Marlborough, Kaikoura escape worst of quake

00:27, Sep 04 2010

Marlborough and Kaikoura appear to have escaped damage after a massive earthquake that hit Christchurch and areas of Canterbury this morning.

A state of emergency has been declared after the 4.35am quake which measured 7.1 on the richter scale. It was centred 30km west of Christchurch, near Darfield, and 10km underground. Aftershocks are still shaking the area.

The earthquake was felt as far north as New Plymouth and was strongly felt in Marlborough.

Blenheim police had not received any reports of damage this morning, though some had called the station to find out how Christchurch family members were or to speak to Civil Defence.

Marlborough District Council emergency services manager Ross Hamilton had offered Marlborough engineers to help Christchurch civil defence workers fix sewage and water systems, but he had not yet heard if this would be necessary.

"I guess the first day they're probably trying to still find out what the situation is. There will be engineering problems with sewers, water mains, infrastructure damage.

"There won't be a lot of repairing going on yet."

Kaikoura Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ian Walker was surprised there had been no reports of damage in the town after the earthquake.

"It was a good shake up.

"We're good as gold."

RNZAF Base Woodbourne base adjutant John Bray said he did not know if anyone from the base would be sent down to help as it depended on what was required.

"We'll be waiting until we get directed from higher command until we do anything."

Meanwhile, Kaikoura New World was full of Christchurch visitors keen to head home with supplies and Kaikoura residents heading down to help family members.

Checkout operator Nadine Patterson said she had sold a lot of bottled water and tinned food. While stocks were not running out yet, she said fresh supplies may have trouble getting through because of road damage in and around Christchurch.

Officer manager Shelly Feary said the store suffered no damage in the earthquake. She said a lot of batteries were also being sold.

Are you from Marlborough or Kaikoura and went through the quake in Christchurch? Add your comments below, email your comments and pictures to or call our weekend reporter on 03 520 8927.


The Marlborough Express