Cordon management and access, 2 March 2011 11:15am

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Plans are progressing to allow people to retrieve vehicles abandoned within the CBD cordon after last week’s earthquake, and for limited access to some buildings.

Threats to personal safety remain the main reason behind the continuing restrictions on access through the cordon. However, Civil Defence is planning how to provide business owners and residents with limited supervised access to their property inside the cordon.

For safety reasons, access will be for a strictly limited period and will be closely controlled. It will allow business owners to retrieve records and portable equipment, and let residents collect personal items. Owners of vehicles within the cordon may also be able to retrieve them, depending on where they are and whether they are undamaged.

This work will be done in stages, starting with the least affected areas in the CBD.

Access will not be granted to areas where the greatest risk remains from unstable buildings, or where rescue and recovery efforts are still underway.

Affected residents and business owners can expect to start hearing from authorities within the next 48 hours.

There are buildings inside the current CBD cordon that have been identified as dangerous. These buildings may have to be demolished or strengthened and this is work that requires careful management.

We appreciate the frustration of affected residents and business owners but will not permit activity that poses a threat to personal safety, so we ask for patience.

USAR and Police teams working inside and around the cordon area have done a second sweep search of some of the red placarded buildings where they believed people may have been inside. They have also entered yellow and green placarded buildings where other hazards were suspected. This sweep required USAR teams, with Police present, to open locked doors and windows to gain access.

Where required, locksmiths and security alarm contractors are called on to facilitate access. Upon completion the buildings are secured. The Christchurch City Council has now engaged a contractor to work with USAR
and Police teams to secure buildings.

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