Red Cross’ Disaster Welfare and Support Teams have been out in the Clarence River area today, checking on rural households and delivering water, blankets and tarpaulins.

Many people were evacuated from Clarence River and have been staying in the Ward welfare centre, operated by Red Cross. Team members have welcomed and registered evacuees as they arrive and have been providing support overnight and throughout the day.

One of the women who arrived yesterday says she is glad to be at the centre after witnessing the destruction caused by the earthquakes.

“We could hear the boulders just rolling down the river. One house just by the Gorge Bridge, it’s almost lying on its side, it’s come off its foundation,” she says.

“We just arrived [at the welfare centre] — it’s wonderful. It’s good to be here.”

Teams have also been visiting households in the area, providing psychological support to help locals cope with the emotional impact of the earthquakes.

Marlborough resident Mel and her husband were on holiday in Sydney when the first quake hit in the early hours of Monday morning. They came home to find their house almost completely destroyed, the kitchen bench thrown halfway across the room.

Blenheim Disaster Welfare and Support team member Tony Fenemor called into check on Mel as part of the outreach work Red Cross is doing in the area.

“They were in surprisingly good spirits considering and just happy no one was home at the time of the quake.”

Red Cross will continue to provide support in the worst-hit areas of Marlborough and Kaikoura.

How to help

People who want to help those affected by the earthquakes are being asked to donate cash, not goods, to help. With infrastructure down, it is still difficult to transport goods and other items into the area and the team on the ground does not have the capacity to facilitate distributing goods from the public.

Donate to the November 2016 Earthquake Appeal.