Media Release: British Red Cross launches NZ earthquake appeal

THE British Red Cross has launched an appeal to help those affected by the New Zealand earthquake.

Says a spokesperson: “There are currently 75 confirmed deaths, hundreds of people are missing and thousands have been made homeless.”

Said Barry Armstrong, disaster response manager with the British Red Cross: “This is a major disaster and New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers are working around the clock to support people who have been affected.

“Local volunteers reacted immediately, providing first aid support to help the emergency services, and additional emergency staff and supplies have been arriving through the night.”

To donate to the appeal visit or call 0845 054 7200.

As well as providing first aid, Red Cross volunteers are staffing an evacuation centre for around 2,000 people and helping others find alternative accommodation.

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

A telecommunications team has been deployed to Christchurch and is helping people reach their loved ones through the Red Cross restoring family links service.

Emergency relief materials including 200 tents, 1,800 blankets and 2,000 water containers have been dispatched from the Auckland warehouse to assist the response.

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

“Although New Zealand was well prepared for a major earthquake such as this, there has been severe damage and tragic loss of life,” added Armstrong.

“Recovery from a disaster of this size will take years, but the Red Cross focus at the moment is on the immediate emergency response to make sure people get the help they need as quickly as possible.”



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

Notes to Editors

For enquiries about missing people call: +64 7 850 2199 or email

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by the British Red Cross (Scotland). You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

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