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Disaster Response – Providing Aid After the Kaikoura Earthquake

Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, with an estimated population of 2080. At the end of last year, it got hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which caused loss of life, destruction of property and made the tourist village inaccessible from the mainland.

A town of tourism

The small village of Kaikoura lies at the well-known State Highway 1, 180 km north of Christchurch. Does the name of the last city sound familiar?  That’s because this city suffered a terrible earthquake back in 2011. Kaikoura became the first local authority in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve recognition by the EarthCheck Community Standard, an organization which helps communities to deliver clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travelers to visit.

Kaikoura is known for being among the best, and most developed whale watching locations in the world and has become a popular tourist destination. There is also a large and readily observed colony of southern fur seals at the eastern edge of the town. At low tide, the rocky base is visible and easily navigable by foot making it possible to go for a stroll as you have a view of the seal colony.

The tourism industry in Kaikoura was majorly affected by the 2016 earthquake. It literally came to a standstill because the local infrastructure was heavily damaged. The disaster also caused two deaths in the area. The sea level of the bay and surrounding region was lifted by as much as 80 inches. Kaikoura moved to the Northeast and rose by nearly 40 inches. Disaster response was badly needed because much-needed supplies couldn't be delivered due to the damaged infrastructure.

Examples of inspiring disaster response
The American warship USS Sampson was on its way to Auckland for the 75th anniversary of the New Zealand navy when the country was rocked by the powerful earthquake it altered its course to help with disaster relief in Kaikoura.

The Red Cross was also involved. Red Cross volunteers Doug Winter, and Braidy Love tell their story about navigating through the cracked roads around Kaikoura to provide aid to people affected by the earthquake. In the back seat of their truck was a box filled with packets of food, powdered milk, bottled water and tea and coffee. This box distributed by the Red Cross could prove to be a lifesaver for people stranded in Kaikoura after the 7.8 magnitude-disastrous earthquake.

We have been taking compassionate humanitarians to New-Zealand for many years. Therefore, our knowledge of this vulnerable country is second to none. Do not hesitate to contact us should you require up-to-date travel information about any uncommon or remote destination. We are glad to provide the necessary assistance from any of our 17 offices around the world. Contact a local Raptim office through our quick address locator to gain more insight on the current conditions of vulnerable locations.