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2011 News Releases




Day three means more sad news from earthquake

Date : 24 / 02 / 2011
Author : Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

Police have confirmed 98 fatalities following the Christchurch earthquake and they expect this figure to rise. The operations to locate and rescue those trapped in the collapsed and damaged buildings remains the priority. A state of national emergency was declared following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake on 22 February.

Christchurch CBD was under evacuation and night curfew to thwart looters. The nearby port town of Lyttelton has suffered considerable damage with a number of collapsed or seriously damaged buildings. Aftershocks could lead to further building damage or collapse. Landslides are occurring as well.

Power, telecommunications and essential services continue to be disrupted. Helping keep the lines open are the members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (AREC) with its Deputy National Director, Geoff Chapman ZL3PX confirming all is in hand. Geoff ZL3PX said with the Civil Defence Network continues to work and AREC members are with the Urban Search and Rescue

(USAR) teams providing on-ground communications. Two emergency vans and ten members on a roster basis is sustainable. Just as when the quake hit last September, the AREC equipment and trained personnel swung into action immediately following the latest earthquake.

National resources continue to be deployed in support of the local response which has been boosted by personal from overseas. Three New Zealand USAR teams and International teams are involved. Ministry of Civil Defence priorities remain the rescue of people still trapped, treatment of injured people, the evacuation of non-residents including tourists, identification and allocation of temporary accommodation, deliver welfare support, potable water availability and hygienic sewerage disposal.


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