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#CHCH #EQNZ Quake Update 88

0950hrs, 4 March 2011

  • The number of confirmed fatalities is now 163 (updated 0750hrs, 4 March).
  • View the official New Zealand Police list of those identified who died as a result of the earthquake:
  • In excess of 200 people are reported as missing (unaccounted for) in the worst-damaged sites in the city. This number will include many, or all, of the fatalities.
  • A total fire ban remains in place across Canterbury. No fire permits will be issued.
  • People in Christchurch are advised to avoid all rivers, waterways, puddles or other surface water, and beaches between the Waimakariri River and Lyttelton Harbour, due to sewage contamination. New Brighton Pier and beach are closed. (See: Public health messages for Christchurch residents Thursday 3 March)
  • The state of national emergency extends until midnight 7 March.
  • The police and Urban Searth and Rescue (USAR) operations have now moved to the Recovery phase.
  • The Disaster Victim Identification Unit (DVIU) continues. 172 Police personnel are working on DVI, including staff from Britain, Singapore and China. The police family liaison team is deployed.

More at

Text messages go out to Christchurch residents

Text messages are being sent out to Christchurch residents to keep them informed on welfare, public safety and useful information after the February 22nd earthquake. All the telecommunications companies, Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees, are helping get critical information to people reliant on cellphones. This is a first for a declared emergency in New Zealand.

The regular messages will include information about community services, such as welfare centres. There may be hiccups in the pilot system but the companies are doing their best to reach as many people as possible. It is important that people who receive these messages use the contact numbers to get assistance as replies go directly back to the telecommunications companies, not Civil Defence.

Mobile cellphone charging devices will be soon available at the three main welfare centres.

Disposal of silt, rubbish and human waste
If you are piling silt on the road side, keep it to silt or risk it not being picked up.

  • Bricks, masonry, carpet, and building debris should be stored on-site until they can be transported to a city transfer station.
  • People are asked not to dispose of toilet waste in public park rubbish bins as this poses a health risk for contractors.
  • Toilet waste should be wrapped and placed in a red wheelie bin.

Traffic congestion at transfer stations is slowing the access for Kate Valley Landfill trucks.

All transfer stations are close to overflowing and may have to be closed if they cannot be cleared adequately.

Biggest day for crews clearing silt from city streets.
Crews working to clear Christchurch streets of silt had their biggest day on Thursday 3 March, removing 50,000 tonnes of the grey dust and sludge.

Over 420 contractors are involved in the work which is being led by City Care and Fulton Hogan. The total tonnage removed since the 22 February earthquake has now reached 218,000 tonnes, most of which has been trucked to Burwood landfill. It is estimated that a further 60,000 tonnes remains to be cleared before the “first sweep” of city streets is complete says Operations Manager Peter McDonald.

Weather and traffic will also play a part in how quickly the job gets done. "Traffic is a real problem at the moment. Also we really need residents to keep silt free of other rubbish and debris such as timber, carpet and broken household goods”. Once the ‘First Sweep’ is complete work will continue to remove residual silt across the city. This work is expected to continue for eight weeks.

Portaloo and chemical toilet update
  • 920 portaloos have been deployed around Christchurch.
  • Another 90 are in Christchurch ready for delivery, 100 are due Friday and another 60 are due on Monday.
  • 960 portaloos are due to leave the US over the weekend for delivery to Christchurch.
Chemical toilets:
  • 4000 are in Christchurch and are being delivered based on need.
  • Another 5000 are due on Tuesday March 8.
  • Another 20,000 have been ordered
  • Storage tanks will be placed at a central location for people to empty their chemical toilets.

Heavy traffic on the roads is causing difficulties in delivering portaloos and chemical toilets, as well as cleaning and emptying them.

See portaloo distribution map:

Questions or concerns about toilets (including after-hours) call the Council Call Centre: 03 941 8999

CBD operation moves to recovery phase
Civil Defence Emergency Management National Controller John Hamilton announced on Thursday 3 March that the focus of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team working in the Christchurch central business district following the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011 will now be on recovering bodies.
"As time has gone on, the chance of finding someone alive has diminished and, sadly, there becomes a point where the response effort shifts in focus from rescue to body recovery," said Mr Hamilton. "We have now reached that point," he said.
Since the earthquake at 12.51pm on Tuesday 22 February, 70 people have been rescued alive. The last was on the afternoon of Wednesday 23 February.
Jim Stuart-Black, of the New Zealand Fire Service and head of USAR, said the decision meant buildings are still treated as if they contain people. "People are handled like family members, with care and respect, as they are removed safely."
The USAR teams will undertake assessments of debris and prioritise for controlled clearing of debris, using machinery. They then deconstruct buildings in a way that allows searching to continue.

Warning on bogus EQC assessors
Christchurch residents are reminded genuine Earthquake Commission (EQC) assessment teams are operating only between the hours of 8am and 6pm, and are operating seven days a week. There have been reports of people claiming to be EQC assessors knocking on doors outside these hours, and in one case in the early hours of the morning.

All EQC teams carry official identification and residents should ask to see this if they are in any doubt. The EQC teams will not ask to go inside houses and will base their assessments on external checks.

Pledge website available for businesses keen to contribute goods and services
A web portal where businesses and not-for-profit organisations can pledge goods and services of use to other businesses or the Christchurch community has been established on

The site is intended for larger scale goods and services that Civil Defence can arrange to distribute for a specific community need. Pledges made through this site will be collated by Civil Defence staff to match needs identified by the many agencies working on earthquake recovery in Christchurch.

Donations of money can be made at and through the New Zealand Red Cross. Smaller goods and services that do not require Civil Defence to become involved can be offered through the informal Trade Me site: Christchurch Earthquake Support.

Understanding red, yellow and green building stickers
If you find a sticker on your home or business, it means the building has been inspected.
  • Red: Unsafe, do not enter or occupy. In the meantime please go to your nearest Welfare Centre for immediate help.
  • Yellow: Restricted use. No entry except on essential business. No public entry or residential occupation
  • Green: No restriction on use or occupancy.

If you have any questions about these stickers, contact Christchurch City Council on 03 941 8999.
If the property belongs to Housing New Zealand, phone 0800 801 601.

Emergency and temporary housing
Engineers are looking at areas of land suitable for temporary accommodation for displaced residents. Information on emergency accommodation to match people displaced by the earthquake:

Message for Christchurch residents who have relocated
Plea to Christchurch residents who have relocated since the 22 February earthquake:
  • If you are registered with Red Cross, please contact them to update your details.
  • If you are not registered with Red Cross, please contact your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Office, who will then register you to ensure that you are not included as a missing person.
  • Please alert friends and family that you are safe.

Information for volunteers
  • People with specialist skills should monitor requests from Civil Defence and get in contact if they are needed.
  • Use the Trademe portal to offer general services (or phone 0800 435 700).
  • The Student Army and Fed Farmers are reviewing their operations as large areas of Christchurch are now clear of silt.
  • People outside Christchurch can help by fund-raising in their local area.
  • Contact Civil Defence spontaneous volunteers liaison 027 825 6555.
Volunteers wanting to help in the Christchurch earthquake response may register their interest on:
People wanting to contribute to the response are encouraged to contribute financially. See the 'Donations' section (below).


Permits are required to enter the cordon. Plans are progressing to allow people to retrieve vehicles abandoned within the CBD cordon after last week’s earthquake, and for limited access to some buildings.

Threats to personal safety remain the main reason behind the continuing restrictions on access through the cordon. However, Civil Defence is planning how to provide business owners and residents with limited supervised access to their property inside the cordon. For safety reasons, access will be for a strictly limited period and will be closely controlled. It will allow business owners to retrieve records and portable equipment, and let residents collect personal items. Owners of vehicles within the cordon may also be able to retrieve them, depending on where they are and whether they are undamaged.

This work will be done in stages, starting with the least affected areas in the CBD. Access will not be granted to areas where the greatest risk remains from unstable buildings, or where rescue and recovery efforts are still underway. Affected residents and business owners can expect to start hearing from authorities. Latest information at

See also: Christchurch earthquake - Revision of cordon access points

Can I get personal possessions out of a cordoned area?
No - the area is too unstable. These areas are being actively policed to prevent access and protect private property. A process for retrieving personal belongings will be put in place in due course. Public will be advised when this will occur.

How do I get into the cordoned area of the CBD?
Access to the CBD is rigorously monitored and will only be authorised under certain, restricted circumstances. Call
Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 779 997 for more information.


Prime Minister releases initial earthquake assistance package
Prime Minister John Key has
announced a six week assistance package to provide immediate support for Christchurch businesses and workers affected by last week's major earthquake. The package is made up of two parts:
  • An Earthquake Support Subsidy to help employers keep paying wages
  • Earthquake Job Loss Cover to support employees whose employer believes their business is no longer viable.
  • People can apply online, over the phone or they can come into Work and Income, but they will need their IRD number and a bank account number to speed the process.
  • To apply online go to:
  • To apply by phone call: 0800 779997
  • More information see the Ministry of Social Development website

For the latest information about welfare centres, water distribution, portaloos, supermarkets, fuel, schools, road closures, and electricity status.


Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 779 997
A service for people requiring information on income support, housing options / accommodation, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service.
OFFERS OF HELP: The Government Helpline is also recording offers of help and telling people how to make them happen. Overseas callers should use: +64 7 850 2199

Missing Person Enquiry Line: 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 276)
For enquiries about missing persons in the Christchurch earthquake. People enquiring from outside New Zealand should call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
+64 7 850 2199 or email:

HealthLine (24 hours): 0800 611 116
The service is staffed by registered nurses who will assess your health needs, and give information and advice to help you decide on the best level of care.

Housing Help
New centralised national arrangements have been announced for people wanting to make offers of free accommodation for those needing to leave Christchurch following the earthquake.

People wanting to make such offers are urged to visit If you are unable to access the Internet, you can ring 0800 HELP 00 (0800 435 700).

Earthquake Commission (EQC): 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243)
For information on EQC’s insurance cover, cleaning up and making a claim.

Christchurch City Council: 03 941 8999 (customer services)
For assessment of major structural damage to your home or business premises or for help with essential council services such as water supply or sewage disposal.

Christchurch International Airport: 0800 568 369
Including information about travel, tourism and accommodation.

Federated Farmers Helpline: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
For information, advice and contacts for Canterbury farmers (weekdays 8.30am - 5pm).

Business Helpline: 0800 42 49 46
Information for business owners.

Urgent Servicing of Portaloos
For urgent servicing of portable toilets (including after hours 5pm to 8am) call the Council Call Centre:
03 941 8999


Child Youth and Family
All Child Youth and Family clients can call 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) for assistance with concerns about a child or young person.

Youthline is offering emotional and practical support by text, phone and email to young people and those around them. Freephone 0800 37 66 33 or free TXT message 234.

Public Trust
Public Trust can provide information and advice for those with questions about Wills, estates and other trustee related matters and can be reached on 0800 371 471.

For lost or found dogs please contact Animal Control on 021 240 8310 or visit 10 Metro Place - Open 8:00am to 6:00pm. Information about animal and lost/found pets is also available on the SPCA New Zealand website:
Christchurch Earthquake - Updates, Lost/Found Pets and How You Can Help

Ministry of Justice
For latest updates regarding Christchurch courts and trials:

Department of Corrections
Community Probation Services staff: Corrections has set up a 0800 line to provide practical staff support and advice It is also available to staff throughout the country who may have family or friends caught up in the quake. The number is 0800 QUAKEINFO (0800 782 534). It will be staffed around the clock until further notice.

Offenders in the community: Corrections has begun making text and phone contact with all offenders in the Christchurch Area to confirm their safety and whereabouts. Offenders who have not yet been reached are urged to phone 0800 222 337. This line will also be answered around the clock until further notice.


Donations entitled to tax benefits
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has confirmed that New Zealand donors to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal announced by Prime Minister John Key on Sunday will be able to claim a tax credit or deduction on their donations.

People wanting to contribute to the response are encouraged to contribute financially. Cash donations to:

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Donate now button

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
Prime Minister John Key has launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a global fundraiser for the recovery effort in the city and the Canterbury region.


Mayoral Relief Fund
In addition, a Mayoral Fund has been set up to accept donations to Christchurch citizens at the following BNZ bank account: 02-0800-0849758-000 (account number updated 24 February).

  • Red Cross:
  • Salvation Army: 0800 53 00 00 (Specify that your donation is for the ‘Canterbury Earthquake Appeal’) OR
  • Any ANZ Bank branch: Account number 01-1839-0188939-00
  • Any National Bank branch: Account number 06-0869-0548507-00
  • Any Westpac Bank branch: Account number 03-0207-0617331-00
  • Any ASB Bank branch: Account number 12-3205-0146808-00
  • Any BNZ Bank branch: Account number 02-0500-0982004-000
  • Any Kiwibank branch: Account number: 38-9009-0759479-00
  • Vodafone customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

Reminder to New Zealanders from IRD that Canterbury earthquake donations made to
approved donee organisations, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, are eligible for a tax credit. Please retain all receipts to claim your credit. For further information see: which donations are tax deductible (


Goods and services (large scale): A web portal where businesses and not-for-profit organisations can pledge goods and services of use to other businesses or the Christchurch community has been established on

The site is intended for larger scale goods and services that Civil Defence can arrange to distribute for a specific community need. Pledges made through this site will be collated by Civil Defence staff to match needs identified by the many agencies working on earthquake recovery in Christchurch.

Other offers of support: Smaller goods and services that do not require Civil Defence to become involved can be offered through the informal Trade Me site: Christchurch Earthquake Support.

  • People with specialist skills should monitor requests from Civil Defence and get in contact if they are needed.
  • Use the Trademe portal to offer general services (or phone 0800 435-700).
  • The Student Army and Fed Farmers are reviewing their operations as large areas of Christchurch are now clear of silt.
  • People outside Christchurch can help by fund-raising in their local area.
  • Contact Civil Defence spontaneous volunteers liaison 027 825 6555.

Watch out for scammers
Following the earthquake, requests for donations began circulating. Although many of these are legitimate, there are others that are not. For more information about earthquake scams visit (Scamwatch, Ministry of Consumer Affairs) and (Anti-Spam Compliance Unit, Department of Internal Affairs).


Expect aftershocks. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on. It is normal to feel anxious or stressed as a result of the earthquakes and numerous aftershocks that have rocked Christchurch. One way of coping with anxiety and stress is to talk about how you are feeling with friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues. It is important to continue to eat and sleep as regularly as possible and to exercise to help reduce any tension and anxiety.

GNS Science advises that there may be more magnitude 5 or greater aftershocks in the next few days. GNS models predict that between four and 16 aftershocks of magnitude four or greater should be expected.

Accurate prediction of earthquakes not possible
Scientists are paying special attention to the patterns of the aftershocks and assessing data from surveying networks, however accurate scientific prediction of earthquakes and aftershocks is not possible.

Aftershocks are diminishing in overall frequency since February 22. While many aftershocks have been in the vicinity of Lyttelton, the aftershock zone is expanding as expected. This means seismic activity will be felt outside the Port Hills and Lyttelton areas.

For your safety
Aftershocks are expected to continue and this could lead to further building damage or collapse, as well as continued disruption to power, telecommunications and essential services.
  • Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • Check on neighbours, friends and family in your local area.
  • Assess your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.
  • Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.
  • Do not use any lifts anywhere in Christchurch.
  • Do not sight-see in affected areas - this is causing congestion and impacting on response vehicles. Roads are for lifelines and emergency services.
  • Help people who require special assistance - infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.


Blood donations
NZ Blood has announced that the Christchurch Blood Donor Centre will be closed until further notice. They have good supplies of blood in Christchurch and have supplies they can bring in from other centres. At this stage stocks of blood are fine, but if the situation changes they will inform people via their website
( or via Facebook.

Hospitals and Medical Centres
Only attend A and E (accident and emergency) at the hospital if absolutely essential. For other injuries, contact your nearest after hours medical centre/General Practice or nearest after hours surgery. Canterbury residents with urgent medical needs can visit a GP free of charge until end of Sunday 06 March. Canterbury residents will not have to pay the $3 co-payment or any other part-charges or premiums on their prescriptions until Sunday 06 March.

If you are unwell, call for help:
HealthLine 0800 611 116 (minor injury or illness).

The Latimer Square triage centre remains open. 70% of GPs are up and running. The 24 hour surgery on Bealy Avenue is open.

A mobile medical centre has been established adjacent to Cowles Stadium in East Christchurch to provide primary care, obstetrics and general emergency medicine. It will be open from 0800 - 2000 each day, commencing Saturday 26 February.

Thank you to all the midwives who responded to the call for help with maternity care. Canterbury District Health Board have sufficient numbers now.

Aged care
Aged care continues to be a priority issue. Some older people have been transferred out of Christchurch. Health staff are leading the process, and liaising with the receiving DHB as required. The National Health Coordination Centre is following up with all rest homes.

Public health messages
People need to take the following advice to avoid getting sick with stomach bugs and other illnesses:
  • Water is being chlorinated for public safety. However, the public are advised to continue to boil water before drinking, brushing teeth or washing/preparing food. Assume tap water is contaminated and unsafe to drink until advised otherwise by Council. For a full list of water stations see:
  • Take your medicines (and copies of prescriptions) with you.
  • If you have water, use it sparingly.
  • It is vital that everyone takes special care with personal hygiene. Please keep hands clean to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Look after each other - keep in touch with families, friends and neighbours.
  • Assume river, sea water, ponds, puddles and any other surface water is contaminated with sewage.

Food safety
MAF (Food Safety) has issued advice to protect people from food borne illnesses in the wake of Tuesday's earthquake. For information see
Food safety in the Christchurch earthquake


Visa Extensions for Foreign Nationals Affected by Earthquake
Immigration New Zealand is issuing automatic six month visa extensions for any foreign national whose work, visitor or student visa application cannot be processed because of the Christchurch earthquake. Immigration New Zealand's central Christchurch office in the Crystal Plaza building is unable to be accessed for safety reasons. For more information contact:
Immigration New Zealand


A magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred 10km south-east of Christchurch at 12:51, February 22, 2011. Depth (focal depth): 5km. The National Crisis Management Centre has been activated and a
State of National Emergency for Christchurch city has been declared (

What is a State of National Emergency?
A state of national emergency can be declared when the civil defence response is beyond the resources of the responsible local authority. In this case, there is a need to coordinate the significant amount of assistance and resources that have arrived and are arriving from other regions and from overseas. The declaration of the state of national emergency highlights the seriousness of the situation – more so even than the 4 September 2010 quake.

Civil Defence Minister John Carter extended
the state of national emergency (on 1 March) for a further seven days in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch last Tuesday. The state of national emergency in New Zealand was declared last Wednesday and is expected to continue for several more weeks, Mr Carter says.

Restrictions imposed by the state of national emergency apply only to the Christchurch area and do not have any direct impact on other areas of New Zealand.

For more information: The
Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan includes an explanation (PDF document) of what powers are exercised by whom in such a situation.

Event Summary
Restoration work is progressively providing increased utility services, although the rate of restoration for some services will be slow now given the impact of extensive liquefaction and other ground disruption, especially in the southern end east of the city. It is estimated that over 200,000 tonnes of liquefaction sand will need to be removed, compared with a total of approximately 20,000 tones in the September event.

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