Media Release: Red Cross reacts to New Zealand earthquake

THE New Zealand Red Cross has activated their national emergency operations centre (NEOC) in response to the 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

The New Zealand Red Cross responded immediately after the earthquake hit, providing First Aid assistance and distributing blankets.

Eight emergency response teams have been deployed to the affected region.

Two teams are already on the ground in Christchurch, and additional teams from Nelson and Blenheim local Red Cross braches are on their way.

Eighteen hundred blankets, 2,000 water containers and 200 tents have been dispatched from the Auckland warehouse to assist the response.

New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers will be working around the clock to support people affected by this earthquake.

Local volunteers reacted immediately, providing First Aid support to help the emergency services, and additional emergency staff and supplies will be in the area by tomorrow morning.

The national emergency operations centre will be co-ordinating the Red Cross response, and is operational 24 hours a day.

The Red Cross is working with the civil defence, New Zealand police, and local councils and agencies to assess the needs and determine how the Red Cross can best assist.

One evacuation centre has been opened for around 2,000 people and more temporary accommodation is likely to be needed.

The Red Cross has also started helping people reach their loved ones through the restoring family links service. A telecommunications team is being deployed to Christchurch and will be operational tomorrow morning.

The Australian Red Cross, through their bilateral agreement with the New Zealand Red Cross, will be sending emergency support staff to assist with the operation.


New Zealand Red Cross:

National marketing and communications manager Paul Scoringe on 04 495 0139 or 027 287 9335

International Federation of Red Cross:

Patrick Fuller, Asia Pacific communications manager: +60 122 308 451

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Contact: Mark South
Phone: 0207 877 7042 or out of hours 07659 145095