Update: 23rd December 2011, 4.10pm
Following the series of quakes in Christchurch since just before 2pm, the Group Civil Defence emergency office has activated in Papanui, Christchurch City is activating its Emergency Operations Centre in central Christchurch and Selwyn District Council has activated monitoring. Reports of damage are being monitored and the response will increase if the need for a significant coordinated response becomes apparent.
Advice for the public
People in the affected area should:
- Expect aftershocks. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on.
- Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.
- Assess your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas.
- Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.
- Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
- Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.
- Help people who require special assistance – infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Detailed safety advice will come from local authorities and emergency services in the area. People should act on it promptly. MCDEM, local civil defence authorities and scientific advisors are closely monitoring the situation.