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Fifty Red Cross personnel are still operating in the worst affected areas, running community centres, going door to door, and distributing water and other essential supplies.
In the five days since the quake, Red Cross disaster welfare support team volunteers have conducted welfare checks at approximately 300 houses in Kaikoura and distributed 500 food parcels. In Marlborough, volunteers have visited 174 houses, and are setting up three drop-in centres in Blenheim, Ward and Seddon.
At a rural community centre at Kaikoura Suburban School, about ten minutes north of the township, Red Cross has set up an emergency air shelter tent, and will provide the centre with water, food and other essentials, as well as daily information updates, to support the rural community.
Kaikoura Suburban School principal Hayden van Lent, who is helping operate the centre, says it will be reassuring for the local community to have support close to home.
"Farmers are quite resilient but when you get talking to them and get past the first layer, then I think some of them are feeling the impact. With this centre, we can say to them, ‘save your fuel, come here, get what you need’."
New Zealand Red Cross Kaikoura branch president Lorraine Diver, who has been helping pack food parcels, says food is just one part of the emergency response. Offering emotional support is just as important.
“I met one woman and her three young children whose house was damaged, and eventually red-stickered, following an aftershock. She went from having a home to being homeless. I brought her into Red Cross and all of a sudden, she had hope and she realised she wasn't alone."
The New Zealand Red Cross November 2016 earthquake appeal has so far raised $850,000. Donate to the appeal to help people in need.
Media: For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Corinne Ambler, Red Cross spokesperson (in Wellington)
+64 27 231 2770
Lauren Hayes, Red Cross communications advisor (in Kaikoura)
+64 27 387 8540