Christchurch earthquake: updates and useful links

A 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch city on 22 February, causing a large number of fatalities and extensive damage to structures in the city's centre - including the iconic Christchurch cathedral.

A state of emergency now exists in the Christchurch area. The Christchurch airport is open, most roads are open, inter-city buses are running, and travellers who need to are being assisted to leave the city by Civil Defence.

All other airports in NZ are operating as usual, and all other regions of the country are safe. Donations can be sent to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

Tourism New Zealand - a handy source for information for travellers - has issued the following advice:

  • International travellers in Christchurch who need non-medical assistance should call 0800 779 997
  • People in New Zealand concerned about the well being of friends and relatives who are in Christchurch should call 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276).
  • People enquiring about family from outside New Zealand should call +64 7 850 2199

For more up-to-date information, travellers currently in Christchurch should check www.civildefence.co.nz or http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/.

For news, check Stuff.co.nz, the NZ Herald and http://twitter.com/#!/search/Christchurch

Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree community also has a thread discussing the latest on the situation.

Errol Hunt is Commissioning Editor for New Zealand