New Zealand News
At 7.30am, Stuff NZ headlined the following:
New South Wales is in the grip of a cocaine epidemic
Torrential rains kill 18 in Guatemala
Barrels of cash dug up in El Salvador
Nearly four hours later, the main concerns of Stuff NZ are:
Tony Blair pelted with eggs
Suicide car-bomber kills 5 in Russia
Gulf oil spill evidence brought to the surface
So fears of the ‘big one’ coming are not, apparently, of concern to the main internet news provider for New Zealand. Not even the storm approaching Christchurch is mentioned.
In Australia, three out of nine ABC News’ most popular stories focus on the New Zealand earthquake.
One report says: ‘Rescue teams in Christchurch are searching for any residents they fear may be trapped as much of the city remains without power and water following yesterday’s devastating earthquake.
‘Two people were seriously injured in the 7.0 magnitude quake, while another died of a heart attack during the disaster.
‘The rescue teams, which include search dogs, are working in Christchurch’s worst-affected areas as the city remains under a state of emergency.’
The ABC may dispute the severity of the earthquake and the many subsequent tremors, but they are clear about the problems.
As I write, BBC Radio 3 quotes New Zealand prime minister, John Keys as warning of further potential destruction from a huge storm heading towards Christchurch.
On a distantly related note, the New Zealand Prime Minister and his wife have just been invited to stay for a weekend with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, more commonly known as ‘Buck House’. This is no doubt coincidence.
As the Corgis have probably never experienced an earth tremor other than those from the Queen’s horses galloping around them, it is to be hoped they listen to the Prime Minister’s report with all ears.
The Sunday Independent, UK, reports: ‘John Carter, the Civil Defence Minister, said there is “a lot of damage to key infrastructure”. Indications are that the damage could cost the country NZ$2bn (£930m).’
It affirms that ‘New Zealand’s last major earthquake, also in the South Island, registered a magnitude of 7.8 in July 2009, and moved its southern tip 12 inches closer to Australia.’
On that note, I’m glad New Zealand has moved just a little closer to Australia; it bodes well both for diplomatic relations and news reports.
The Ring of Fire
The New Zealand Earthquake Commission says that ‘the islands of New Zealand lie on a circular line of activity around the Pacific Ocean known as the Ring of Fire.
‘As a result, New Zealand is etched with fault lines, and experiences periodic volcanoes and earthquakes.’
It also advises that New Zealand has a comprehensive and compulsory natural disaster insurance scheme for private property.’
The Government insures New Zealand homes against natural disasters through its Earthquake Commission (EQC). This covers the cost of damage to dwellings from earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods and landsides.
Earthquake Aid for New Zealand
The maximum amount that can be claimed is NZ$100,000 (£47,000), which falls far short of the value of most New Zealand homes.
New Zealand Earthquake Appeal
The Salvation Army has announced a fund to raise money for the New Zealand earthquake. It has already fed thousands in Christchurch.
You can donate here:
Related story: strollingplayer.com