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Defence force flies in to help quake areas

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/11/2016

New Zealand's defence force has sent a helicopter and Orion surveillance aircraft into action to assist emergency relief efforts on Monday in the wake of a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Joint Forces acting commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb said the NH90 utility helicopter took off from its Ohakea base, north of Wellington, at 5.30am to support civil defence and emergency services.

The Orion flew from Auckland at 7.20am to survey the main transport routes and towns from Picton to Christchurch.

Air Commodore Webb said another NH90 helicopter and other aircraft were also on stand-by for tasks, such as conducting an aerial survey of areas in the Kaikoura region, where one person has died.

Defence force personnel from Burnham Military Camp and RNZAF Base Woodbourne have also been mobilised to support the Christchurch Civil Defence authorities.

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