Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

16 Nov 2016, 8:00 PM

Media Release

Civil Defence Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black says a national relief support effort is making strong progress with evacuation and relief efforts after Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Kaikoura.   

“The upgrade of the earthquake to magnitude 7.8 today has not changed our response and we are continuing to provide the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group with support and assistance to respond to community needs, get essential supplies to people who need them most and to ensure that visitors impacted by the earthquakes are safe and being cared for.”

With the departure of the HMNZS Canterbury this evening and ongoing helicopter operations, the New Zealand Defence Force has now evacuated over 600 people. Evacuations will continue as necessary over the next few days while supplies, fuel and food continue to be transported in.

There has been active outreach, especially in remote communities. Door to door welfare checks are continuing in Marlborough, Hurunui and Kaikoura to ensure people get the support they need.

Hurunui District Council and Kaikoura District Council have been working tirelessly with NZTA to clear the inland road. This road is not completely clear yet and is will be restricted to priority traffic, so relief supplies can get through.

“It’s great to see this progress, but for now we’re asking members of the public to not attempt to access the road for their own safety and to ensure the people who need to use it can do so safely.”