Tongan patient taken by air ambulance as Christchurch welcome visitors after deadly earthquake

Tongan patient Heneli Tupou has been transferred to Christchurch hospital this afternoon as authority declared the city a safe haven after the deadly 7.5 earthquake hit its surrounding districts on Monday morning.

Tupou, of Tatakamotonga, was in New Zealand on the Regional Seasonal Employment programme.

He was admitted to Nelson hospital last weekend in a serious health condition.

Kaniva News understands Tupou was expected to arrive at Christchurch Hospital, 2 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch Central at 5pm this evening.

Specialists at the hospital were expected to make a final decision over an operation required for Tupou.

The epicentre of the historical earthquake was northeast of Christchurch, near  Kaikoura district which has been cut off by landslides.

There are believed to be up to 1,000 tourists stranded in the town.

Military helicopters and a navy ship are being sent to evacuate them and others from Kaikoura.

Heneli Tupou has been transfered to Christchurch Hospital
Heneli Tupou has been transfered to Christchurch Hospital

Newsbub has reported that following the earthquake the main north line between Picton and Christchurch has “significant damage”, particularly around Kaikoura, which aerial footage shot earlier today shows is covered in slips.

Christchurch Hospital’s health board has announced that “All Canterbury District Health Board facilities are fully operational and services are operating as normal”.

“The infrastructure in Christchurch has come through this week’s earthquakes well”, it said.

“There are no issues with drinking water in Christchurch or Banks Peninsula and there is no need to boil water.

“All the city’s pump stations have remained operational, and no water pressure was lost at any stage overnight”.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Vic Allen said “they are encouraging people to keep their plans to come to Christchurch”.

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

Latest updates (newshub) 

What we know

  • GeoNet says the initial magnitude 7.5 quake may actually have been two quakes, based on aftershocks being felt in two separate locations.
  • Two deaths have been confirmed – one in Kaikoura and one in Mt Lyford, east of Hanmer Springs.
  • The tsunami warning has now been downgraded to a marine and beach threat, which remains in place from Napier to north of Dunedin and Chatham Island – find your local evacuation zone hereand your local Civil Defence group here.
  • A large 6.3 aftershock hit north of Cheviot this afternoon, and more measuring almost 6 rocked Seddon after 8pm.
  • Some train services in both the North and South Islands have resumed, but there still significant disruptions – particularly around Kaikoura and Wellington.
  • The Education Ministry is advising schools from north Canterbury to Wellington not to open until the buildings can be checked.
  • All airports are open.
  • State Highway 1 from Seddon to Cheviot is currently closed, but it has reopened between Picton and Blenheim/Seddon.
  • The full extent of the damage to transport systems is still unfolding with extensive damage caused to parts of State Highway 1 in the South Island.
  • The first earthquake struck near Hanmer Springs just after midnight.
  • All shops are closed in Kaikoura and there is no water supply or sewerage. Residents are advised to conserve water.

Nelson struck by earthquake as hospitalised Tupou awaits confirmation of diagnosis

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