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Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

17 Nov 2016, 7:00 AM

Media Release

Civil Defence Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black says the national relief support effort following Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Kaikoura made good progress overnight.

“At 1.00am today the HMNZS Canterbury docked at Lyttleton Harbour successfully evacuating 449 people out of the quake affected community of Kaikoura. Many were tourists taken to the safety and comfort of welfare centres in Christchurch.

“Yesterday also marked the first successful vehicle passage through the Inland Road (Route 70). The New Zealand Defence Force will be conducting further assessments of the road today.  The road is still high risk and is not yet open to private vehicles. We are doing everything possible to get the road open, but we’re asking people not to attempt to use the route for access in or out of Kaikoura until we’ve finished the urgent work needed to open it safely.

“The focus for the response moving forward will be on the delivery of supplies to quake affected areas, restoring access into and from affected communities and supporting people affected by the quake.

“Work is also continuing to assess needs and make the appropriate assistance available to families, businesses, and the farming/rural sector in Marlborough, Hurunui and Kaikoura.

“We know that this is a difficult time and we are working urgently to help people get back to their daily lives as soon as possible. In the meantime continue to support your loved ones, neighbours, friends and others in need.  Look after each other.”