Homes in Goose Bay evacuated

Jordan Hopcroft, of Garden City Helicopters above Goose Bay, south of Kaikoura after the Monday...
Jordan Hopcroft, of Garden City Helicopters above Goose Bay, south of Kaikoura after the Monday 14 earthquake. Photo: Chris Morris

More than 30 homes have been evacuated from a settlement south of Kaikoura.

Residents of Goose Bay, about 15km south of Kaikoura,  were called to an urgent public meeting at 2.30pm yesterday and told 35 homes needed to be evacuated urgently because of an earthquake landslip on the Ote Makura Stream  upstream of the residential area.

Residents were  told to be prepared to be away  for at least 10 days while Civil Defence monitored the situation.

The dam,  discovered yesterday,  was caused by the continued seismic activity in the region.

Geotechnical engineers informed Kaikoura Civil Defence that given the size of the dam and forecast bad weather, there was a risk it could breach.

Civil Defence controller Murray Sinclair said engineers, police, welfare staff and the rural fire brigade met residents.

‘‘We’ve told them about the risk, and asked them to please evacuate immediately,’’ he said.

Civil Defence said last night the evacuation has been completed.

Mr Sinclair said some  residents were upset initially but ‘‘the majority were very philosophical by the end of the meeting’’.

‘‘There are about 35 houses in Goose Bay, but several are holiday homes. We’ve ended up evacuating 17 people, none of whom need emergency
accommodation,’’ he said.

The Government yesterday met  opposition parties to discuss what emergency legislation could be introduced to skirt usual consenting processes and aid the quake recovery.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little indicated his party would  support the emergency legislation.

‘‘The Government put up the things they have in mind.

‘‘All the parties were there.'

‘‘There are more meetings to go before legislation is introduced, which the plan is to be next week.’’

He  said the Government had indicated legislation would cover a variety of areas, including civil defence emergency management as well as expediting consent
processes to get urgent works under way.

That could relate to work such as clearing roads, Mr Little said. The tiny North Canterbury township of Scargill, about 15km southeast of Culverden, took  the brunt of Tuesday night’s severe aftershock, which left broken chimneys and collapsed walls.

Some houses may be write-offs. The 5.7-magnitude jolt rattled through the Scargill Valley as many families prepared dinner.

A historic limestone homestead is feared damaged beyond repair.

The community hall at Scargill has lost an outside wall.

Houses have lost chimneys, walls are cracked and water tanks tipped over. Contents have tipped off shelves.

In the capital, the Wellington City Council has taken over the demolition  of the quake-damaged  61 Molesworth St from the building’s owner, Prime Property Group, to speed up the process.

‘‘To ensure public safety, this work must be completed as quickly as possible, and that’s one of the main reasons we’re taking over management of the building,’’ a council spokesman said.

The property group and its insurers will still be liable for the costs.

- Herald and NZN

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