Seddon community clings together

00:45, Jul 25 2013
Grant Mazengarb
Staying away: Seddon resident Grant Mazengarb and his granddaughter Ada Mazengarb have been staying at a motel in Blenheim since the earthquake early on Sunday night

Four days on from the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that shook the region, Seddon residents are beginning to deal with the psychological impacts of the event.

Marie Flowerday said the community was banding together to support each other.

"There's a few nervous people around the town, and a few in the community who aren't coping that well, a lot of anxiety. We are hoping they [earthquakes] will go away and then they don't, another one comes," she said.

"It's a real community, so people help people. There's still people who are staying with their neighbours, and some residents haven't come back from staying in town."

Grant and Prue Mazengarb have been staying in Blenheim since the quake on Sunday, and would be returning home tonight after putting their granddaughter Ada, 11, on the plane back to Wellington.

"I saw this thing with Nigel Latta [clinical psychologist] about little kids and I don't want to try and persuade Adie to go back into the house at all, she's been so happy in Blenheim," Mr Mazengarb said.


Mrs Mazengarb said Ada had not been coping well with the aftershocks of Sunday morning's magnitude 5.8 earthquake, so they had gone for a drive to the Wairau Bar to get out of the area for a while.

They missed the 5.09pm earthquake because they were driving, and found "devastation" when they returned home, Mr Mazengarb said. The family had been back to their house each day to begin cleaning up the mess left by the quake, but all agreed the best option was to stay in town to get some sleep and avoid the aftershocks.

"We feel a bit guilty but staying in town has just been great, because you can get a good sleep," Mrs Mazengarb said.

The pair had mixed emotions about returning to the farm, but needed to get back to their animals.

"When you hear the rumbling you run for the doors automatically, cause you don't know whether it's just a little aftershock or if it's the next big one," Mr Mazengarb said.

"If you had asked me yesterday [if I was nervous to come back], I probably would have said yes, but it hasn't been so bad today," Mrs Mazengarb said.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said the council had arranged a public meeting tonight to find out what psychological resources or help Seddon residents needed from them.

"We have made our engineers available to them, and I want to hear from the residents now what else they need," he said.

Mr Sowman would be chairing the meeting at the rugby clubrooms in Seddon from 7pm tonight. A GNS Science seismologist and a clinical psychologist would be attending the meeting.


The probability of a magnitude-6 or greater quake striking in Cook Strait continues to decrease as more time passes since Sunday's quake.

The latest probabilities made public yesterday are:

Likelihood of a magnitude 6 or higher quake hitting within the next 24 hours: 3 per cent (4 per cent on Tuesday).

The next seven days: 10 per cent (13 per cent on Tuesday).

The next year: 30 per cent (33 per cent on Tuesday. 

The Marlborough Express