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Canterbury Situation Begins to Improve

June 13, 2006

Canterbury Situation Begins to Improve

Although many areas are of Canterbury still cut off from the outside world, contractors have started to clear the snow on several roads and snow is thawing in lower-lying areas.

Work is now underway to clear roads between Fairlie, Mount Cook and Twizel. Access to Twizel is possible through the Waitaki Valley and Omarama. Power has been restored to Fairlie, but Mount Cook, Twizel and Tekapo are still currently without electricity and telephone access.

Phone links to Waimate have also been restored and Alpine Energy is working hard to restore power to Geraldine. Although some households in Timaru are still without electricity, it is hoped that it will be restored later today.

Canterbury’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Planner, Jon Mitchell, says Waimate and McKenzie Districts Council staff have managed to make contact with many farmers in isolated areas, and they are co-ordinating emergency supplies into the affected communities. The Waimate District Council is still concerned about people in the Caddington area, with whom they haven’t been able to establish contact. An attempt will be made to reach them by road later today.

Mr Mitchell says stock losses are expected, but that it’s too early to assess the full extend of it. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is working to ensure that recovery efforts in the rural sector are coordinated.

ENDS

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