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After the quake
Hundreds of people were left homeless following the quake. Unfortunately, it was hard to track whether they returned to Hawke’s Bay or not, as many failed to notify Red Cross of their whereabouts.
The Nelson Park camp was set up in Napier by the army as a transitional point. The purpose of the camp was as a welfare centre for displaced people and as an evacuation camp. By 7 February 1931, more than 4,500 people had passed through the camp.
Evacuations stopped on 16 February 1931 and by that time more than 6,700 people had been to Nelson Park camp. Red Cross carried out the administration duties associated with the evacuees.
The photo above was taken at the Thorndon Railway Station in Wellington where some of the Hawke's Bay citizens where sent after the quake.
Thorndon Station was turned into a Red Cross depot where injured refugees were cared for by VADs and St John Ambulance nurses. Around 8,000 people used the depot, with billeting arrangements made for more than 7,000 people in private homes around New Zealand. Of these people, 3,000 were given steamer and rail tickets to the South Island.