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Bay of Plenty teams arrive in Canterbury

Thursday, 24 February 2011 12:00 a.m.

A Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Officer and three search and rescue teams have all arrived in Christchurch to help with response efforts.  A Bay of Plenty Lifeline Coordinator will be deployed to Wellington tomorrow morning to work at the National Crisis Management Centre.

The three teams are resting at the moment and will be mobilsed at 2pm, while the Emergency Management Officer has arrived in Christchurch and will be briefed shortly on the current situation and his role in the Canterbury Group Emergency Coordination Centre (GECC).

The response teams from Whakatāne (seven people), Rotorua (nine people), western Bay of Plenty (10 people) left Bay of Plenty yesterday morning and have been travelling for the past day to reach Christchurch.  The primary role of these teams will be search and rescue of people trapped in buildings and under infrastructure.

An earthquake (an aftershock of the 4 September 2010 earthquake) of magnitude 6.3 struck yesterday at 12:51 hours 10km south east of Christchurch.  The earthquake was at a depth of 5km.

This has been followed by a number of aftershocks, the largest 5.7 magnitude, which was 6km deep and centred 10km east of Canterbury.

Bay of Plenty GECC Group Controller Warwick Murray said that all of our staff sent to Christchurch so far had arrived safely and wanted to start helping with the response efforts as soon as possible, but it was important that they rested given the long trip.

"These teams have pretty much been on the road for the past 24 hours so it is appropriate that they are not mobilised until this afternoon albeit we know they are anxious to start helping the people of Christchurch," Mr Murray said.

"In addition to staff already sent to help with the response, the regional group is continuing to compile a list of other appropriately qualified people and the equipment, who are available for deployment to Canterbury.

"People in the region really want to help in Canterbury, so we are coordinating with the National Crisis Management Centre about what assistance is needed and when. If Canterbury needs our people and equipment to help them then we will get it there as quickly as possible.

"Everyone wants to help but we need to ensure that we send people and equipment that is most needed and that is what we are focusing on at the moment."

If you have training in appropriate areas to assist with the Bay of Plenty's support for the Canterbury Earthquake, please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on email bopgecc@gmail.com or 0800 884 880 to register.  Please also provide information about what your area of expertise is or the equipment you have available.

To keep up to date with developments go to the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management website (www.mcdem.govt.nz), Bay of Plenty CDEM website (www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz) and other news media.

For the latest updates on Bay of Plenty's support to the Canterbury Earthquke, please visit:

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management website www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz; or

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website www.boprc.govt.nz and Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/boprc

Earlier information from the Bay of Plenty Group Emergency Coordination Centre.

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Group Emergency Coordination Centre (GECC) is encouraging people, who want to make a cash donation, to make it to the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

New Zealand Red Cross, after discussions with Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, has begun accepting secure online and phone donations to help people affected by the Canterbury earthquake.

People can donate in two ways:

  • Make a secure online donation at www.redcross.org.nz; or
  • Make an automatic $20 donation by phoning 0900 33 200.

Red Cross has stated that it will work with local and Central Government on the distribution of the funds.

Bay of Plenty GECC Group Controller Warwick Murray said at this stage people wishing to make financial donations could do so through the Red Cross.

"While donations of cash are welcome, there is no provision or requirement for people to donate goods.  The people of Canterbury do not need goods and trying to move these around will overload an already congested logistics network," Mr Murray said.