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New Zealand hit by strong quake, 65 dead

J

jollyjacktar

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Shared with the usual caveats.  Full story and pictures at link http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/02/21/new-zealand-quake.html

I am gutted to see this happen to the Kiwis.  Hope the losses will be kept to the minimum. 

New Zealand hit by strong quake, 65 dead
Office building, cathedral spire collapse, continuing aftershocks reported
CBC News Posted: Feb 21, 2011 7:26 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 22, 2011 1:15 AM ET

A strong, 6.3 magnitude earthquake has rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing at least 65 people.  New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told reporters in the city that the death toll was expected to rise further.  "It is a just a scene of utter devastation," Key told TV One News. "This may be New Zealand's darkest day."  Earlier, a police statement said "multiple fatalities have been reported at several locations in the central city, including two buses crushed by falling buildings."  "Other reports include multiple building collapses, fires in buildings in the central (city) and persons reported trapped in buildings," the statement said.

Christchurch's daily newspaper the Press reported on its website that witnesses said screams could be heard coming from the Pyne Gould Business building, where as many as 30 people were feared trapped.  Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said between 150 and 200 people were believed trapped in buildings across the city. Parker had declared a state of emergency.

The spire of downtown's Christchurch Cathedral collapsed into a central city square.  "The top of the cathedral's collapsed," a police official told Sky News in the city's centre. "It's the heart of the city. It's gone." 
Video footage showed some multi-storey buildings collapsed in on themselves, and others with walls that had collapsed into the streets, strewn with bricks and shattered concrete.  Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and thousands of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared.

Groups of people helped victims clutching bleedings wounds, and others were carried to private vehicles in makeshift stretchers fashioned from rugs or bits of debris.  The quake first hit at 12.51 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to New Zealand's GNS Science. It was centred at Lyttelton, N.Z., southeast of Christchurch, at a depth of five kilometres.  Aftershocks were continuing, the New Zealand Herald reported. They included a 5.7 magnitude aftershock at 1.04 p.m. at a depth of six kilometres, 10 kilometres south of Christchurch.

The city's airport was closed after the flight tower collapsed, and a major tunnel was shut. Christchurch Hospital remained open, but damaged, the Press reported.  Power was believed to be out in 80 per cent of the city.  Civil authorities set up "triage centres" at several locations around the city to help injured people. 
People working in the centre of Christchurch interviewed by Sky News New Zealand said the quake was much worse than last year's.

Because the quake occurred at lunchtime on a busy Tuesday, many more people were hurt. The Sept. 4, 2010 earthquake occurred on a weekend.  Radio New Zealand said staffers in its Christchurch newsroom had to cling to their desks during the shaking, with large filing cabinets toppling over.  Christchurch has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Sept. 4, causing extensive damage and a handful of injuries, but no deaths.  The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the temblor was centred five kilometres from the city at a depth of four kilometres.

Reuters reported that the country, located between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, records an average of more than 14,000 quakes a year. Only 20 would normally top magnitude 5.0, the news agency said.
 

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CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE - NZ DEFENCE FORCE – UPDATE 1
22 February 2011
http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/news/media-releases/2011/20110222-cendfu1.htm

A Royal New Air Force Boeing 757 is heading to CHCH tonight from Whenuapai Air Force Base in Auckland carrying 54 Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) staff, 20 x St John, 1 x Customs Plus their kit.

The aircraft loaded an additional 34 USAR passengers plus kit at Ohakea.

There will also be two sniffer dogs on the flight. It is due to arrive at ChCh airport at 2230.

Two Iroquois helicopters from No. SQN Ohakea have arrived to assist with rescue efforts in the city.

A P-3K Orion aircraft is also currently on task taking aerial surveillance images of affected areas.

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s Multi-role Vessel CANTERBURY is in Lyttelton and has offloaded approx 160 pers for cordon support duties.

HMNZS RESOLUTION has completed a survey of the main shipping route into Lyttleton harbour and results passed to port authorities.

HMNZS OTAGO is enroute to Lyttleton. HMNZS PUKAKI is at anchor with an element of the Navy Dive Team.

The NZ Army Medical Teams are at four different locations around Chch with military MPs working with the Police and NZDF Firefighters are working with local fire brigades.

Approximately 200-plus soldiers are assisting NZ Police with cordon duties.

ENDS

Contact: Anna Sussmilch 021 676 338.


RAAF aircraft leaves Sydney for Christchurch
    * From: AAP
    * February 22, 2011 8:42PM

THE first of two Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft is on its way to New Zealand following the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that has hit Christchurch.

Tonight up to 200 people were trapped in earthquake-damaged buildings in the South Island city, media reports said.

Rescuers will work throughout the night in miserable weather looking for survivors.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) allowed 40 search and rescue specialists from NSW, along with 10 tonnes of cargo, to leave the RAAF base at Richmond, in Sydney's northwest, at 8pm (AEDT) to help with the search and rescue efforts.

Another 30 specialists and 20 tonnes of cargo is due to leave the Richmond base for Christchurch tomorrow morning.



http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/large-scale-defence-force-relief-operation-full-swing/5/83080

Large-scale Defence Force Relief Operation In Full Swing
Auckland, Feb 23 NZPA - New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel have been working through the night in quake-stricken Christchurch, and the first Australian search and rescue team has arrived in the city.

The NZDF said troops were was fortuitously in the region preparing for a large training exercise when the quake hit at 12.51pm yesterday, and personnel were immediately deployed to be part of the search and rescue effort.

NZDF medical teams were working with local health authorities and army ambulances tending to the wounded.



Press Release – New Zealand Defence Force

This morning a RNZAF C-130 Hercules aircraft evacuated people from Christchurch to Wellington.

A Boeing 757 will also be used to create an airbridge between Christchurch and Wellington.

Last night a RNZAF Boeing 757 aircraft carried in a large number of Urban Search & Rescue personnel, as well as sniffer dogs, into the city.

An RNZAF P-3K Orion has overflown the city and taken imagery of the destruction for analysis by Civil Defence Personnel. RNZAF helicopters are also in the city.

Defence Force personnel have been working through the night to help ensure the safety of the people of Christchurch with Air Force, Navy and Army assets deployed throughout the city.

Medical teams are working with local health officials and soldiers are manning cordons around the city. Army ambulances and personnel are assisting with various search and rescue tasks throughout the city.

The NZ Defence Force had been preparing for a large exercise in the region and these assets were immediately diverted to the rescue effort yesterday.

The Navy’s multirole vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY is in Lyttelton, along with the survey ship RESOLUTION and patrol vessel PUKAKI. The offshore patrol vessel OTAGO is standing off the harbour entrance and is available if required. A small group of local people stayed on Canterbury last night and are being relocated this morning.

Two RNZAF C-130 Hercules will provide support as needed.

An Australian Defence Force C-130 aircraft has brought in the first group of Australian USAR personnel and a second ADF C-130 and C-17 will bring in more Australian assets.

Soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces are also providing personnel to man the cordons in the city.

 

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Prison emptied for recovery teams
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/4693472/Prison-emptied-for-recovery-teams

Civil Defence chiefs are moving the nerve centre of their operations to Christchurch this afternoon as rescue efforts enter a second day.

Civil Defence National Controller David Coetzee said Civil Defence head John Hamilton would be flying down from Wellington this afternoon and a national action plan would be ready by tomorrow.

PRISON EMPTIED

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says Rolleston Prison will be emptied to make beds available for emergency services personnel pouring into Christchurch and "anyone who needs it".

Collins said the prison had water, sewage and kitchen facilities and had survived the quake undamaged.

Prisoners from Rolleston would be transferred to Christchurch men's prison.

TOURISTS EVACUATED, RESCUERS FERRIED IN

The Defence Force is transporting traumatised tourists out of Christchurch and rescuers in.

Coetzee said a Defence Force Boeing 757 had been flying all day between Christchurch and Wellington.

People who wanted to be on a flight out should go to the welfare centres in Hagley Park and Burnside High School.

Each of the flights can take up to 100 people.

A centre at Wellington Airport has been set up to help people when they arrive.

There were hundreds of police, defence, local government, search and rescue personnel arriving in Christchurch from around the country and the world.

Building inspectors, engineers and sewage crews were also preparing to leave. "We're pouring in whatever we can and whatever is needed."

The shortage of accommodation available in Christchurch was slowing the flow of help to the city.

Coetzee said they wanted people to stay away from the city unless necessary and would be launching a website this afternoon to coordinate the billeting of rescue workers in homes.

"It's one thing to mobilise people and move them down but they must be able to be accommodated and received at the other end."

Meanwhile, the rescue teams searching buildings were well trained and would focus on where they were most likely to find people alive.

"They will not stop until they're finished, we can just hope that they find the people in time," Coetzee said.

However, he could not confirm that there had been signs of life in any buildings.

The current official death toll of 75 was the number of confirmed deaths in mortuaries, Coetzee said. It did not include those presumed dead.

People in Christchurch would not notice any difference in things on the ground following the change to a national state of emergency.

"The idea is not at all that of taking over, it is Government demonstrating its intent of working better and closer with the local response."

If people wanted to help they should donate cash to one of the established funds, as it was not possible to handle physical goods, Coetzee said.

MEALS ON FRIGATE

The frigate Canterbury will be docked at Lyttelton Port tonight, serving 1000 hot meals for people left homeless by the quake.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said about 1000 military personnel were on the ground working in Christchurch now.

There would also be logistical support extended to forces arriving Singapore and the United States.

"Defence has been working hard and they know they're going to have to do that over the next few days," Mapp said.

"This is an absolute maximum effort that the Defence Force is putting in, and we're going to do what it takes."

Staff would also be providing specialist medical support to the search and rescue teams, enforcing the CBD cordon and helping with logistics support such as transport and meals.

It was important to get international search and rescue teams in quickly to back up the local staff, Mapp said.

"It will go on for as long as it takes," he said.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

In response to questions Coetzee said:

* Hundreds more defence and police personnel have been deployed since last night and seven more teams are on the way. Building inspectors and engineers are also being mobilised to help with site inspections.

* Rescue efforts in the Pyne Gould and CTV buildings were continuing - though there appears to be contradictory information about this.

"It might be a painstaking and slow process but that is the way it has to be... we should not expect it will be completed tonight. We can just hope they can find people in time."

* He could not confirm reports that up to 22 people were feared dead at Christchurch cathedral. Documents obtained by NewstalkZB suggest that is one place where a large number of fatalities are feared.

* In response to questions about queues for water being as much as 400 strong, Coetzee said water containers and trucks were being ferried into schools and civil defence was assessing the need.

RESCUE WORKER NUMBERS BOLSTERED

Nearly 300 rescue workers from six countries are on their way to Christchurch to help in the search and rescue operation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the overseas relief effort included:

* A 40-strong urban search and rescue team which arrived at 5.30 this morning and is already working in the city. A second team arrives at 3pm.

* A 55-strong disaster relief team from Singapore, due to arrive at 8.30pm tonight. It will join a contingent of Singapore military staff who were already in New Zealand when the earthquake hit.

Two Singapore military aircraft are due tomorrow with additional equipment.

* A US specialist search and rescue team of 75 personnel, which arrives tomorrow morning.

* Sixty search and rescue personnel from Japan, expected to arrive tomorrow.

* A specialised search and rescue team of 63 people from the United Kingdom, which arrives tomorrow night.

* Assistance from Taiwan, which has yet to be finalised.

The teams are on top of 300 Australian police who were sought by Commissioner Howard Broad after a request from Canterbury district commander Superintendent Dave Cliff.

McCully said the Government had expressed gratitude for the messages of condolence and offers of assistance made from around the world.

"New Zealanders are deeply humbled by the messages of support and offers of specialist search and rescue help that have flooded in over the past 24 hours from other countries. Support will be critical over the next few days as we reassess the specialist services required to speed the rescue operation."

He said the Government was constantly assessing what was needed in the rescue effort and was actively considering several other offers of help.

The Government was also in close contact with overseas missions in New Zealand to help foreign nationals caught up in the earthquake make contact with family and friends.

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) national team manager Steve Barclay said 700 rescuers will be in Christchurch by tomorrow night and 1000 will be in the city within three days.

Those numbers include volunteer response teams, trained in lighter rescue operations.

About 120 volunteers are currently at the Civil Defence headquarters at the Christchurch Art Gallery, ready to be dispatched to the Latimer Square hub. They will then be sent on to other priority hubs around the city to back up professional USAR members.

A further 120 volunteers are on their way to the city centre now.

Seven USAR teams are on the ground in Christchurch, including two from New Zealand and five overseas teams from Australia, Japan, the United States and Singapore.

An Australian Defence Force C-130 Hercules aircraft brought in the first group of Australian search and rescue personnel and a second Hercules and C-17 transport jet will bring in more Australian equipment.

Soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces are providing personnel to man the cordons in the city, along with New Zealand soldiers.

Barclay said rescuers are working six hour shifts, some through the night and continuing today.

"The USAR are professionals, that's their job. Those people are volunteers in the main. We need to be careful with their mental health, it's pretty nasty some of the scenes so we have to keep a close eye on them."

Focus for the next three to four days will remain on light risk operations, Barclay said.

"For obvious reasons all efforts, equipment, planning and intelligence is focused on light risk to make sure we don't miss any buildings and get people help as soon as we can. After that we change focus."

Rescue teams are stationed at 10 high priority areas in the CBD, including the CTV building, PGG building, Cathedral, Lichfield Lanes and the Salvation Army building.

Barclay said the CTV and PGG buildings are "very labour-intensive" sites with up to 60 rescuers working at each site.

There are literally dozens of collapsed buildings still waiting to be assessed, he said.

Dogs are being used to check buildings for trapped people.

Barclay said the Cathedral has been checked, but not thoroughly because the site is too dangerous.

Engineers are working to prioritise sites before tasks and crews are sent in, he said.

Meanwhile, all the sections of the Defence Force are working in Christchurch.

The Defence Force says medical teams are working with local health officials.

Army ambulances and personnel are assisting with various search and rescue tasks throughout the city.

This morning an RNZAF C-130 Hercules aircraft evacuated people from the city to Wellington and a second aircraft will follow.

Last night an RNZAF Boeing 757 jet carried in a large number of Urban Search and Rescue personnel, as well as sniffer dogs, into the city.

An RNZAF P-3K Orion has also flown over the city and taken imagery of the destruction for analysis by Civil Defence staff.

RNZAF helicopters are also in the city.

The Navy's Multirole Vessel HMNZS Canterbury is in Lyttelton, along with the survey ship Resolution and patrol vessel Pukaki.

The offshore patrol vessel Otago is standing off the harbour entrance and is available if required. 

Two RNZAF C-130 Hercules will provide support as needed.

- By REBECCA TODD/The Press, MICHAEL FIELD, MARTIN KAY, and TRACY WATKINS/Stuff
 

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Christchurch Earthquake - NZ Defence Force – Update 3
Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 4:43 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Defence Force

Wednesday 23 February

Christchurch Earthquake - NZ Defence Force – Update 3
http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/news/media-releases/2011/20110223-cenzdfu3.htm

Crew from the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Multi-purpose Vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY will be preparing over 700 meals for the people of Lyttelton, Governor’s Bay and Diamond Harbour following yesterday’s earthquake.

Navy personnel are also helping with security in the area. Meanwhile elements from the NZ Army have disembarked from the ship and have relocated to Burnham to assist with the effort in Christchurch.

At Burnham Military Camp Chefs from 3rd Catering and Supply Company are delivering 750 meals into the city - 300 for Police, 300 for Fire Service and 250 for New Zealand Defence Force personnel. These numbers are changing and are expected to increase by 100 police by breakfast time.

All up 3rd Logistics Battalion are producing 3900 extra meals a day to support the earthquake effort.

The kitchen is operating 24hr a day to meet this output.

The Chefs are being supported by Stewards to assist with cooking and Supply Technicians to assist in packaging and delivering the meals.

Meanwhile personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces who had been in New Zealand preparing for a joint training exercise, are helping man cordons around the city. A second Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 has landed with 36 people and 20,000lbs of equipment. An RAAF C-17 is expected to land later this afternoon carrying an additional 72 people plus 40,000lbs of equipment.

Meanwhile Boeing 757s and C-130 Hercules from the Royal New Zealand Air Force are expected to carry approximately 900 people in an out of the city in a series of flights today.

The New Zealand Defence Force effort continues.
 

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I wish the headline in our morning papers would have been

"Canadian Forces Dispatch C 177 Globe Master to New Zealand for Quake Relief"

And then a great story about how the Air Force personnel worked round the clock to load emergency kit and personnel prior to a departure to Vancouver to pick up the specialist Lower Mainland Urban Search & Rescue Team.

sigh
 

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There are literally 10's of thousands of articles on this quake over the last few days,  So I figured I'd concentrate
on military responses.

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SAF assists with rescue operations in Christchurch
http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4663313

SINGAPORE : A 116—strong Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) team has begun to assist the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and local authorities with rescue operations and providing humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand since Wednesday morning.

Singapore’s Defence Ministry said the SAF personnel have been deployed to help the NZDF with cordon operations to ensure the safety and security of the residents whose lives and homes have been affected by the earthquake.

Major Xu Youfeng, Operations Officer Headquarters Guards, said: "We have been working closely with the NZDF and other New Zealand authorities to assist in the conduct of earthquake relief operations since this morning.

"The NZDF and the locals have been warm and hospitable during our stay here and we are very appreciative of their friendship. We will do the very best we can to help the victims of the earthquake."

The SAF servicemen were participating in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise, codenamed Lion Walk, with the NZDF when the earthquake happened.

Singapore also dispatched a 55—member Singapore Civil Defence Force urban search and rescue team and an SAF command team to assist in the disaster relief efforts early Wednesday morning.

The Singapore contingent departed from Paya Lebar Air Base in two RSAF C—130s and one KC—135 military aircraft.

The KC—135 aircraft arrived in Christchurch on Wednesday afternoon and will be evacuating civilians out of the earthquake zone to Auckland, New Zealand.

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Commander of Singapore contingent COL Melvyn Ong speaking to his staff upon arrival in Christchurch - MINDEF photo
 

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Other than search team, I think there are closer countries that can help faster and with more resources than we can....
 

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Shades of Napier Earthquake when HMNZS Canterbury in Lyttelton when Quake struck.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 19:01

http://www.hawkesbay.co.nz/news/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14953:shades-of-napier-earthquake-when-hmnzs-canterbury-in-lyttelton-when-quake-struck&catid=8:general

History  repeated itself 80 years apart in an erie coincidence when  the Navy Vessel HMNZS Canterbury was in Lyttelton Port on an exercise when the Earthquake struck Christchurch.

It was in  the same stuation when the HMS Veronica was tied up in Ahurii  Port when the Earthquake demolished napier  in "February" 1931.

Crew from the Veronica were amongst the first to deliver help in Napier and were the main communication link between Napier and the outside world .

Navy and army Personnel from Canterbury were among the first to give help in Christchurch today and were a vital communications link in the first few hours while the City was cut off from the outside world by damage from the deadly quake. The wharf the Canterbury was tied up to was also damaged in the quake.

The Canterbury was the centre of attention in Napier during last weeks celebration of the Art Deco festival and in particular remembered Veronicas contribution to the Hawke's Bay.
 

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CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE - NZ DEFENCE FORCE - UPDATE 4
http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/news/media-releases/2011/20110224---cendfu4.htm

Thursday 24 February 2011

The New Zealand Defence Force is continuing its effort in support of emergency agencies dealing with search and rescue in Christchurch.

    * 738 NZ Army personnel with approximately eighty vehicles are committed alongside116 Singapore Army personnel who were in New Zealand for an exercise. These personnel are helping man the cordons.
    * Two environmental health teams are working alongside Ministry of Health teams in the city.
    * A 350 bed tent city has been established at Burnham Camp to be increased to 500 beds to support the arrival of international contributions.
    * 150 Air Force personnel are committed to the task with two Boeing  B757 aircraft and two Hercules C-130 aircraft continued  to support air-bridge task CH-WN deploying emergency response personnel and equipment , bulk water and NZDF resources.
    * 1053 personnel were processed by Christchurch Air Movements. 936 personnel moved by RNZAF Aircraft.
    * 91 Australian citizens have been carried by RAAF to Australia and 26 Singaporean citizens by Royal Singapore Air Force.
    * Two Iroquois helicopters are currently in Christchurch from No3 SQN RNZAF.
    * 200 Navy personnel are committed in the Lyttelton area with HMNZS CANTERBURY alongside Lyttelton and OTAGO/ PUKAKI at anchor in approaches.
    * The Navy’s Littoral Warfare Support Group will complete a survey of the port using Navy divers and a remote underwater vehicle.
    * CANTERBURY provided 700 meals last night and non-armed security patrol of 10 pers remain in the Lyttelton Town centre
    * Army engineers will be setting up two water points including water purification (Lyttleton and New Brighton) later today. They will also be carrying out clearance tasks in the Pages/Breezes Rd area.
    * Forty five dialysis patients were carried out of the city yesterday on a Boeing 757aircraft to Auckland. 
    * NZ Defence Force is providing assisitance to Civil Defence and foreign rescue teams.
    * NSW has 72 pers and twenty tonnes of gear, Queensland 70 pers, 3 dogs and 22 tonnes of gear.
    * Japan has 63 pers, 3 dogs and 10 tonnes of gear.
    * Singapore has another 33 pers, 3 dogs and 10 tonnes of equipment.
    * The US will be sending 80 pers and 40 tonnes of equipment.
    * Taiwan plans to send 24 pers, 2 dogs and 2 tonnes of gear.
    * The UK is sending 63 pers and 9 tonnes of equipment.

ENDS

Contact SQN LDR Kavae Tamariki 021 420 899
 

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Christchurch earthquake: Army field hospital coming from Aust
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708458
1:02 PM Thursday Feb 24, 2011

A 75-bed army field hospital is due to arrive from Australia in Christchurch this afternoon to help with those injured during Tuesday's devastating 6.3 earthquake.

The field hospital will be staffed by 25 Australian clinicians including six emergency department doctors and 13 nurses, the Canterbury District Health Board said.

Since Tuesday's earthquake 164 people have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital with injuries as a direct result of the earthquake.

Some stable patients have been transferred to other hospitals to free beds for the seriously ill at Christchurch Hospital.

Maternity and neonatal services are also busy, and some babies will be transferred to other units around the country.

Canterbury residents with urgent medical needs are able to visit a GP for free until tomorrow night.



RNZAMC action shot from 22 Feb 2011.
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Christchurch earthquake: 'Warzone' hospital aims to prevent health crisis
By Hayden Donnell
7:47 PM Friday Feb 25, 2011
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708761

An Australian army field hospital is set to be turned into a community health centre as authorities work to prevent a medical crisis in Christchurch.

The 75-bed centre near Cowles Stadium in Aranui will be like the hospitals set up in warzones such as Afghanistan, a Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman says.

She says it will be self-sufficient and staffed with experienced doctors, nurses and other clinicians from Australia, including six emergency department doctors, 13 nurses, general surgery staff, orthopaedic staff, general trauma, anaesthetists and support staff.

They will help stop the outbreaks of diarrhoea and measles thought to be a serious risk in the wake of Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude aftershock, she says.

"We have seen isolated cases - three or four - of measles already. There is an underlying potential for there to be a measles outbreak. There's a chance of an oubreak of gastro diseases.

"This health centre is in an area where there is a low concentration of GPs. It's like those they set up in fields in Afghanistan. They don't need any input."

It will provide free primary care until Sunday night.

Quake damage to pipes and other infrastructure is still cutting off clean water to more than 40 per cent of Christchurch.

Many residents remain in welfare camps where poor sanitation and cramped living conditions raise the chances of disease outbreak.

A welfare centre previously set up at Cowles Stadium was closed this afternoon due to fears of an outbreak of measles or diarrhea and worries about sanitation.

More than 350 people at the centre were transported by bus to the Rolleston welfare centre, where sanitation is better.

The new army field hospital will ease those concerns by offering free care until Sunday - in line with other primary care centres in the city, a DHB spokeswoman says.

"As the demand for hospital services faces this is our main focus - public health and mental health."

Mental health has also been an issue as anxious Christchurch residents deal with the scars left by the earthquake and the constant stream of aftershocks in its wake.

The Ferry Road Medical Centre in Phillipstown has been helping patients being admitted with shock and anxiety.

Dr Les Toot says the level of distress from Tuesday's aftershock is much greater than experienced after the original 7.1 magnitude earthquake in September.

"We have been through this twice now, but the level of distress and destruction this time is another order of magnitude.

"We had walking wounded coming in initially on Tuesday - people with cuts, minor injuries and things like that. We are starting to get more people with shock coming in and I expect that to increase."

Medical supplies are another challenge in the quake-ravaged city, with pharmacies starting to run out of medication.

The warehouse of one Christchurch medicine supplier had not yet reopened since the quake while the other was only able to provide limited services, community pharmacist Jacqui Lawson told New Zealand Doctor magazine.

Of more than 120 pharmacies throughout Christchurch, 80 are now open.

- with NZPA
 

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CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE - NZ DEFENCE FORCE – UPDATE 5
25 Feb 2011
http://www.army.mil.nz/at-a-glance/news/media-releases/media-release.htm@guid=%7Baaef3c53-0552-477d-8bff-401fcc3168c9%7D.htm

Army Engineers have established two water production facilities in Christchurch to support people effected by the earthquake.

The water points have been in operation since this morning and members of the public have begun to receive fresh water.

The NZ Army equipment in New Brighton is a reverse osmosis system that can produce potable water from saltwater sources.

The Engineer water treatment capability can be deployed at short notice and can be used in many different operational environments.

The plant can produce 2000 litres of fresh water per hour.

ENDS

Media wanting to visit the water treatment plant need to contact Paul Stein, Communications Advisor Army, 021 409 033.

For general Army media inquiries please contact Major Kristian Dunne, Senior Media Advisor Army, 021 478 574.
 

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CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE - NZ DEFENCE FORCE – UPDATE 6
http://www.army.mil.nz/at-a-glance/news/media-releases/media-release.htm@guid=%7B220e2f50-f5e3-4782-8b7c-5e66eec3c571%7D.htm

The New Zealand Defence Force is continuing with its efforts in Christchurch City and has 902 NZ Army personnel committed with 116 Singapore Army (SAF) also in support.

Two water production facilities have been in operation since this morning and members of the public have begun to receive fresh water.

Two Environmental Health teams are liaising with the Ministry of Health in the city.

Army catering is producing 1700 breakfasts, 1800 lunches, 1800 dinners and 250 midnight meals per day. 

200 plus Reserve forces have been mobilised from today. They will be used to augment the Civil Defence recovery effort.

150 Air Force personnel are committed  to the effort and 358 passengers  have been moved from Christchurch in the last 24 hours; 1411 moved in total so far.

A group of young disabled people from IHC and their caregivers have been flown out of the city to Hamilton and  Whenuapai Air Force Base.

Two Iroquois helicopters have conducted VIP flights in addition to carrying food and portaloos around the region.

200 Navy personnel are committed in the Lyttelton area. Personnel from the Offshore Patrol Vessel OTAGO  checked navigation aids in Lyttelton Harbour and also checked for seabed movement. With half the checking done there are indications that slippage and land slumping at No 2 Wharf and the Tug Jetty land boundary have resulted in depth reductions of about two metres. The location of the change doesn’t appear to constitute a danger to vessels.

The Navy’s Dive team has confirmed damage has been sustained to wharves.

The Navy’s Multi Role vessel CANTERBURY provided 700 hot meals at three distribution centres (Lyttelton town centre, Diamond Harbour and Governors Bay) last night.

50 personnel from the CANTERBURY assisted in the re-distribution of fresh provisions obtained from a damaged supermarket (response to Civil Defence team request). Security patrols in Lyttelton Town Centre continue.

ENDS
 

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Navy ship heads for Wellington to stock up on earthquake supplies
1:30 AM Saturday Feb 26, 2011
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708887

HMNZS Canterbury will sail to Wellington from Lyttelton tomorrow to load up with much-needed disaster relief supplies for quake-affected Christchurch.

On the cargo list are 28,000 litre fuel truck, 29 4 x 4 vehicles, six containers, eight pallets of water, telecommunications equipment, a front end loader and an Army Bailey bridge.

The Canterbury was expected to arrive in Wellington at 6pm tomorrow, and depart for Lyttelton at 4am on Monday.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp praised the Canterbury's role in the quake recovery effort.

"Canterbury was in Lyttelton when the earthquake struck. Her crew have done a tremendous job there," Mapp said.

"In particular they have provided hundreds of meals to the community. I visited Lyttelton on Thursday and people spoke very highly of the support the ship has provided.

"The same can be said of all Defence Force personnel deployed to help in Canterbury.

"From the soldiers on the cordon, to the army engineers who set up a desalination system yesterday, to the round the clock air support that the RNZAF has maintained, the services have done a first-class job.

"There is a long way to go for Canterbury but the defence force will be there, doing whatever it can to help," he said.

While the Canterbury is loading supplies in Wellington, the HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Pukaki be at Lyttelton Port, continuing to support those affected by the quake.


Christchurch Earthquake - NZ Defence Force – Update 7
Saturday, 26 February 2011, 12:53 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Defence Force

Christchurch Earthquake - NZ Defence Force – Update 7

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s Multirole Vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY will be heading to Wellington on Sunday, leaving Lyttelton in the early hours of the morning with a planned arrival time in Wellington around 7pm.

There she will unload excess military supplies and equipment she had embarked for Exercise Southern Katipo and will fill this space with aid supplies including water, 20 plus vehicles, fuel tanker, fire appliances, telecom vans, engineer bridging and general materials for transit back to Lyttelton.
 
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