Volunteers rush to help worst-affected rural residents
"Heaps" of people made their way to Seddon, Ward and outlying areas to help those near the epicentre of the Lake Grassmere earthquake, Marlborough Civil Defence spokeswoman Rosie Bartlett said yesterday.
Anyone wanting to volunteer or donate should ring the Marlborough District Council on (03) 520 7400, she said.
The volunteers needed to be co-ordinated so that they went where the need was and to ensure public safety.
The rain and wind during the weekend had hampered efforts to make Seddon and Ward homes watertight.
Grassmere farmer Bruce Pattie said four men helped out on his property yesterday and he'd had "a heap of friends" helping.
But the real impact would come later, he said, once the immediate cleanup work had been done.
He was still cleaning up after the big storm winds in June.
"We had a fair bit going on with the farm, that's all come to halt. Your perspective changes."
It was when he saw how "munted" the railway bridge was that he realised how strong Friday's earthquake had been.
His own property was "pretty average", but friends were helping him prop up his veranda and roof, securing the property.
Concrete blocks had cracked, and things inside his house had moved.
The cupboards had emptied themselves, and there was a lot of broken crockery, he said.
"The power came back on [yesterday] morning. That was rather good."
But everyone was OK, Mr Pattie said.
There were lots of cracks "everywhere" in the land, and dam water levels had changed.
Friday's earthquake was different to the one a month ago, Mr Pattie said.
He had not put in an Earthquake Commission claim for last month's quake, but would be for this one.
"My house might be pulled down yet . . . there's a fair few cracks, some walls out of alignment."
He said he knew of several other houses in the Lake Grassmere, Taimate, and Ward areas that were badly damaged.
- The Marlborough Express