Top Shows

Contact ONE News

Jobs lost as quake toll mounts

Published: 6:05AM Thursday September 09, 2010 Source: ONE News/NZPA

Canterbury earthquake damage is starting to cost jobs as more than 80 workers will not be returning to the devastated New World supermarket at Kaiapoi north of Christchurch.

Foodstuffs South Island said severe damage from Saturday morning's 7.1 magnitude quake means the supermarket will not be re-opening and will need to be re-built.

The supermarket has 34 full-time and 52 part-time staff who will all be affected.

Foodstuffs said all staff will receive their full pay for two months which is significantly more than the insurer was contracted to provide.

Foodstuffs South Island would find the employees positions in other Foodstuffs supermarkets should they wish to continue working for the company.

The Foodstuffs Community Trust has provided each full-time employee with a $500 shopping voucher and part-time employees have received a $250 voucher to help provide for their families during the crisis.

International insurance assessors arrive

Meanwhile, hundreds of insurance assessors, some from as far away as America and Europe, have arrived in Christchurch to deal with claims after the weekend's massive quake, says the Insurance Council.

Council chief executive Chris Ryan said today the international staff would help assess the "enormous" quake damage.

Insurance staff were working with local authorities, central government and other recovery agencies, he said.

Ryan urged people to make claims, secure their homes, take photographs of damaged goods, and throw away perishable food.

Insurance industry call centres were "fully diverted" to ensure all claims were responded to quickly.

Braced for more jolts

Canterbury people endured a fifth night of tremors following Saturday's devastating quake and seismologists are predicting the aftershocks to continue for days to come.

One earthquake expert says another big aftershock could still hit the already damaged Canterbury region soon.

Victoria University seismic studies lecturer Professor Martha Savage says there is a 50% chance there will be a 6.1 magnitude quake within the next few days.

Waimakariri water contaminated

Civil Defence lifted the restriction on the boiling of water across Christchurch City, including Banks Peninsula yesterday, but boil water notices remain in force for a number of towns and areas in Waimakariri district.

The lower Waimakariri River is contaminated and drinking water still needs to be boiled before drinking, preparing food and brushing teeth in Kaiapoi, Waikuku Beach, Pines Beach and Kairaki, Woodend town and Woodend Beach.

People are also being warned not to go whitebaiting in the Waimakariri River.

The blanket boil water notice has been lifted across Selwyn District, with the exception of Malvern Hills rural water supply.

Selwyn District Council says water from private bores and wells used for drinking should still be boiled until it has been tested and verified safe. People should contact the council if they need their bore or well to be tested and there is no charge for this service.

Bus services resume

Bus services have resumed in Christchurch after Saturday's earthquake but some routes remain out of action, Civil Defence says.

It said that services would run to a normal weekday timetable.

The two bus routes still out of action were the 51 New Brighton to Tower Junction and the 480 bus to Kainga.

Emergency continues

However, Christchurch will remain under a state of emergency until at least Wednesday, after yesterday's 5.1 shake caused more damage.

Treasury estimated the cost of the damage from Saturday morning's 7.1 quake and subsequent aftershakes to be around $4 billion.

In all, Canterbury has received more than 270 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or above so far since Saturday's quake, with GNS Science seismologist Brian Ferris saying people would have felt about 150 of them.

Most schools in the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts will be closed to pupils today, though staff may be back at many, depending on safety clearances.

Southbridge Primary School was the only one in Selwyn expected to open to pupils today.

Parents were advised to contact schools or check the Ministry of Education's website for updates on which schools were planning to open.

The Port of Lyttelton said yesterday it was being affected by severe aftershocks, but remained operational, though staff were working under extreme stress to keep it going.

Lyttelton was jolted by yesterday's aftershock, with the Lyttelton tunnel closed for an inspection but reopened later in the morning, after being deemed safe and structurally sound.

Petrol company Mobil said there had been no damage to its oil terminals at Lyttelton and Woolston, or to the pipeline over the Port Hills which links the two, though pumping stopped automatically when the quake hit.

It was checking the pipeline before resuming normal fuel supply, but had plenty available at its Christchurch terminals. The next shipment was due to unload at Lyttelton's tank farm on Tuesday, and there would be another ship unloading on Thursday.

BP managing director Mike McGuinness said all but one of his gas stations remained open, and Greenstone Energy said its Shell stations were all working and being re-supplied overnight.

The Cabinet minister in charge of the recovery, Gerry Brownlee, said that in the larger Christchurch commercial area, 678 buildings had been checked and 70% were determined to be safe. Some were badly damaged but some of those only needed a little more work to ensure they were safe to enter.

Thirty-six more Earthquake Commission engineers are expected in the region in the next couple of days, and the commission will have 10 field offices around the region so that people can make direct contact.

How do you rate the Civil Defence response to the quake? Share your views and experience of the quake on our messageboard below.

Add a Comment:

Post new comment
  • musopete said on 2010-09-10 @ 12:47 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Go the Kiwi battler! Hold ya heads high.

  • Australianne said on 2010-09-10 @ 11:40 NZDT: Report abusive post

    2nd that about the light is difficult to read. Just wanted to say I'm so proud of NZers for the way in which they've pulled together in such a uniquely Kiwi way. No other country (even Australia) comes close to that! Well, maybe Australia comes close, but still, Kiwis lead the world in their kind-hearted attitude in the face of disaster.

  • H said on 2010-09-10 @ 10:24 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Would love to comment but the comments are displayed on this website in such a tiny, light coloured font that they're virtually unreadable.

  • SSAMA said on 2010-09-10 @ 07:38 NZDT: Report abusive post

    CD has done a great job in difficult circumstances - difficult to get up to date info to people without power. Website I have found most useful for info is the TVNZ live updates - great that it is updated regularly and the info is generally accurate. Well done TVNZ

  • Australianne said on 2010-09-09 @ 20:31 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Given that TVNZ is probably a world leader in their ability to keep us all informed after the earthquake, CD has done an ok job. But note, that is 'ok', not 'wonderful'. CD should link up with TVNZ and learn how to get that info out in a timely manner! This is more a pat on the back to TVNZ than having a go at CD. I'm sure they have lots of other duties keeping them busy. Keep it up guys. Well done.