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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EQC inspections enter next phase

EQC inspections enter next phase

Last updated 05:00 13/04/2011
Christchurch minor-damage claims will not be inspected for eight months, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) says.

The commission is focusing on full inspections as its rapid-assessment process winds down.

EQC area manager Reid Stiven said claims up to the commission's maximum cover of $100,000 had to be more rigorously documented than after the September quake.

"Last time, when houses were over the cap we were able to get them through very quickly. This time, with two quakes, we're trying to quantify all the damage that's occurred," he said.

"We have to work out what part of the payment belongs to EQC and what part belongs to the insurer. That's going to slow us down a little bit."

He said assessors were expected to complete three or four full inspections a day, but there was no quota for them to fill. "We want them to be done accurately and thoroughly."

A total of 185 teams had completed 4000 full inspections, he said. Forty-five teams were finishing the rapid assessments, with 182,000 carried out so far.

Huntsbury resident Tanya Harnett was one of the 12,120 most serious cases identified in the commission's rapid assessment.

A full inspection of her house yesterday revealed the western side had dropped 100 millimetres.

"I didn't really think it was that much," she said.

Damage to a retaining wall at the back of property had to be dealt with quickly, she said. "If we get heavy rain, I'm really worried about that back wall."

"The EQC guy said they'd get on to someone to look at that immediately because it is a hazard.

"If that comes down, the whole side of the house will go down."

Harnett's home suffered minor damage in the September quake, but she returned home on February 22 to find large cracks in the floor and ceiling. "I just stood there with my mouth open," she said. "I just couldn't believe it. It looked like a bomb site."

The damage to her house and land had not put her off living on the Port Hills, she said.

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