Friday, August 16, 2013

Main highway still closed due to quake damage - TVNZ

A slip on State Highway One near Seddon (Source: ONE News)

A slip on State Highway One near Seddon - Source: ONE News

Aerial footage captures Seddon damage

Aerial footage captures Seddon damage

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Road workers are cleaning up a stretch of the South Island's main highway, after it was closed by earthquake damage yesterday.

State Highway One between Ward and Seddon has suffered a number of cracks and there has been a fair bit of rock fall debris.

Transport Agency spokesman Mark Owen said teams are out now working as fast as they can to reopen the road.

Two bridges in Blenheim were also closed due to extensive damage.

Needle Creek Bridge and Flaxbourne Bridge, which are about 5 kilometres apart on SH1, are closed.

The 6.6 quake which hit near Seddon at 2.31pm yesterday and was at a depth of 8km was followed by several strong aftershocks which continued throughout the night.

The largest shake of the night came just before 3am, registering magnitude 4.7.

There have been several other shocks greater than magnitude 4 and dozens of tremors between magnitude 3 and 4.

All of them have been centred to the south and the east of Seddon, with depths ranging between five and 20 kilometres.

"More extensive" quake

ONE News reporter in Seddon Lorelei Mason said it feels like déjà vu for Seddon locals, however this time around the quake was a lot more strongly felt.

It hit with force a little bit different from what we got last time, more extensive, said local business owner Marie Floweday.

Mason said the local supermarket in Seddon was a mess with bottles strewn and spilt, produce in ruins and the lights hanging precariously.

Its a big mess and its going to be a big clean up, its much more bigger than last time, the supermarket's owner Kevin Kamat told ONE News.

The emergency welfare centre set up in Seddon is still operating this morning, following the night of relentless aftershocks.

Around 20 people spent the night at the centre at Seddon School, because of damage to their homes.

The community spirit is pretty high here and people in numbers is what they like, it reassures them, says Chris Halves of Civil Defence Blenheim.

Police and building inspectors are checking out properties, and the district's mayor, Alistair Sowman, will visit Seddon today.

Victim Support is also basing one of its staff at the welfare centre for the day.

Lift shaft to be demolished

No major damage was reported but police said yesterday that a number of incidences involving broken glass were reported in the wider Wellington area.

However, further damage to a lift shaft in a central Wellington parking building means it will be demolished as soon as possible.

Urgent work is starting on the James Smith building after council engineers saw it swaying terrifyingly during one of yesterday's aftershocks.

Around 100 people are likely to be impacted by the evacuation of four or five surrounding buildings, which hold apartments, a bar and a charity organisation.

'Be prepared'

The mayor of Wellington says the better prepared people are, the more relaxed they will feel.

Celia Wade-Brown says people should make sure they, their children, elderly parents and neighbours know what to do and know who to contact.

She said that people should make sure their phones are charged and have a radio with batteries.

She also reminded people to check on neighbours and family members.

Trains to start running, power to be restored

Wellington's trains are expected to be back running as normal this morning.

All the rail lines in the capital were closed yesterday after the large quake.

KiwiRail says inspections have found no damage to the lines, so unless there is another large jolt, services will resume as normal this morning.

There is no structural damage to the Wellington Railway Station.

Tranz Metro says its website will be updated regularly and if anything changes it will let passengers know online and through its text messaging system.

Repair crews are out in Marlborough this morning, attempting to restore power to about 150 properties.

Six thousand homes were blacked out after yesterday's big shake.

Marlborough Lines spokesman Kelvin Deaker says crews have been out since 6.30am working to restore power as fast as they can.

He said most of the affected customers are on the east coast, south of Seddon and Ward.

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