Saturday, August 17, 2013

Seddon rallies in wake of quake - Radio New Zealand

The Red Cross says the people of Seddon have rallied together following Friday's 6.6 magnitude earthquake, which has left some houses uninhabitable.

The Marlborough District Council says staff have finished checking all the 250 homes in Seddon and some in outlying areas, and five cannot be occupied.

The area was hit by heavy rain and high winds on Saturday and the council hopes a break in the weather will allow clean-up efforts to gather pace.

The strong winds hindered attempts to secure at least 12 chimneys which came down in the township on Friday.

A welfare centre has been set up at Seddon School.

A welfare centre has been set up at Seddon School.

RADIO NEW ZEALAND

A family of four and one other person spent Saturday night in the welfare centre at Seddon School. More than 20 people had spent Friday night at the centre.

Red Cross spokesperson Gerard Moore says the community spirit in Seddon is similar to what he witnessed after the 2011 quake in Christchurch.

"People respond in different ways but you see the same type of reactions all over the place, whichever the sitution, and you see the same great traits in people supporting each other and the wonderful stories of help and assistance," he says.

The MP for Kaikoura, Colin King, says the earthquake could easily have caused fatalities if it had occured at a different time.

Marlborough Hospital treated five people for injuries related to the quake.

Mr King says the town escaped lightly in terms of injuries and emergency services could have been dealing with a very different situation.

"When a chimney goes down ...or the church, if there was a congregation in it at the time, there wouldn't have been only casualties, there would have been fatalities," he says.

Trench to take pressure off dam

Work is continuing on Sunday on an emergency trench alongside a private dam near Seddon following torrential rain in the area.

The 20 metre high dam on Haldon Road can hold 250,000 cubic metres of water.

Owner Dick Bell says the trench will redirect water to a catchment.

The Marlborough District Council says lowering the water level is a precautionary step in the interests of public safety.

It says an engineer found the latest quakes are unlikely to have compromised the dam's safety.

Lift shaft demolition continues

Demolition work is resuming in Wellington on Sunday on an earthquake damaged lift shaft in the central city.

The elevator shaft in Lukes Lane.

The elevator shaft in Lukes Lane.

RADIO NEW ZEALAND

The demolition crew needs a 400 tonne crane which is being ferried from Christchurch and should arrive later in the day.

The multi-storey structure in Lukes Lane was damaged by last month's big earthquake and the damage was made worse by Friday's quake.

Council spokesperson Richard MacLean says workers removed some steel framing and an electric lift motor, weighing about three tonnes, from the top of the shaft on Saturday.

However, he says there are few cranes in the country that can be used to remove a concrete slab at the top of the shaft, weighing at least 30 tonnes.

Mr MacLean says the large crane will take some time to set up so lifting will not start until at least Monday.


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