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Thursday, March 31, 2011

State of national emergency extended following quake

State of national emergency extended following quake

Last updated 16:21 31/03/2011
The state of national emergency following the Christchurch earthquake has been extended for seven more days.

Civil Defence declared the state of emergency on February 23, the day after the 6.3-magnitude hit the city.

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 it can be declared only for a maximum of seven days at a time. "There is still considerable work to be done in Christchurch that requires the powers the National Controller has to ensure the maximum possible coordination and cooperation between central and local resources to respond to this disaster," Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"The response is of such a magnitude that the required civil defence emergency management is beyond the capacity of the regional civil defence emergency management group."

Mr Carter said there was strong support in Christchurch for the state of emergency to continue.

"The state of national emergency will not be lifted until I am satisfied that the situation has stabilised sufficiently that it is no longer required," he said.

"Work remains focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications.

"There is extensive damage in the cordoned off central business district, some of which is hard for people to fathom having not been able to see it."

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