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WCC Quake 3 - Commuter rail update and Mayor’s comments

21 July 2013

Wellington quake – release 3 – 10.45pm 21 July

- commuter rail update and Mayor’s comments

Wellington rail commuters are advised that train services are unlikely to start before mid-morning tomorrow – to allow engineers to check rail infrastructure following this evening’s large quake.

Wellington Regional Civil Defence Controller Bruce Pepperell says there will be no ‘rush-hour’ services – this will allow engineers to check bridges and other infrastructure in daylight. There will be no bus replacement service.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown endorses advice by the Regional Emergency Management Office for people to stay at home, if possible, tomorrow morning to allow buildings in the CBD to be checked for quake damage.

Mayor Wade-Brown is returning to Wellington overnight from the local government conference in Hamilton.

“We need to give engineers and building experts time to check the condition of a large number of buildings in the city.”

Mayor Wade-Brown says City Council staff are assessing the extent of damage caused by today's earthquake and working with regional emergency management and emergency services.

"The important thing is that all Wellingtonians are equipped to get through - have an emergency pack ready to go with fresh water supplies and food, know where their safe spaces are in their homes and buildings, and connect with their neighbours.

"Your neighbours are the people closest to you that could help if you need them to, and for you to help them. It's as simple as knowing who's trained in CPR or is handy with a ladder, for example, and also knowing if your neighbours have mobility issues and may need your help."

"For now it's about being aware, taking stock of your own situation and having a plan worked out if you need to swing into action," said the Mayor. "Consider your plans, stay aware of the situation and connect with your neighbours."

Willis Street, upper Victoria Street and Webb Street around the Mercure Hotel, along with Thomson and Nairn streets, have been blocked off due to damage to the building. Motorists from Brooklyn are advised to take alternative routes.

Wellington City Council’s Civic Square office buildings will be closed to all but essential staff tomorrow while checks on the building’s services are carried out. Council staff are advised to work from home – and also get in touch with their managers for directions.

A skeleton crew will keep the Council’s Civic Square service centre open.

Members of the public are advised to ring the Council’s main phone number – 499 4444 – or check the website – Wellington.govt.nz – to check whether their local libraries, recreation centres or swimming pools are open.


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