23 February 2011
New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been working through the night to help ensure the safety of the people of Christchurch with Air Force, Navy and Army assets deployed throughout the city.
Medical teams are working with local health officials and soldiers are manning cordons around the city. Army ambulances and personnel are assisting with various search and rescue tasks throughout the city.
The NZ Defence Force had been preparing for a large exercise in the region and these assets were immediately diverted to the rescue effort yesterday.
This morning a RNZAF C-130 Hercules aircraft evacuated people from the city to Wellington and a second aircraft will follow.
Last night a RNZAF Boeing 757 aircraft carried in a large number of Urban Search & Rescue personnel, as well as sniffer dogs, into the city.
An RNZAF P-3K Orion has also overflown the city and taken imagery of the destruction for analysis by Civil Defence Personnel.
RNZAF helicopters are also in the city.
The Navy's Multirole Vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY is in Lyttelton, along with the survey ship RESOLUTION and inshore patrol vessel PUKAKI. Offshore patrol vessel OTAGO is standing off the harbour entrance and is available if required.
A small group of local people stayed on Canterbury last night and are being relocated this morning.
Today a Boeing 757 will create an airbridge between Christchurch and Wellington.
Two RNZAF C-130 Hercules will provide support as needed.
An Australian Defence Force C-130 aircraft has brought in the first group of Australian USAR personnel and a second ADF C-130 and C-17 will bring in more Australian assets.
Soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces are also providing personnel to man the cordons in the city.
Contact: Chris Wright 021 487 980