The Salvation Army in New Zealand is on standby to provide assistance to people affected by the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck northeast of Christchurch in the early hours of Monday, November14. Two people are known to have lost their lives in the disaster, which caused damage to homes and infrastructure. Some roads in rural parts of South Island are impassable. Salvation Army personnel are prepared to go wherever the regional emergency management group needs them.
The Salvation Army has been providing food to workers at the civil defense emergency management headquarters near Wellington, and assistance was provided to area evacuees Along with many businesses in Wellington, the Army’s territorial headquarters was closed on Monday to allow structural engineers to check the safety of the building. There will be a need for pastoral support in Christchurch for those experiencing anxiety as they relive the severe quakes that struck in 2010 and 2011.
People in low-lying areas were evacuated overnight because of a tsunami warning, which was downgraded to a coastal watch warning that allowed evacuated people to return home.
The region is still being hit by significant aftershocks, some of which are causing further damage. The biggest concern is for isolated areas near the quake’s epicenterre; Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs are cut off, and in some places assessments and evacuation are being hampered by torrential rain and gales.