Canterbury DHB Earthquake Update November 14 2016

Monday November 14, 2016

2PM 14 November 2016 - In general, health services across the Canterbury and West Coast Districts are operating normally, including community-based support and Aged Residential Care facilities.

For most people your General Practice Team should be your first point of call for non-emergency care. When you call your usual general practice number after-hours, your call will be put through to a nurse who can provide free health advice. If you need to be seen urgently, they will tell you what to do and where to go for #carearoundtheclock.

Canterbury DHB's buildings are being be re-inspected today, along with the ASB Building site behind Christchurch Hospital. The cranes remain out of action until they have been thoroughly checked.

Kaikoura Health Te Hā o Te Ora - is fully operational at the moment we are working with Civil Defence to ensure essential supplies are available to keep the hospital functioning over the coming days.

Both local GPs are open and fully staffed.

The local pharmacy is closed, but the pharmacist has been able to access medication supplies and is now dispensing from Kaikoura Health.

The 4WD Club is assisting practice nurses the area to check on elderly people. However, they are a limited resource and will need time to make their way around – in the meantime, please see later message about checking on vulnerable neighbours.

Over the next few days, health personnel such as members of the Specialist Mental Health Team, environmental health officers, and health protection officers will be deployed to North Canterbury including Kaikoura. Other medical personal will be sent as needed.

Rural health facilities at Amuri, Akaroa, Waikari, Diamond Harbour and Hanmer Springs are all fully operational. Cheviot is fully operational and St John has set up a command unit with generator operational at the temporary Medical Centre.

General advice

Stay in touch by listening to the radio and via social media. Canterbury DHB has a Facebook page and Twitter account. Other useful local information can be found at

Don't be afraid to ask for help, especially from your family or neighbours. Keep an eye out for each other, especially if there are vulnerable people (e.g. the elderly or someone unwell) in your neighbourhood.

Canterbury Support Line

  • If you are finding it hard to cope and need support you can ring the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 available 24/7.

  • When you call this helpline, someone will talk with you and help work out what kind of support you may need. They can connect you with free counselling services or organisations that can offer you practical support, information or advice.

  • A list of available social support services is also available on the Family Services Directory. Go to the Family Services Directory


  • Boil or treat all water from taps and tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation. Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs. Water needs to be boiled even if the smell or taste of chlorine is present. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding just under a 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per 2 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.

  • Waterways may be contaminated with sewage. Avoid contact with rivers, sea water, ponds, puddles or other surface water. Do not swim, paddle, fish, or gather shellfish or any other food from oceans and rivers.

  • Sewerage pipes may be broken. People should avoid silt if they can, particularly if they don't have running water to wash after contact. If people have to work with silt they should wear water-proof gloves, gumboots and a dust mask; shower or wash immediately afterwards; and wash clothes separately.

  • Take care when disposing of human waste (faeces, poo, vomit etc). Bury it in your garden or wrap it well in paper or plastic and put it in your red bin for collection.  Add some sawdust or kitty-litter to neutralise odour. Wash your hands immediately after dealing with any human waste.

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser after toileting, and before and after eating or preparing food. Free hand sanitiser is available from official water tanker sites.

  • If you don't have running water, make a plan to move in with a friend or relative who has running water if you get sick.  When you are sick, running water (for hand washing and toileting) is much more important. 

  • If you are sick, try to limit contact with other people, do not go to work and do not prepare food for anyone.  Call your GP if you require medical attention. It is important you address your health concerns early with your general practice team.  If it's an emergency call 111.

  • Take extreme care with food – particularly with food that should be refrigerated. Dispose of smelly, slimy, mouldy or discoloured food immediately. Do not refreeze food once power returns.

ADVICE TO MEDIA: Please direct all queries to the Canterbury DHB Media Advisor in the first instance. We will be doing our best to provide updates throughout the day on the situation following the severe seismic events last night, noting communication to some areas has been limited due damage to telecommunications and roads.


More information

Update about CDHB services - 11am 14 November 2016

Canterbury DHB Facebook page

Care around the clock - afterhours medical advice

Canterbury Support Line - 0800 777 846


Page last reviewed: 14 November 2016
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