The New Zealand Defence Force continues to provide support in Kaikoura, helping evacuate over 600 residents and tourists by air and sea.
Air Commodore and the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Darryn Webb says, “The evacuation has been a complete success. We achieved our immediate priority, which is to evacuate as many displaced people as possible from Kaikoura. We can now focus on the delivery of vital aid supplies to quake-damaged communities with the help of the NZDF’s disaster relief."
The amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY sailed to Christchurch late last night. The Vessel carried about 450 people, four dogs and seven tonnes of baggage on board and arrived in Lyttelton at 1am on Thursday.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 3 Squadron set out two NH90 helicopters to deliver about 8000kg of aid supplies to Kaikoura and rescued another 165 people.
The Commanding Officer of CANTERBURY Simon Rooke said “It was all hands on deck as soon as we arrived this morning. The entire crew is pleased that we have been aided by good weather to achieve our mission of evacuating a good number of people,”
It is a matter of pride for us all that CANTERBURY has been able to assist the communities affected by the earthquake since she was also at the forefront of disaster relief efforts when a massive earthquake struck Christchurch in 2011.”
Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake disrupted power and water supplies in Kaikoura and cut off land access to the town. An Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft airdropped about 5000 litres of water to Kaikoura residents around 6pm. It also transported a generator and a water purification system for Kaikoura from Linton Military Camp in Manawatu.
To support the Government’s earthquake response, the NZDF has mobilised about 500 personnel, at least 11 aircraft and four vessels following the quake.