June 13 quakes: Latest information

Last updated 16:07 14/06/2011

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Christchurch earthquake

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LATEST: Latest information about essential services following today's earthquakes in Christchurch.

Health

The Canterbury District Health Board is advising residents  to boil or treat all water from taps and tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation.

  • Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs. Water needs to be boiled even if the smell or taste of chlorine is present. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.
  • The City Council and Public Health are working together to test water supplies in Christchurch and will update this advice as soon as we have a clear idea of how the water supply has been impacted by the aftershocks.
  • Employers should also make sure their staff are only consuming boiled or bottled water at work. This applies even for workplaces with self-supplied water, until testing can be completed and the supply can be cleared of risk.
  • People should avoid sewage even if it is on their properties. They should also avoid contact with silt and waterways that may have been contaminated with sewage.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser often, particularly after toileting, and before and after eating or preparing food.
  • Most General Practice and pharmacies in the city are open. If you need medical assistance contact your usual General Practice in the first instance. If you telephone your usual General Practice team day or night a registered nurse will answer and provide health advice about where to go for treatment if required.

The CDHB also advises residents to keep warm above all else - particularly if there are elderly, chronically ill or young people in your household. If residents do not have electricity at this stage, make plans to stay warm tonight by using heating units that do not rely on electricity (such as flue gas heaters) or arrange to stay with friends or family with power.

Do not stay in your home if it is not weather tight, and make sure your family dress warmly even when inside.

Hospital services

Non-deferrable elective surgery has been postponed for today and will resume tomorrow.

Specialist Mental Health Service outpatient appointments are continuing as usual.

Radiology services ­are limited because the linac machines have needed to be recalibrated.

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Oncology outpatients (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) are continuing as usual.

All other outpatients' appointments will resume from tomorrow. 

Planned and emergency caesarean sections at Christchurch Women's Hospital are going ahead.

Primary birthing units are operating as usual.

Canterbury DHB Buildings are still being inspected but no serious structural issues have been identified.

Riverside block at Christchurch Hospital - the fourth and fifth floors of Riverside building have been closed because of problems with the emergency fire alarm warning systems.

Burwood and Hillmorton Hospitals are on the town water supply, so need to boil water until further notice. Testing on the bore water at TPMH and Christchurch Hospital will take two to three days, so in the meantime boil water for drinking. Bottled water will be made available at all Christchurch CDHB sites.

The Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital is open. The department saw up to 60 injured patients in the five hours following the 1pm quake but we are not able to completely determine if all are quake relate. About 16 of those patients were admitted but none were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Four had moderate to serious injuries.  Two remain in hospital in a stable condition.  The department also had 12 people present with chest pains in the first 5 hours and nine of those were admitted. The department is still getting a trickle of injuries today,and a lot of fragile old folk.

Three resthomes in Christchurch have been evacuated. Aged care residents from those evacuated facilities are being relocated to other facilities in Christchurch except for 12 people who will be relocated to facilities in Nelson.

 

Fuel

Fuel deliveries were continuing into Christchurch and stock levels remain healthy, says Z Energy, the New Zealand company that owns and operates the Shell-branded retail network.

Demand after yesterday's two strong earthquakes was strong, as it had been after the February quake, and some sites were expected to experience temporary outages of some grades of fuel while awaiting further deliveries.

The Lyttelton fuel terminal was closed today to allow inspections to be completed and fuel was being delivered from Z's fuel terminal at Timaru and from Nelson.

Company chief executive Mike Bennetts said residents need not be concerned about fuel supplies.

"As we saw following the February quake there has been a spike in demand and we're working to catch up on that.

"There is a strong fuel position in Christchurch and in the rest of the South Island and there is no need for people to be concerned about the city's fuel position.

"All but one of the company's 24 retail sites that were operational before the latest quakes were up and running, with the remaining site due to reopen tomorrow.

Power:

Power was out to 20,000 customers in eastern Chrischurch, Orion says.

Phones:

All networks were experiencing congestion. Please use text messaging rather than calling where possible.

Vodafone said its mobile network was up and running, although 27 sites were on back-up power, two sites were operating with only 3G capacity, and seven sites were not operating at all.

Cell sites on Wheels (COWs) and extra generators were now being deployed around the region by staff, who will be working throughout the night. 

Some customers experienced delays receiving texts between Vodafone and other networks after the first major aftershock.

Although the backlog was clearing, it may take a little longer to clear completely, Vodafone said.

All retail stores were closed until damage has been assessed, while Vodafone's temporary headquarters in Hornby sustained structural damage.

Analogue phones, which plug straight into a jack point, are able to be used even with the power off.

Water:

Water pipes had burst across the city.

Canterbury District Health Board says all water must now be boiled.

Residents are advised to use chemical toilets or portaloos.

Christchurch City Council said that water pressure across city was very low. Conserve water.

People who did not have water now may not have water tonight. Everyone was asked to use water sparingly.

Supermarkets:

Pak 'n Save Hornby is open. Moorhouse, Northlands and Riccarton Pak 'n Save supermarkets are closed and are expected to reopen tomorrow. The Wainoni supermarket is closed and scheduled to reopen on Wednesday.

New World Halswell, Rolleston, Rangiora, Lincoln and Northwood were open and operational. New World Bishopdale, Fendalton, Stanmore and South City were currently closed, with Bishopdale and Fendalton scheduled to reopen tomorrow. New World Stanmore and South City re-opening dates are yet to be advised.

All Four Square stores in the wider Canterbury region were open and trading as normal.

Countdown Rangiora and Hornby were open. No other Countdown stores would reopen tonight

Countdown Northlands, Bush Inn, Kaiapoi, Avonhead, Moorhouse, New Brighton, Northwood and Church Corner were closed and were expected to reopen during the course of tomorrow, following - and subject to - engineer and safety checks.

Countdown Colombo St would remain closed until further notice. Countdown Eastgate was evacuated and re-entry was subject to engineer checks.

Countdown Ferrymead and The Palms remain closed from the February 22 earthquake.

All distribution centres remain open and operational.

Online shopping services in the area have been suspended until further notice.

Rail:

KiwiRail suspended all train services between Ashburton, Springfield and Waipara following the latest quakes in Christchurch.

Chief executive Jim Quinn said all tracks and structures supporting the lines needed to be inspected before services could resume.

Freight services could restart on the main lines north and south tomorrow, but it may take days before services to Lyttleton resume.

Quinn said all staff working in earthquake-hit areas had been located and were safe.

Passengers on today's Tranz Alpine were transferred from the train at Rolleston and were going by bus to Christchurch.

Tomorrow's Tranz Alpine service had been replaced by buses.

University: 

CPIT and Canterbury University were evacuated and would remain so until at least 5pm. Students were asked to return home.

Schools:

Schools and early childhood centres have been advised by the Education Ministry to stay closed on Tuesday.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said at this stage the Education Ministry had not been informed of further damage to schools.

Schools and early childhood education services were asked to follow their emergency plans to ensure the immediate safety and wellbeing of children, students and staff, Tolley said.

ABC Learning Centres has closed its 27 Christchurch childcare centres and they will remained closed tomorrow.

Airport:

Christchurch Airport had reopened and is operational. "Our engineers have thoroughly checked both the runways and the terminal and we're pleased to report no damage to the runways and no structural damage to the terminals," airport chief executive Jim Boult said.

Travellers were told to expect delays and to check with their airline for flight information.

The national air traffic control centre in Christchurch has continued to operate enabling flights to continue throughout the country, Airways Corporation communications manager Nikki Hawkey said.

"Operational staff stayed on but everybody else has gone, we just can't have people here that aren't essential."

Red Zone:

A number of buildings were damaged in the red zone, with some collapsing.

Police said the entire red zone was being evacuated due to a suspected gas leak. Its headquarters in a central city tower block was also evacuated.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority offices had also been evacuated.

Most of the reported injuries were amongst demolition crews who have been working in the red zone.

Emergency service staff leapt into utes and sped straight to the red zone, which was engulfed in another dust cloud.

Civil Defence:

Civil Defence had again set up a headquarters at the Christchurch Art Gallery where shaking was so violent those inside feared the large glass windows would burst.

Council and earthquake officials were evacuated from the gallery following the afternoon's first major quake, and were standing outside hugging each other.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was about to leave for Christchurch, his office confirmed just before 3pm.

Cathedral:

Speaking at the edge of the cordon Christchurch dean Peter Beck said there had been "a lot more damage" to the Christ Church Cathedral.

More masonry has fallen from the Cathedral in the afternoon's second aftershock, sending up large clouds of dust.

Injuries:

At least 46 people were reported injured by police, Radio New Zealand reported.

St John spokesman Ian Henderson said the ambulance service fielded another influx of calls from across the city following the 6.0 aftershock.

Two men who had been salvaging windows from the St Johns Church in the central city were reported to have received cuts and bruises and were taken to hospital.

St John staff member Alistair Drye said the two men were okay, but shaken.

There are no more reports of people being trapped.

Six people were taken to Christchurch Hospital with moderate injuries as a result of falling building material following the 1pm earthquake.

There were no deaths or serious injuries from today's aftershocks, the mayor has confirmed. Canterbury District Commander Dave Cliff urged residents to check on their friends and neighbours, especially the elderly.

Roads:

All state highways in Christchurch are now open, with the Anzac Bridge on SH 74 cleared for traffic earlier this evening, the NZ Transport Agency says.

NZTA's Canterbury state highways operations manager Pete Connors said tonight city streets in Christchurch had again been damaged by liquefaction after a series of aftershocks, the biggest of which measured 6.0 and 5.5 on the Richter scale, struck Christchurch from 12.29pm today.

Mr Connors urged drivers to limit travel to essential trips in order to keep roads clear for emergency services, and advised all drivers to use extra caution on the region's roads while potential damage to roads and infrastructure was assessed.

Rockfalls:

There were reports of serious rock fall at Taylor's Mistake, Charteris Bay, Shag Rock, Gebbies Valley, Boulder Bay and most coastal areas.

The Christchurch City Council has asked residents in Sumner's cliffside street Heberden Avenue to evacuate for their own safety.

-Stuff, NZPA

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