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Emergency billets – 'hotline' to close down at 5pm

23 February 2011

Emergency billets – 'hotline' to close down at 5pm

Around 1000 phone calls and emails have poured in to a temporary phone line and email address set up today to deal with inquiries from Wellingtonians who want to offer free accommodation to hundreds of people arriving in the Capital today from Christchurch.

And the Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group says it will close the ‘hot line’ service at 5pm today. “We’ve got a huge number of offers and we’ll now spend some time logging them,” says civil defence spokesman Mike Mendonca.

“We want to say a huge thank-you to all the people around the lower half of the North Island who’ve shown such generosity.

“We’ve had offers from people all the way to Ohakune, people wanting to turn over their beach houses for a week…it’s been amazing.

“It’s obvious that people all over the country are united in their desire to help out in whatever way possible.”

Several hundred people – mainly foreign tourists – have been flown into Wellington by the RNZAF following yesterday’s devastating quake.

Many of the people have left Christchurch without passports, medical supplies and other personal possessions.

The Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is helping the people as they arrive at Wellington Airport during the day.

ENDS

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