Almost all homes in three Marlborough towns are damaged following Friday's 6.6 magnitude quake, while in the capital hundreds of buildings are being reassesed following a weekend of shakes.
Civil Defence spokesman Dean Heiford said homes in and around Seddon, near the quake's epicentre, as well as Ward and Flaxbourne had sustained damage.
About nine were so unsafe people were asked to gather essentials and get out, he said. At least two would not be habitable again.
Over the weekend council building inspection teams checked the exterior of houses.
Most homes had hot water cylinder problems or meter boxes had fallen off walls. Damage also included collapsed chimneys, unreinforced masonry and cladding falling off, broken windows and damaged roofs.
"The odd house was rocked off its foundations."
In the capital, a winter serving of two earthquakes and a storm helped hone emergency responses, mayor Celia Wade-Brown said.
A council report published before Friday's magnitude 6.6 earthquake said the response to the 6.5 quake on July 21 was well managed, but some lessons were learned.
A debrief had uncovered some "areas for improvement", the report said.
"Although our communications were strong, there is a need to ensure we have adequate resources for those involved in external communications, including those associated with social media."
Faster methods should also be considered for communicating rapidly with council staff outside normal office hours, the report said.
Ms Wade-Brown said communications had worked well during Friday's quake. "We had some of our people, and some from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, all working on a mix of phones, social media and press releases."
She said the most important lesson being learned was for residents and building owners to be prepared. "It's a journey we're all on together."
The Earthquake Commission's call centre has been busy logging insurance calls over the weekend, but the exact number since Friday has not yet been tallied.
Just over 4400 claims had been lodged from the July quakes, with roughly three-quarters in the lower North Island and one-quarter in the upper South Island.
EQC would have a better idea of the additional claims since Friday by the end of this week.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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