New Zealand Earthquake September 9: Christchurch Updates
Christchurch is Still Experiencing Aftershocks From the September 4 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake
The clean-up has begun in Christchurch and Canterbury, but progress is slow because the region is still experiencing aftershocks, and problems are starting to arise from the effects of the big quake. Almost 300 aftershocks have been felt in the region since Saturday.
The New Zealand Herald News reports that some waste from the earthquake may have contaminated the Waimakariri River downstream of McLeans Island. People are being warned to stay away from the river and not to consume any fish or shellfish from the water.
People in parts of Waimakariri district, Kaiapoi, Waikuku Beach, Woodend and Pines Beach should still boil their water, but other residents in Christchurch no longer need to do so.
Some people have lost their jobs as a result of Saturday's earthquake, including 86 from Kaiapoi's New World supermarket, which was so badly damaged, it will take about 12 months to reopen again.
More aftershocks in Canterbury.
The first measured 3.6 on the Richter scale and struck at 9.04am.
Its epicentre was 10km north-east of Darfield and had a focal depth of 7km.
Two minutes later another aftershock hit. That one measured 3.2 on the Richter scale and struck at 9.06am. It had a focal depth of 5km.
Most schools are still closed, although some should start to open soon as long as the buildings are safe.
There are concerns that some people could be psychologically affected from the earthquake and the aftershocks, coupled with the loss of property. The Mental Health Foundation has released this guide (PDF) to help everyone cope.
This website has also been set up to provide the latest information and updates from news to contact numbers.
This map shows the effects of the earthquake and is updated regularly, while this Google Map provides information about what services are open, what roads are closed and the epicenter of the earthquake.
There are about 1,000 volunteers who have responded to a call for help and many of them are students. $5,000 has been granted by Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett to buy shovels, food and gas.
"The Prime Minister and I were talking last night [Tuesday] and we were saying what a great job they are doing. We just felt that we could support them financially so they could get spades and the things they need," she said.
Prime Minister John Key visited Canterbury on Thursday and chatted with survivors of the earthquake.
Mr Key signed off his rural tour with a message for anxious Cantabrians: "We all absolutely understand the trauma that they are going through. It's natural, it's widespread, it's a combination of sheer fear and exhaustion. And they shouldn't be embarrassed, ashamed or concerned that they feel that way.
"What they should do, though, is reach out and get help."