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Canterbury earthquake Tuesday evening update

Canterbury earthquake Tuesday evening update

Federated Farmers is starting to get a clearer picture on this afternoon's 6.3 earthquake. Power was knocked out in parts of Banks Peninsula but damage has been slight in rural North Canterbury. No dairy milking seems to have been affected. If farmers, members and non-members alike need assistance, they can call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING).


Immediate damage assessment

Banks Peninsula has been damaged and there were widespread power outages and rock falls. Federated Farmers has proactively called all members in the Banks Peninsula area, however, many of the calls were not answered, principally farms towards Lyttelton where there has been wide scale damage reported.

The members that did answer (Akaroa, Little River and west toward Tai Tapu), reported power outages at the time but thankfully only minor damage. This though is an initial assessment and a more detailed one will come tomorrow.

Farming families are helping out their immediate neighbours, given residual damage to homes from last September. Federated Farmers is now endeavouring to get elected members into the affected area to investigate further. Federated Farmers 0800 327 646 line is being manned 24 hours.

If you need immediate emergency assistance, please call 111.

For other needs please contact your local council.


Farmer assistance for Christchurch and Christchurch residents

In addition to assisting with damage recovery, there are also three basics for life, being food, water and shelter. These are three things Federated Farmers is now in a position to offer Civil Defence along with our partners in the farming sector.

§ As with the 4 September 2010 earthquake, Federated Farmers has been in contact with Fonterra Cooperative Group about using milk tankers to carry fresh water into Christchurch.

§ Federated Farmers provincial presidents are receiving calls from members willing to assist urban Christchurch. This extends to equipment and volunteer personnel.

§ We have also had the offer of meat from members in Otago and other offers are now coming in.

§ Finally, we are now receiving offers of accommodation to take urban residents out of the City and into the countryside.

These offers have been passed onto the Minster of Civil Defence and the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.


Be careful with grain and fertiliser silos

There are no initial reports of damage to grain silos. It is vital that farmers do not attempt to repair or move grains if damage is suspected as there is the risk of death. Federated Farmers Grain & Seed can provide advice:

§ Murray Rowlands - 03 317 9401

§ David Clark - 03 303 6132


Continue to check on your neighbours
Given residual damage, it is important to check on your neighbours to see if they are alright.

Telecommunications

111 services remain stable and available and any issues connecting to 111 are likely to be due to network disruption due to damage, power outages or congestion. People trying to contact 111 should try again if they experience issues connecting.

The Christchurch 111 call centre has been successfully diverted to Wellington and 111 calls are being prioritised.

All current mobile site outages are due to loss of power and many sites are working on back-up power. This back-up power is limited as it is reliant on generators and batteries, so prolonged power issues will mean more sites are likely to go down over night.

Telecom has additional generators on the way from other South Island centres. It has also deployed temporary additional capacity at the Civil Defence base at the Art Gallery.

To minimise the stress on the network and to conserve back-up power all mobile operators. It's asking people to only use their phones for emergency calls. Text messaging is a second preferred means.

Telecom is working to maintain services and adding extra capacity to the mobile networks. Its primary objective is to restore communications to emergency services, civil defence and health and safety organisations.

People without power in their homes, will not be able to use cordless landline phones as base stations require power. If customers have analogue landline phones, which do not require power, it will still work and so should be used instead.

Telecom has enabled free calling from 280 payphones in and around Christchurch for local, national and mobile calls. Free payphone calling will be live from 3am on Wednesday 23 February.

Electricity

Orion reports that recovery after today's earthquake will be slower than after the 4 September earthquake. There was around 75 percent outage in Christchurch initially. It is still hopeful that we will be at 50 percent as darkness falls.

It is finding it difficult to get to some parts of its network to assess damage, however it have has not found any significant damage to the network so far. A large amount of Banks Peninsula is now back on, however, it is still fully assessing Lyttelton and parts of Christchurch City.

Orion asks that people be prudent and not assume that power will necessarily stay on given aftershocks. People should plan for any contingency such as keeping a torch handy. Although Orion may restore a suburb it is likely that within that suburb there may be pockets of faults that it needs to deal with.

Roads

§ Lyttelton Tunnel is closed to all but emergency services

§ The Northern Motorway north of Christchurch has sustained damage

§ Chaneys Road on-ramp is closed

Water and sanitation

Members are advised reminded to boil all water and to restrict use of toilets if on town supply water and to check septic systems if not.


Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed until further notice
Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed due to damage until further notice. Any meetings scheduled for the office have had to be cancelled. Thankfully, there have been no physical injuries to staff.


For general information, please contact:
0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

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Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

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