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Quake: Day two as it happened

Published: 4:26AM Sunday September 05, 2010 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

11:55pm: The Fire Service says it is coping well and the weather seemed to be calming down slightly. It is experiencing a lull in call-outs.
GeoNet has recorded four more aftershocks since 9pm, strongest was 4.1 magnitude.

Police urge people in Canterbury to stay off the roads as wild weather lashes the quake-ravaged region. Power is expected to be restored to most areas around Oxford by about 11.30 pm.
The Old Waimakariri Bridge, Main North Road, is closed until further notice.

10.00pm: Electricity company Orion says power has been restored to 98% of customers, leaving about 3000 in the dark.

8.00pm: The Ministry of Justice says jury trials are off in Christchurch tomorrow due to the quake cordon and juror availability. Court buildings have been cleared for safety but are within the cordon so they are not able to be accessed.

7.45pm: The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) will be closed until Wednesday.

7.18pm: Electricity company Orion says it's managed to restore power to 95 percent of earthquake-hit customers in Canterbury.
Chief Executive Roger Sutton acknowledges it's frustrating for those who haven't been able to get electricity, but he says crews are working around the clock.

7.15pm: The wild winds forecast for Canterbury tonight are unlikely to reach full force in Christchurch, where many residents are spending their second night away from home following the massive earthquake yesterday morning.

6.33pm: Access to water has been restored to 85% of homes in Kaiapoi, following the Canterbury earthquake.
Fifteen gangs of contractors, as well as 50 council staff and numerous volunteers have worked to restore water, fix sewage systems, and assess buildings.

Jim Palmer - the chief executive of the Waimakariri District Council - says good progress is being made.

6.22pm : Police will maintain cordon points in central Christchurch overnight.
The CBD is again under a curfew between 7pm and 7am.

6.02pm : Ministry of Justice says Jury Trials are off in Christchurch tomorrow due to the quake cordon and juror availability.Jurors should call the jury line (03) 962 4399 for instructions beyond Monday.

6.00pm: Metro bus services covering Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri are cancelled for at least 24 hours.

5.25pm: ANZ and ASB are the latest banks to set up earthquake appeal funds.
Donations for both can be made online or by going into any one of the nationwide branches.

5.16pm : A fourth welfare centre is opening in Brooklyn's Community Centre. It's in addition to the centres at Addington, Linwood and Burnside where 250 people stayed last night.
It's not yet known how many people will be staying in these centres tonight.

4.45pm: Transport New Zealand has updated road closures in Christchurch.
State Highway 74 between Breezes Road and Metro Place is closed due to a broken sewage pipe. Single lane access is expected to be restored tomorrow morning.

To the north of the city the Chaney's Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 remains closed. West of the city State Highway 77 has re-opened with a two kilometre detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy. All major bridges, including the Lyttelton tunnel have been assessed and given the all clear.

Highway operations manager Peter Connors says further analysis of bridges and other structures will continue on the state highway network will continue throughout the week.

4.07pm: Christchurch Hospital is putting off a number of deferrable hospital services tomorrow in a bid to cope with disruption caused by the earthquake. All surgical and medical procedures other than non-deferrable cases have been cancelled for tomorrow.

It includes all arranged admissions for Christchurch, Christchurch Women's and Burwood Hospitals. Affected patients are being contacted.

Caesarean and labour inductions will continue as scheduled. Outpatient services will be maintained.

3.55pm : The SPCA has issued the following advice - Stray dogs should be reported to Christchurch City Council Animal Control, and anyone who found a stray cat, provided it was not injured, should leave it alone and not feed it. If the cat is still around in a few days it should be taken to the SPCA in Hornby.

Emergency animal welfare incidents can be reported on 03 366 3886. Anyone who had lost an animal for more than 24 hours should call SPCA Track-A-Pet on 0900 56 787.

3.45pm Agriculture Minister David Carter is expecting the damage bill for rural Canterbury to reach hundreds of millions of dollars. He has been visiting farming areas today .Parker says he's seen widespread damage to houses and infrastructure and suspected damage to some of the buried mainline irrigation systems.

3.25pm Aftershocks continue to rattle Christchurch and Canterbury. A total of 64 quakes, measuring more than 3 on the Richter Scale have struck the region up until 2:34PM this afternoon.
Seven of the aftershocks have measured higher than five, two of which struck today. Thirty five were between 4 and 4.9 on the Richter Scale and the rest under 4.

: Labour Party Leader Phil Goff has visited Christchurch today. He is promising Christchurch and Canterbury a bi-partisan approach from Labour. Goff said he is relieved at the low human casualty rate realising how much worse it could have been had the quake struck at a different time.

3.16pm: Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast has offered for council staff to travel south to help out in Christchurch and around Canterbury if they are needed. She made the offer to Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker yesterday and that a formal offer has also been made via the Ministry of Civil Defence.

"While I'm aware that everyone is coping very well with the tasks at hand, extra civil-defence staff, water and drainage engineers, structural engineers, building inspectors and environmental health staff might end up needed as the true scale of the damage in Canterbury becomes more apparent and the local people start to need a break," Prendergast said.

2.54pm : All schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts will remain closed until Wednesday, it has just been announced. This will allow engineers to make essential structural checks before giving the go ahead for staff and students to return. All public buildings will also be closed.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said: "I think a lot of parents would have found it very, very difficult to get children to school anyway."

The Secretary for Education, Karen Sewell, says these school closures are advisable in the best interests of safety and continued assessment of school property. "This allows more time for structural assessment of school buildings and grounds. Safety is paramount and the time will be used for the ongoing assessments to ensure school buildings are safe and to make sure water and sanitation is clean in school grounds," Sewell said.

2.43pm: Public health authorities are urging everyone in Christchurch to boil their water for at least three minutes, not just those with burst pipes or flooding. This is because underground sewer pipes have the potential to mix with the water pipes. Even the tiniest amount of mixing can lead to gastroenteritis, a serious condition which can be fatal. Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Alastair Humphrey advises people to put their toothbrushes next to the jug to remind them to only use the boiled water.

Water is available from tankers at Parkview School and the Linwood Welfare Centre at Linwood College. People are asked to take a large container, such as a bucket, to collect the water.

1.44pm : Natural Dairy, the Hong Kong based company that wants to buy the Crafar farm, is to donate $200,000 to earthquake relief for Christchurch.

Spokesman Bill Ralston said: "The company is seeking advice from New Zealand authorities as to how this aid can be best distributed to the Canterbury community and what form this assistance should take. Natural Dairy sends its sincere sympathies and best wishes to the people of Canterbury at this difficult time and wants to help in any what it can."

Separately, Fonterra has announced a $1 million donation towards recovery efforts in earthquake-affected Christchurch and the surrounding regions. BNZ said it would donate more than $1 million. And Westfield has announced it will donate $250,000.

1.09pm: Another couple of significant aftershocks have struck. One measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was centred 20km south-west of Christchurch just after midday. Then at 1.04pm an aftershock measuring 5.0 struck 20 km south-west of Lyttelton at a depth of 12km.

1.04pm : Civil Defence Minister John Carter said assistance has been offered by the United Nations and the United States, but it has been turned down as New Zealand is in a position to cope with the aftermath of the disaster.

12.58pm: The government faces a "moral dilemma" over what to do with the uninsured, Prime Minister John Key told ONE News today. He is warning that some Cantabrians will be left out of pocket after yesterday's earthquake. "Ultimately if you don't have insurance and you don't fit in the category of real hardship, then there's no question there will be a cost," he said.

He said there would be assistance for people suffering hardship, but there would be some that are going to find it a very "distressing experience".

Key said the early numbers indicate 341 houses are condemned and 337 had substantial weather damage.

12.42pm: Confirming the correct number for people affected by the earthquake needing information on government services is 0800 77 999 7. The number given out by the PM last night was not the correct one. Use 0800 77 999 7 for information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service.

To log a claim with the Earthquake Commission call free phone 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) or go to

12.35pm : Lincoln Maternity Hospital and Burwood Birthing Unit remain closed until further notice. Women who were intending to birth at the units should go to Christchurch Women's Hospital instead. The Rangiora Birthing Unit and Ashburton Hospital remain open for birthing mothers. Pre-planned caesareans and induction of labour will continue at Christchurch Women's Hospital tomorrow as scheduled.

12.32pm: A KiwiRail train carrying almost 300,000 litres of fresh water is due in Christchurch early this afternoon. The water was loaded into Fonterra milk tanks at Temuka last night with the intention of bringing it to Christchurch last night. However because of the risk of track damage caused by aftershocks, the decision was made to delay the final leg of the journey from Ashburton until daylight.

Midday: More than 2700 insurance claims have been received. 350 of those are for houses considered uninhabitable so people will need to stay with friends, family or in welfare centres. People requiring information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service can call the Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 77 999 7.

11.55am: More than 500 buildings in Canterbury have been destroyed, and 90 of those are in the CBD. Water supply is back on for all but around 20% of the city, but leaking pipes are still causing some problems. Any tap water should still be boiled before it's used. 

10.58am: Ministry of Education says only two Canterbury schools are officially closed tomorrow - Kaiapoi and West Melton schools are closed until further notice. School authorities are still meeting with the Ministry of Education and other schools are likely to be added to the list throughout the day. Many school principals and boards are on site checking schools.  The bulk are expected to have a superficial clean up which will be done either today and early tomorrow by staff. Updates on Ministry website.

10.35am: Telecom has made around 300 payphones in and around Christchurch free for local, national and mobile calls. There are still some parts of Christchurch without landline services, due to prolonged loss of power and damage caused by the earthquake. Telecom asks people to use the payphones responsibly, by keeping calls brief and making important calls only.

10.30am: School pupils in the Canterbury region should know very shortly if they are going back to school tomorrow. The Ministry of Education is meeting school authorities now to make the decision on whether they open.

10.07am: A large number of schools and businesses throughout Canterbury will remain closed tomorrow. Chamber of Commerce chief Peter Townsend says there are some parts of central Christchurch that you simply can't get into - and others that are relatively unscathed. He says employers should use their commonsense, and if there's any doubt stay closed.

10.05am: A lot of damage has been done to churches in the Canterbury region. As mentioned earlier, Christchurch Cathedral is closed, along with St Michael's. Christchurch Dean Peter Beck says many other churches are still open or are meeting in halls. He says St Luke's in the City has a lot of damage.

9.55am: Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker believes the 7pm to 7am curfew will again be in place in the city tonight. He's sure businesses in the CBD will not be open for business tomorrow. This is still to be confirmed by police and local businesses.

9.50am: Christchurch City  has been bolstered by the arrival of 50 urban search and rescue personnel. Mayor Bob Parker says they'll start by be combing the CBD.

9.12am: The power company that looks the Canterbury region, Orion, says it is aiming to have 95% of customers in the whole network with power by midday. At the moment, 90% have power. Orion Chief Executive, Roger Sutton said the company was also hoping have a better estimate of how long it will be for the remaining 5% to get power back.

9.01am: More aftershocks: 4.1 at 8.13am; 4.2 at 7.51am; 4.2 at 7.41am; 3.7 at 7.30am; 3.7 at 7.11am. 16 have been felt since midnight.

9.00am: Winds have arrived already on the Canterbury Plains earlier than expected. Darfield and Sockburn already experience high winds.

8.54am: Christchurch Cathedral is not open for services today.

8.36am: Christchurch City Council says building evaluators are working today to assess buildings. Red placards will be placed on buildings deemed unsafe and which cannot be entered. Yellow placards will indicate restricted use, and green will show buildings that are safe.

8.35am: 80 kilometre winds already gusting in Darfield.

8.30am: Hornby and Eastgate Malls will be open from 10am for necessities only.

8.20am: Residents in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, have been left stunned by yesterday's earthquake. Five hundred to 1000 homes in Kaiapoi are affected by lack of power, water or sewage. Waimakariri District Council chief executive Jim Palmer says the welfare centre at the Kaiapoi North School reopened at 7.30am. He says if people have concerns, they should go there.

8.15am: Movers Allied Pickfords have crews on standby if people need to move items into storage ahead of the stormy weather.

8.10am: Cantabrians worried about the safety of their homes are being urged to call a council building inspector or a certified builder. Anyone needing advice on anything should call 0800 77 999 7 or the Christchurch City council locally 941 8999 .

8.05am: No buses in and around CBD until further notice.

8.00am: Residents still being told to boil water for 3 minutes even if it looks clear.

7.30am: No sewerage or power in the Selwyn district of Rolleston - people should minimise water usage, as in Kaiapoi. About 6 houses uninhabitable in Rolleston. Rural water supplies out of action, but hopefully on later today. 95% of areas should have power by the end of the day.

7.25am: Around 20 houses in Kaiapoi still uninhabitable. Some have remained intact but may have dropped up to a metre.

7.20am: Many areas of Kaiapoi still don't have sewer utilities. Crews are working on this right now and hope to have it sorted today.

7.00am: Curfew lifted but people being told to stay out of the CBD.
Electricity lines company Orion says 90% of customers in the Christchurch urban area got their power back on last night but 15,000 people are still without power.
More than 500 buildings have so far been identified as being substantially damaged with over 90 of those are in the central city area.
15-20% of the city is still without water and there are more than 200 water leaks around the city - around a 100 of which are being described as reasonably significant.

6.06am: An emergency welfare centre for people in the Waimakariri District has been set up at North Kaiapoi School in Williams Street.
Three more quakes between 5 and 6am. All recorded over 4.5 on the Richter scale and less than 15km depth. Around 50 aftershocks have been recorded by GeoNet.
AMI Stadium says it has escaped almost unscathed. Stadium CEO Bryan Pearson says early assessments have shown nothing too major.

5.02am: Another cluster of aftershocks rattle the area surrounding Darfield. 4:08 am, magnitude 4.0, depth 15 km; 4:23 am magnitude 4.4 depth 5 km and 4:31 am magnitude 3.8 depth 7 km.
Police say there are no reports of any trouble in the city. Nobody breaking curfew, no looting and no issues with cordons.

3:30am Fire services say they are waiting for daylight before they get back onto the streets and they have a backlog of more than 100 jobs to get to. The Army says they are ready to help. Colonel Roger McElwain says locals are showing true spirit in the toughest of times. He says people have been helping their neighbours with medical support, meals and even taking down chimneys which were cracked in the quake.

3.00am: Aftershocks - five quakes recorded by GeoNet this morning. All less than 10km depth and magnitude from 3.2 to 3.9. All within 30 kilometres of Darfield.

Sunday 1.05am: Police say 80 staff from Auckland are doing the night shift - working 8pm to 8am to relive Christchurch personnel. About 150 police officers working around Christchurch city overnight, also 6 dog handlers.

Read yesterday's live updates as they happened here

Saturday 11.15pm: Aftershocks continue. This one reported at 10:38 pm, measured at 4.9, same location (30 km north-west of Darfield) but only 8km deep. Another aftershock reported at 10.34pm. Magnitude 4.6, location 30 km south-east of Darfield and depth 20 km. Worried residents have headed to the emergency shelters.

Saturday - final Civil Defence update
More aftershocks are expected. The likelihood of aftershocks of up to around magnitude 6 will remain for the next week.

There has been widespread minor structural damage to buildings and smaller bridges.

Across the Canterbury region the delivery of water, sewerage and power services has been impaired but is being restored.

One person is in the Intensive Care Unit of Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries; a small number have been treated for fractures and lacerations. It is estimated that around 100 injured patients seen on Saturday relate to the earthquake.

All hospitals are functional, although Christchurch Hospital is operating on generator power.

A severe weather warning for gale force wind on Sunday could place significant stress on already damaged buildings and damage temporary repairs to buildings. On Monday evening rain is expected in the Canterbury region with 150 mm falling around the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers.

The National Crisis Management Centre will be functioning overnight to ensure any central government support and coordination that might be needed is available at first light in the morning, New Zealand time.

Police have imposed a cordon for the Christchurch CBD, inside Kilmore, Madras, St Asaph and Montreal streets, and for the Kaiapoi CBD, from 7pm to 7am.

People requiring information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, Civil Defence or any other government service can call the Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 77 999 7 . The 0800 information line will operate daily between 7am and 10pm.

If you have a health emergency call an ambulance on 111. For other health advice call the 24/7 Healthline: 0800 611 116.

Water and sewage have been affected in several regions. There is expected to be limited flooding in places as a result of the damage to pipes. Residents should conserve water.

For information about storing or treating water 

All Selwyn residents are being asked to conserve water, but especially in Rolleston. Rolleston water supply is contaminated. Minimise water use, e.g. flushing toilets.

Urban Search and Rescue. NZ Fire Service Task Force in Christchurch is deployed with support coming from Auckland and Palmerston North.

Did you experience the Canterbury quake? Do you have images or video or CCTV footage of the earthquake? Send them into

Share your experiences of the earthquake on our messageboard at the end of this article:

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  • gordy said on 2010-09-09 @ 13:59 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Im my 51 years on this earth I have never felt so first thoughts was we had been hit by a nuclear bomb and it was Armageddon. Never ever want to experience it again

  • schicken said on 2010-09-08 @ 19:15 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I thought the same thing initially. However, another quake big enough to close or shift the cracks further is likely to be heard first and all the kids will most likely be fine. If a child does get swallowed up, I'm probably not going to have huge empathy for the media coverage or their parents, but until then, let the region have a little bit of fun. Education about health risks regarding contaminated water may be a good idea for all. :)

  • thinkaboutit said on 2010-09-06 @ 23:06 NZDT: Report abusive post

    More great coverage tonight TVNZ especially highlighting the situation at individual community levels where people reported they felt abandoned. All credit to those organising themselves into community working groups at this level despite this. Arguably the recovery process would be greatly enhanced if these community groups were psychologically and practically supported by establishing official coordination centres at individual community levels.

  • Madeleine Ware said on 2010-09-06 @ 17:31 NZDT: Report abusive post

    You're making some good points here. Perhaps some of the donations could be towards purchasing and setting up storage of these sorts of things. Individuals are also responsible for making their own preparations. I clean and keep old 3L juice bottles filled with water. Every now and then I water my house plants with one and refill it to refresh it.

  • Madeleine Ware said on 2010-09-06 @ 17:25 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Why are they buying water? Aren't there several tankers about the city giving it away?