Kaiapoi cleanup hindered by winds

2:01 pm on 5 September 2010

Strong winds are making the earthquake cleanup in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, even more difficult.

At least 20 buildings are severely damaged. Parts of the town centre and a big portion of the residential area were cordoned off on Sunday.

A Radio New Zealand reporter there says digger operators trying to clear silt from the roads, are at times battling conditions akin to a dust storm. as the winds lift drying silt.

Resident Ray Rochford says sightseers are descending on the town, despite flooding from a burst water main and large cracks in the road.

Mr Rochford says locals are still in a state of shock and the constant flow of sightseers is distressing some residents.

Electricity supplies were beginning to be restored by midday on Saturday.

Stop-banks cracked

Waimakariri District Council says the earthquake has damaged river stop-banks and there is a risk of flooding.

The district is bracing for bad weather over the next few days and the council fears heavy rain could cause the Waimakariri river and its tributaries to burst their banks.

District Mayor Ron Keating says the stop-banks are severely cracked.

Welfare centre open in Rolleston

A welfare centre is open in the town of Rolleston, south of Christchurch, for residents of the Selwyn District affected by Saturday's earthquake.

Selwyn District Council has set up the centre on Rolleston Drive to provide shelter for people with damaged houses, as bad weather closes in.

Council controller Bryan Jensen says about 4500 properties in the region are still without power.