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Central Christchurch cordon area reduced

Central Christchurch cordon area reduced

Police are removing cordons from Colombo Street and Oxford Terrace in central Christchurch.

Cordons were put in place earlier today after a number of central city buildings were damaged in the earthquake at 10.30am.

Cordons remain in place on Hereford St and Lichfield St, between Colombo and Oxford.

Restrictions are also in place on Worcester Street between Oxford Tce and Manchester St, and on Gloucester St between Colombo St and Latimer Sq. City Mall is closed between Oxford Tce and Colombo St.

There are also cordons around some individual buildings in the vicinity of the central city.

Inspector Derek Erasmus said the Police focus is on ensuring public safety.

"We are reassessing the cordons on an hourly basis, and will take advice from the City Council and the Fire Service who are conducting assessments on buildings," said Inspector Erasmus.

"Where any buildings are assessed as a potential risk we will make sure those buildings are fenced off, and then re-open streets as soon as we can.

"We understand how much of a disruption this is, but our first priority has to be on making sure people are safe.

"We want to reduce the street closures as quickly as possible so the central city can return to normal."

Inspector Erasmus said an additional 30 police staff were working on cordons, and a further 20 staff were being called in this afternoon. Staffing requirements overnight would be assessed depending on the extent of the cordoned area.

Police said no reports of injuries had been received.

One arrest has been reported in the central city. A 65-year-old man was arrested after breaching the cordon near the intersection of Colombo and Lichfield Streets, and being asked twice to leave the area.

The man was arrested and charged with obstruction and aggravated assault on a police officer. He will appear in court during the coming week.

"Overall, however, people are taking this in their stride and accept the fact that that we've had to cordon off areas for their own safety. Most are good-humoured about it and carrying on with their shopping."

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