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Summary of response to Gisborne earthquake to date

Media Release 21 December 2007
10.10am

Summary of response to Gisborne earthquake to date

Please attribute to the Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, John Hamilton.

Co-ordination

The National Crisis Management Centre is being used by the Ministry, Police, Fire Service and other agencies to monitor and co-ordinate at a national level.

The Gisborne District Council’s civil defence emergency management Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is activated.

Hastings District Council had activated but has since stood down its EOC.

Hastings District, Central Hawkes Bay District, Napier City, Horizons Regional and Wellington Regional Councils are not activated but are available to provide assistance to Gisborne if required.

Emergency services

Police and New Zealand Fire Service are heavily involved in the response.

Reported minor fires are under control or have been extinguished.

The Fire Service has mobilised an urban search and rescue (USAR) team and two other USAR teams are on standby. Additional structural engineers are on stand-by if required.

Health

Tairawhiti District Health Board has reported Gisborne residents have suffered minor injuries but there are no serious injuries or deaths reported to date.

Gisborne Hospital lost power for a period but mains power has been restored. The building is 100% structurally sound but reports a significant amount of minor internal damage.

Gas was shut down at the hospital as a precaution pending a full inspection during the day.

All wards and patients are reported safe.

Lakes and Bay of Plenty District Health Boards are prepared to receive people from the Gisborne area if that is needed. Capital and Coast District Health Board has been monitoring the situation but does not expect to be required to provide a receiving hospital.

Welfare services

The Government Emergency Response Line is available on 0800 779 997 until 8pm Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Damage

Police report two buildings have collapsed in the Gisborne City central business district and serious structural damage to seven blocks of the CBD. The CBD has been evacuated and cordoned off.

About 95% of the electricity network is operational.

The gas network is intact but some meters have been turned off following complaints of possible leaks.

Telecommunications networks do not see to have suffered no infrastructure damage. There may have been some cable damage that has not caused loss of service. Loss of power and overloading caused some problems.

Transport

The only notified road closure is the Nelson Road Bridge, which is closed due to a burst water main. It is planned to have it partially open by about 1pm today.

All State Highways are open.

The airport is fully operational.

The Napier-Gisborne railway line was closed pending a full inspection.

ENDS

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