DATE: 25/02/2011 TIME: hrs 06:45 From: Incident Room Manager
SUBJECT MATTER SOURCE OF INFORMATION
New Zealand Earthquake Foreign Office/ BBC News/
Department for International Development [DFID].
National Crisis Management Centre New Zealand,
UKISAR team in NZ
DFID has mobilised a team comprising of 61 personnel made up of 56 USAR personnel and 5
medics. From across the UK to New Zealand to help search and rescue following the earthquake on
A significant 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch at 12.51 pm on 21st February local time [2351 GMT
22nd February], causing widespread destruction and multiple fatalities in the city centre.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has spoken to the New Zealand Foreign Secretary, conveying his
sincere condolences for all those who have lost their lives, and for the terrible damage caused by the
earthquake. The NZ PM’s Chief of Staff has confirmed that UK assistance is very much required.
Power, telecommunications and essential services continue to be disrupted. Restoration work is
progressively providing increased utility services. Extensive liquefaction throughout the impacted
area has caused additional management and restoration issues. A large number of people have been
pulled alive from collapsed buildings.
Priorities for the response remain the support of the urban search and rescue operation, the
treatment and care of injured or affected individuals, and the coordination of national resources in
support of the local response. National resources continue to be deployed in support of the local
To date, approximately 1000 persons have been moved out of Christchurch to Wellington or
Auckland by the established air bridge.
Damage assessment is ongoing and over time will provide a better understanding of the extent of
There are reports of widespread building collapse (especially in the central city).
There are 113 confirmed fatalities. This figure is expected to rise.
Reports of missing are being collated and a verification of data is being undertaken.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully today welcomed specialist personnel who arrived in
New Zealand this morning to strengthen the rescue and recovery operation following the
"We are very grateful for the contribution provided by our friends from China, the US, and the UK
who have arrived in the past 12 hours. Each will provide a valuable boost to the efforts by New
Zealand and international rescue workers in Christchurch," says Mr McCully.
As at 14.47 24 February, there were at least 36 aftershocks greater than magnitude 4 and four
aftershocks above magnitude 5. New Zealand’s leading provider of scientific advice Institute of
Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) advises that there may be more magnitude 5 or greater
aftershocks in the next few days. Aftershocks are expected to continue and this could lead to further
building damage or collapse, as well as continued disruption to power, telecommunications and
The focus of rescue activities is ten priority buildings where people are trapped. USAR main sites
are Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building and Christchurch Cathedral, activity at the Canterbury
Television building (CTV) has been suspended due to instability of neighbouring building.
Three New Zealand USAR teams and five International USAR teams (New South Wales (NSW),
Queensland, Taiwan, Japan and part of Singapore) are involved in the search and rescue operation.
Other USAR teams (the rest of the Singapore team, USA and UK) will arrive today. Ten NZ
Response Teams are on the ground and deployed to assist in building checks. A total ten USAR
teams will be operating in Christchurch. USAR personal deployed 496 people plus UK staff
Residents in Christchurch are being asked to stay off the roads to allow emergency services to get
through. Civil Defence is asking people to stay off their mobile phones to allow calls from injured
or trapped people to be able to get through to emergency services. They are also asking that if
people are injured or trapped to keep trying on 111.
Christchurch airport has been open for domestic and international flights at revised schedules since
23 February afternoon. 24 February flight schedule expected to be back to normal.
18 bridges and 25 distributor roads continue to be impassable due to flooding and structural or
surface damage (not state highways). Eastern parts of the city are worst affected.
All state highways and state highway bridge structures in and around the city have been inspected,
and while some have sustained minor damage all of the bridge structures are safe, and all other state
highways in the region are open. Christchurch Airport is closed except for emergency aircraft. The
Ferrymead Bridge is reported to be impassable because of rising water. Christchurch hospital is in
operation. A Crisis Response Centre has been established at Christchurch Art Gallery.
National Civil Defence says significant aftershocks should now be expected. Police Headquarters
(www.police.govt.nz) and Civil Defence (www.civildefence.govt.nz) websites are carrying
information on the earthquake in Christchurch.
113 people are confirmed victims and 200 still missing. Reports of 60 trapped.
Team of 61 UK Fire-fighters have been deployed by UK Government
Teams have also been mobilised from Australia, USA, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore
Advance Team of 6 personnel consisting of various UK FRS’s led by Pete Crook from
Hampshire have arrived in Christchurch 0500 UK time today and are attending a briefing
at the Base of Operations in Christchurch at approx 06:00 hrs UK time
Sean Moore of West Midlands FRS has been made interim UK ISAR Team Leader and his
team are on route from Los Angeles Airport to Auckland and are expected to be in
Christchurch Thursday 24th evening UK time.
The UK team is classified as a Heavy Rescue response under UN guidelines.
Teams are from West Midlands, Cheshire, Essex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Grampian,
Leicestershire and South Wales, supported by a medical team of 5 doctors and nurses.
New Zealand resources are being deployed in support of the 7 international ISAR teams.
An air bridge is operational between Christchurch and Wellington to transport resources
into the region and enable evacuation of evacuees out of the area
UKISAR are currently on-route to New Zealand, due to arrive in Auckland at
approximately 0800 local time. The aircraft will be refuelled and will continue its journey
to Christchurch due to arrive at 1005 local time on the 25th February 2011 where it will be
met by the advance party.
The UKISAR main body arrived around 1230hrs local time. Smooth passage through
customs and immigration, all team members are fit & well.
They are now fully established in the Base of Operations (BoO) located in Latimer Square,
The UK Team are fully integrated into the International 'On Site Operations Coordination
Centre' (OSOCC) and International rescue perspective.
A detailed assessment has been conducted in the local Christchurch area, specifically on a
collapsed building, PGG Insurance, working alongside NZ Engineers and NZ Medical
Staff. This building is considered to have the optimum survivability possibilities for
remaining casualties’ recovery.
The UK Team are now commencing Search & Rescue operations on that building expected
duration of 8 hours.
Aftershocks still ongoing.
Priority Actions for National Response
1. Co-ordination of national resources and support to local response
2. Mobilise and deploy international and New Zealand ISAR teams
3. Medical treatment to the injured
4. Provision of welfare support
5. Co-ordination of national response
6. Information collection
REGIONAL OR NATIONAL IMPACT:
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