Residents urged to be prepared

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 09:37 22/07/2013

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The big quake yesterday should be a wake-up call for people to make sure they are prepared, says Marlborough emergency services manager John Foley.

Instructions

Residents are advised to expect more aftershocks and to follow the drop, cover, hold procedures.

Residents are advised to check their emergency management plans.

Damage to Buildings

If your home has been damaged contact EQC (0800 326 243).

If your home is deemed to be a risk to life or unhealthy (eg; contaimated with raw sewage) then contact Council on 03 5207400.

Roads

No reported closures

Rail

Checking the lines at Blenheim. A freight train is being held at Seddon until midday.

Picton Port

Open

Marlborough Airport

Airport is open, but check with airline for delays

Power

Power is expected to be totally restored by 9.45am.

Building Closures

Marlborough District Council Building Inspectors are checking the CBD

The Marlborough District Library in Blenheim and the Millennium Art Gallery in Blenheim, are closed pending building inspections.

The Aquatic Centre and Stadium in Blenheim is open and being inspected.

Other information

Minor property damage reported 3 dwellings (chimneys)

No injuries have been reported

Marlborough District Council is utilising all its resources to assess the situation.

Residents are advised to continue to listen to local radio stations for local weather forecasts and updates and to also take note of any warnings that are issues.

For further information contact Public Information Manager: Marianne Aitken 021 360166

Follow instructions of your local Civil Defence authorities.

For national updates look up www.civildefence.govt.nz     

Civil Defence and Red Cross set up a welfare centre at Seddon Rugby Club after reports of people wanting to get out of their houses during a power outage in Seddon, Mr Foley said.

Fallen lines had caused the power outage but 80 per cent of the town had power back by 9pm.

Civil Defence staff were trying to find out later in the night if people needed the welfare centre, Mr Foley said.

"It's very unsettling for everybody. They're still shaking out there."

Marlborough had been lucky, with no injuries reported by 9pm, he said. People needed to make sure they were prepared for the next earthquake, with a survival kit containing a torch, batteries, spare water and something to cook on in every household.

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After an earthquake, people should first make sure everyone in their house was OK then check on neighbours.

"It should be a wake-up call for everyone," Mr Foley said.

"If people are sitting at home in the dark after the quake, you've got to ask why - generally it's because they weren't prepared."

Marlborough firefighters had a busy few hours after the quake but calls had tapered off by 8pm.

Seddon chief fire officer Kieron Hebberd said fire crews had helped with fallen power lines at Seaview Rd, Marldene Ave, Weld St and Fell St. By 8.30pm they had packed up and gone home, he said.

"There's not much else we can do now," he said. "It's just a case of waiting and seeing if anyone else needs us."

Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said he was surprised there had not been more damage.

"We've been pretty lucky, the town's been pretty lucky," he said.

"I thought we'd be in for a lot of work.

Fire crews had been called to Tuamarina and Wairau Bar Rd at 5.17pm and 6pm after power outages, followed by a call to a Maxwell Rd house after some bricks had fallen inside a chimney.

Firefighters had packed up and gone home by 8.30pm.

"A 6.5 is still a fair bang," he said. "Fingers crossed that will be the end of it."

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board senior duty manager Peter Bramley said a possible sewer pipe rupture at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim was being investigated.

The structure of the Wairau and Nelson hospitals would be assessed over the next two days, but the sewer pipe rupture appeared to be minor, Mr Bramley said.

Wairau Hospital patients and staff were shaken, but fine, he said.

The hospital was expected to be operating as usual today.

- The Marlborough Express

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