land and then travelled out to sea. The key initial element was understanding which faultline the quake had originated on. It was too early to say what it meant for the future.
Bricks have tumbled off this building in Culverden, one of the towns closest to the epicentre of Sunday nights quake. Photo / Conan Young
Wellington is getting back on its feet today following Monday's strong earthquake but some buildings and areas of the inner city are set to remain off limits for some time.
Specialist engineers were inspecting 50 earthquake damaged buildings this morning.
Many of the damaged building are on reclaimed land on Wellington's waterfront including the BNZ Building on Waterloo Quay and the nearby Statistics New Zealand building.
One of Statistic House's floors is believed to have pancaked onto the one below and the building is unlikely to reopen anytime soon.
A spokeswoman for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa said engineers have inspected the building and found no structural issues. Te Papa would reopen shortly she said.
Commuter trains and bus services - with some diversions -  have resumed today, but some areas of the CBD including Featherston Street remain cordoned off due to the risk of further glass and debris being dislodged by strong winds.
Alan Bannister of  commuter rail operator Transdev said passenger numbers are well down on normal.
Commuters arriving in Wellingon said carriages had about a quarter of the usual number of passengers.

There has been a rush on essential supplies in Kaikoura, which still remains cut off.
Reporter Tim Graham said there was a queue of about 200 people outside the New World supermarket in town. The store was only letting in six customers at a time, and essentials such as bread and milk were being rationed.
At the local petrol station, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic, waiting to fuel up.
RNZ reporter Tim Graham told Nine to Noon that the operation to evacuate stranded people out of Kaikoura was well underway, and seemed to be operating smoothly in fine weather.
The Defence Force were hoping to use their four helicopters to carry out 16 flights today, with 12 people on each flight
Three flights have left the town so far.
Chinese tourists have also been flown out by a helicopter service paid for by the Chinese embassy here in New Zealand. The tourists were obviously shaken up, but were still keen to keep travelling around the country.
A tourism leader says the industry doesn't want visitor numbers to drop off following the North Canterbury earthquake, like they did after the 2011 quakes.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says after the Christchurch earthquakes, other regions that had not been hit still saw a significant drop in visitors.  
He says a number of visitors are currently stuck in Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs and are being assisted by the local tourism businesses. 
Mr Roberts says tour operators are busy re-arranging itineraries for groups that were due in the area and are also reassuring those yet to arrive in New Zealand that it is still safe to come.
Police say they are rechecking cars cut off by slips in Kaikoura, to ensure people have not returned to the vehicles overnight.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement says all slip areas and areas where motorists have been stranded between slips were checked and motorists evacuated. They will be checked again this morning to ensure that people have not returned to their vehicles.
He says 10 additional police officers from Auckland are due in Kaikoura this morning after their flight was turned back due to severe winds and turbulence last night.
The additional officers will provide support to the emergency response in the affected areas, as well as assist in general policing duties and community patrols.

Raglan residents are likely to have to conserve water for at least another three days, after the water supply was left discoloured following yesterday's earthquake.
The Waikato District Council has pumped about half a million litres of water into the town's reservoirs to keep up with drinking water demand and until the water treatment plant can be turned back on and the water tested, it must be boiled for one minute before drinking.
It says people should continue to limit their use of water.
Heavy rain which is lashing much of New Zealand is causing major disruption, as the country tries to recover from yesterday's 7.5-magnitude earthquake.
Nelson Bays Police say several firearms - including antique pieces - were stolen from a Riwaka address while the occupants had evacuated beacuse of the tsunami threat yesterday morning.
The firearms were stolen at about 7.30am yesterday.
“For someone to take advantage of others at a time like this is a deplorable act.” says Area Commander, Inspector Mathew Arnold-Kelly.
“We do not want these firearms to fall into the wrong hands. Police have launched an investigation as a matter of priority.”
“We are appealing for members of the public to help us to recover these weapons. Any information, no matter how small, could assist us in resolving this crime. This could include sightings of individuals behaving suspiciously or collectors being approached to buy the firearms,” says Mr Arnold-Kelly.
Police want to speak to a male European in his mid to late 30s wearing a grey hoodie and black pants who was riding a red push bike in the area at the time. 
Wellington civil defence staff are monitoring the Hutt River and Porirua Stream after heavy rainfall overnight and into this morning.
First alarms have been triggered in both waterways indicating that water levels are rising, but the Wellington Region Emergency Management team says it is not too significant.
Group controller Bruce Pepperell says there are three levels of alarms, and first alarms happen several times a year.
The Lower Hutt Riverbank Car Park is closed due to flooding, which Mr Pepperell says is what usually happens in these situations and people do not need to be too concerned.
"I think people just need to be vigilant, obvioiusly keep a sense of humour because there will be a degree of inconvenience but hopefully this doesn't amount to an awful lot and either way people are monitoring the situation and taking appropriate action."
He says emergency centres are on stand by.
The scene at the Plimmerton roundabout in Wellington. Photo / NZTA
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