It has been a busy 24 hours in Hurunui

When things go bump in the night – or in this case bump-shake-rattle-sway for two minutes – it can be pretty disconcerting; especially when the power goes of and telecommunications are lost too!

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Luckily our head quarters is in the southern end of the district, and the buildings and staff were shaken and stirred but still able to respond. Even though most were literally and figuratively in the dark!

Information takes a while to trickle in and initial reports were pretty sketchy; and worrying. Tsunami warnings were received and action plans implemented. Still information slowly trickled in. Responders unable to get past slips and cracks.

Dawn comes and with it aerial pictures of the devastation and news of tragic loss.

As we reach 24 hours after the event, so much has happened – so much heartache but also stories of wonderful caring, hope and community. In Waiau and Mt Lyford many are sleeping in their cars tonight, or are bunked down at the school hall. Our thoughts are with you all and over the coming days we will be doing everything we can to get you into a real bed – hopefully back in your own home.

Most of our local roads are open again – but this was a huge event and many of the rock slides and fractures could take days, weeks or months to sort. We will have teams working on this every day – we are trying to get as many roads passable as possible so these repairs aren’t always going to be pretty – but they will be safe.

The main roads still to be aware of are:

• State Highway 1 which is closed from Cheviot to Kaikoura – this is likely to be a week before it reopens.
• The Inland Road remains closed - Contractors are currently working starting from the Kaikoura end, and hope to reach the Conway Bridge tomorrow morning.
• Leslie Hills Road remains closed.
• Leader Road remains closed.
• State Highway 7A, Hanmer Springs To Tekoa Range - currently closed. Reassessing at 7am tomorrow (Tuesday)
• Waiau bridge is open to LIGHT traffic (cars only - no trucks). a geo technical assessment will be carried out tomorrow (Tuesday).

Tomorrow there will be three bridge inspectors will be working in the district, along with specialist evaluation teams that have as their the priority to establish accessibility and water.

All water in the district currently has a preventative Boil Water Notice –this will be able to be lifted as clear test results are received.

Power has been fully restored in Hanmer Springs. Unfortunately the power is still out for approx 1800 homes in and around the Cheviot, Waiau and Culverden areas.

Spark is recording telecommunication outages in Waiau.

Everyone is accounted for at Mt Lyford, fuel supplies have been air-dropped in – and hopefully tomorrow the road will be clear and those stranded will be able to leave.

Waiau will receive breakfast in the morning compliments of the Brethren, and at aound the same time the NZ Response Team 1 should be rolling into town.

We have received so many wonderful offers of support and assistance. Such generosity is so very much appreciated. Over the coming hours, days and weeks we will be taking you up on your kindness.
Stay strong Hurunui – we will do this together!