The number of damage claims from Tuesday night's earthquake in the lower North Island is approaching 300.
The Earthquake Commission (EQC) said that by 8am today it had received 277 claims as a result of the magnitude-7.0 quake, which was centred 60km south of Opunake at a depth of 230km and was widely felt in the Wellington region.
EQC media manager Iain Butler said the claims were expected to be small, based on reports of the quake and its geology.
The claims received so far were widely scattered, with most from the west coast of the lower North Island between New Plymouth and the Kapiti Coast.
In comparison, at the same stage after the 6.0-magnitude Christchurch quake on December 23, EQC had received about 2500 claims.
With the claims from Tuesday's quake being so scattered, it was not possible at this early stage to say when they would be assessed, Butler said.
EQC had to think carefully about its programme of assessment, given the spread of the claims and the small number in any one place.
He was confident EQC could cope, and said it had been able to deal in a reasonable timeframe with other events that had happened at the same time as work continued on the Canterbury quakes.
Just under 1000 claims had been made after the Nelson landslides in December, and EQC had been able to assess those within a few days.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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