Hundreds of quake damage claims have been lodged as a result
of the severe magnitude 6.2 tremor that damaged homes, cut
power and forced the evacuation of a building in Masterton
The Earthquake Commission (EQC) this afternoon said it had
received more than 650 claims relating to the quake, which
rocked the lower North Island when it struck 15km east of
Eketahuna, near Masterton, shortly before 4pm yesterday.
Most claims were for minor damage to homes or contents in the
the greater Wellington, Wairarapa and Manawatu regions.
People have until the end of April 22 to lodge a claim.
Claims were still coming in, and assessors would be mobilised
to inspect earthquake damage once EQC had a better idea of
the number of claims it was dealing with.
EQC said there was sufficient cover through levies,
reinsurance and the Crown guarantee to provide for all valid
National operations manager Barry Searle said claimants
needed to hold onto damaged items other than perishables.
"If people need to take action to make their home safe,
secure and weathertight, they should keep records and
photographs of the changes made so that they can recover
costs if their claim is valid."
The quake forced the evacuation of a three-storey apartment
block on Queen St in central Masterton. About 15 people were
told to leave the building, which was classed as a dangerous
building, subject to inspection,
A council spokesman said a meeting was underway to discuss
when tenants would be able to return and when assessments
would take place.
GNS Science said aftershocks were continuing, with more than
50 over magnitude 3 since yesterday.
Police, ambulance and the Fire Service were kept busy with a
steady flow of callouts, but no deaths or serious injuries
Power was cut to 5600 customers in some areas, but Powerco
said electricity was expected to be fully restored today.
Only a handful of properties in and around Eketahuna,
Alfredton, Palmerston North, Fielding and Manaia were still
without power, and those consumers were expected to be
reconnected by about 6pm.
Several roads, including the Manawatu Gorge road, were closed
or reduced to one lane yesterday.
The New Zealand Transport Agency said all state highways in
the Wellington, Wairarapa and Manawatu regions remained open.
A spokesman said staff and contractors were continuing to
inspect State Highway 2 to see if there was any
The agency advised all road users to drive with care and be
alert to debris that may have fallen on to highways.
KiwiRail stopped all rail services in the lower North Island
yesterday while track inspections were carried out to check
for damage to the rail infrastructure.
Inspections had so far found only found two minor areas of
damage north of Palmerston North and Masterton.
Freight services were resumed last night, and commuter rail
services in Wellington, including services from Wairarapa and
Palmerston North, resumed this morning.