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Civil Defence Emergency Update

21 July 2004

General Civil Defence Emergency declared for District still in place. Will be reviewed at 12 noon today.

Some rain overnight, expected to clear today. Further rain expected through to Saturday.

Earthquake at 03:09 magnitude 4.4 at a depth of 5 km 20 km north east of Kawerau and 20 km south-west of Matata.

The Whakatane River level is continuing to fall. The water levels in Awatapu are falling. Civil Defence have organised pumping of the suburb into the river from Farnworth Crescent near to Watarawi Place. It is anticipated that water will be drained from the suburb by 12:00 noon today.

Rangitaiki River levels are also continuing to fall. There has been a decrease of 40% in the volume of flood water in the last 24 hours. There has been some success in reducing the spread of the water by sandbagging by local farmers. Spilling at the Matahina Dam reduced during yesterday to a low of 240 cumecs. During the night this was increased slightly to 270 cumecs. This was not expected to have any significant impact on the lower reaches of the Rangitaiki River.

The four controlled breaches are working well with water channelling back into the river. The nett effect is that there is no further water coming into the Plains.

The big task facing Environment Bay of Plenty is to stem the main breach of the Rangitaiki River stopbank. Thousands of cubic metres of rock will be required. This job is expected to take several days.

It may be 3-4 days before people on the Plains affected by the flooding can return to their homes.

Environment Bay of Plenty is co-ordinating pumping operations with land owners and have a large number of pumps coming into the area.

There were three helicopter flights into isolated rural communities between Te Whaiti and Ruatahuna yesterday. The Okahu/Ngaputahi community of 20 people including six children and three or four stranded tourists were delivered food supplies. Basic supplies were also delivered to the Heipipi/Papereru community of about 20 people. Road access to these communities is not anticipated to be available for 14-28 days.

A woman in labour was air-lifted from Ruatahuna to Murupara and then taken by ambulance to Rotorua.

A further 27 people, including 15 children, are isolated in the Owhakatoro area (Ruatoki). Further deliveries to this community are to be arranged today.

Recovery Centres opened at Edgecumbe and Whakatane War Memorial Halls yesterday. Representatives include WINZ, Welfare (Red Cross and Salvation Army), Victim Support, Police, Whakatane District Council staff, Housing New Zealand, Insurance information.

A Recovery Co-ordinator has been appointed and will be here later today. Mr Peter Davies, former Chief Executive Officer of Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council, has accepted the position. He will be supported by two staff from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Simon Chambers and Shane Bayley.

The Ambulance Service reports increased call-outs, some of which can be related to stress. This is expected to increase as people return to their homes.

Further road damage reported on Matata Straights as result of earthquake this morning (03:09)

Impact on people Significant flooding impacting on farming—dairying and horticulture. A total of 75 dairy farms have been badly affected. Floodwater flowing through Fonterra factory at Edgecumbe—factory was evacuated and is currently not operational. A large number of homes have been evacuated in the district because of flooding and landslips. Evacuees are yet to be able to return to their homes. A number of schools remain closed.

Evacuation locations

Evacuations occurred at the following locations on 18 and 19 July:
Ohope Whakatane Rural Communities
West End Road Brown Road Cliff Road Muriwai Drive Waiewe Street Awatapu (whole area) Kirk Street and Bridge Street area Arawa Road Churchill Street Thornton area (East Bank and West Bank) Powdrell Road McLean Road Hydro Road Te Teko Ruatoki Waimana
No further evacuations are anticipated.

Evacuees at: Whakatane War Memorial Hall—1,055 registrations as at 2400 on 20 July Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi—no information on numbers Salvation Army—48 (2400 on 18 July) Wairaka Marae—50+ (2400 on 18 July) Awakeri Events Centre—57 (2400 on 18 July) Ruatoki Mission House—22 (2400 on 18 July) Rangitihi Marae 50 registrations as at 2400 on 19 July House of Hope, Kawerau—212 registrations (2400 on 20July)

Total number registered = 1,317 Total number advised to CD = 1,494

Many self-evacuees—unknown destinations.

Still unable to confirm total number of evacuees.

Our best estimate at this stage is that approximately 10,749 people and 3,843 dwellings may have been affected by the flood.

Status Report FLOODING

No further reports of flooding. Some sandbagging carried out by farmers near Thornton has been successful in restricting the flow of water.

Environment Bay of Plenty to construct a 710 metre road to repair the stopbank breach at Hydro Road. Work commences today and is expected to continue for the rest of the week.

Further work is also being done at Kokohinau Marae to repair that breach.


Power supplies normal except to three areas which cannot be reached and parts of Awatapu. Now working on reconnections, as people are able to return to their homes.


At 20 July the Telecom network in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has been restored. Pockets of customers are still affected by damage to cabling. Telecom have offered assistance to customers without phone lines or unable to return to their homes. Details of the offer need to be distributed to the evacuation and recovery centres.


The roading situation is constantly changing as slips continue to occur.

Water Water supplies have been restored except in parts of the Awakeri water supply. Ruatoki and Taneatua residents have been advised to boil their water.

Stormwater No assessment made—internal systems in Whakatane and Edgecumbe

Sewage Assessment made in Whakatane. The following schools remain closed:

Allandale Trident High School Waiariki Polytechnic Kohanga Reo in Arawa Road Kindergarten in Awatapu Mananui Kindergarten St Joseph's, Whakatane Strathmore Kindergarten Garaway Kindergarten

These schools will be advised on Wednesday as to whether they can open on Thursday. The following schools have been given the all-clear to open subject to health matters:

Apanui Primary James Street Primary James Street Intermediate Montessori Whakatane High School Rangitaiki Independent School Ohope Beach Primary School Seventh Day Adventist School

NOTE: Other schools will be closed owing to flooding (or other issues) in a number of areas around the District. These include Te Mahoe, Thornton, Te Teko, Matahi, Te Whaiti, Huiarau, Manawahe, Waiohau,Tawera.

Dwellings Landslip-affected
Ohope Whakatane Rural
West End Road Brown Road Cliff Road Ohope Hill Claydon Place Seaview Road Burma Road Berg Place Muriwai Drive Waiewe Street Matata S H 2 Ruatahuna/Te Whaiti

Additional inspections completed on 20 July. A summary of the situation is:

West End Road: 26 dwellings—six safe of which two are subject to a detailed inspection in medium term. Cliff Road: Five dwellings—four safe but three require detailed geotechnical report of land below dwelling Brown Road: Two dwellings—one requires detailed geotechnical report of land below dwelling, one unsafe. Claydon Place: Six dwellings—four are safe for return of occupants.


A total of 62 dwellings affected by flooding have been inspected, largely in Whakatane. A total of eight will require work before the residents are able to return to them.

Priority Assigned to
Roads—continuing progress in repair roads to enable access WDC
Co-ordinate return of evacuees to their homes as the floodwaters recede. Civil Defence
Continued assessment of slips which are impacting on properties WDC
Assessment of damage to properties by inspectorial teams—before people can re-enter their homes WDC
Monitor operation of the Recovery Centres (Whakatane, Edgecumbe) to ensure that the needs of the evacuees are being adequately addressed. Civil Defence
Completing registration and updating database of evacuated residents Civil Defence
Update on likely weather situation over the next 48 hours and potential impacts of further rain EBOP
Monitoring and maintaining supplies to inaccessible residents at Owhakatoro, Okahu/Ngaputahi and Heipipi/Papereru. Civil Defence
Finding suitable accommodation for long-term evacuees Civil Defence

RESOURCES AVAILABLE A resource database was developed on 19 July and is being updated continuously.

As of 1900 hours on 20 July 004 the Army have entered Phase 2 of assistance—immediate response—vehicles used for evacuation only.

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has appointed two staff to support the Recovery Manager:

Simon Chambers (from late today) Shane Bayley (from this morning)

Fact sheets have been put together and have been made available at the evacuation centres to assist people as they start planning their return to their homes:

Information about returning to homes Simple Techniques for salvaging photographs, documents etc Advice on lost or damaged property Advice on health measures


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