New Zealand: The Wellington NZ Red Cross (NZRC) offices was been evacuated late today as a neighbouring building threatens to collapse onto the NZRC National Heaquarters.
The evacuation occurred this afternoon following a M5.8 aftershock that had Red Cross staff scrambling under desks for cover. NZ has been hit by a series of strong aftershock fallowing yesterday’s massive M7.5 earthquake near Kaikoura.
Red Cross communications specialist, Corinne Ambler, this afternoon said via social media:
- “Whole office just dived under desks. 5.8 aftershock”
- “The @NZRedCross HQ in Wellington has been immediately evacuated. The building next door collapsing and in danger of falling on us”
- “Anyone trying to reach @NZRedCross our HQ has been evacuated. Public can contact firstname.lastname@example.org”
- “… the building threatening @NZRedCross HQ… The side’s shearing off towards our building. #RedCross #MolesworthSt”
The incident highlights the need for emergency management agencies and services to have flexible response plans. Although the Headquarters survived the initial M7.5 earthquake and the aftershocks, it was a neighbouring building that ultimately led to the urgent evacuation and relocation of the NZRC staff today.
In other developments, the NZ Defence Force airlifted approximately 1,000 tourists from the hard hit areas of Kaihoura on the South Island. Significant road and infrastructure damage left areas isolated. Two people lost their lives in the Initial earthquake.