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Mutual support seen as key post-quake

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/11/2016

The Waiau Lodge Hotel, in Waiau, 120 kms north of Christchurch, shows damage in the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on November 14, 2016 in Waiau, New Zealand. © Matias Delacroix/Getty Images The Waiau Lodge Hotel, in Waiau, 120 kms north of Christchurch, shows damage in the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on November 14, 2016 in Waiau, New Zealand. As Cantabrians try to find their feet again after being rocked by another big earthquake, they have been advised to support one another and also keep to a normal routine.

Public health specialist Dr Lucy D'Aeth say the 7.5-magnitude quake on Monday will affect different people in different ways.

She says particularly in the north Canterbury areas around Hanmer, Kaikoura and Waiau, where power and water supply is an issue, there are people who are cut off.

"For the most affected communities, the priorities are the most basic things - sharing clean water and food, and checking in on neighbours," she said.

"Helping others and giving your time can make a big difference, whether it's helping someone with a big clean-up job or spending time talking to people about how they are doing."

The chair of the Greater Christchurch Psychosocial Committee, Dr D'Aerth said it was normal to be feeling a range of emotions and for people to cope differently.

"Our brains react chemically to earthquakes, releasing adrenaline which can cause us to feel shaky, queasy or on-edge and make it hard for us to concentrate," she said.

"This response is our body's alarm system; it is your body telling you to be alert and ready for action."

She said these emotions should calm, but might take longer if the aftershocks continued, and there were things that people could do to help them feel better.

"Although it is difficult, try and keep your routine as normal as you can, especially when around children, who will take their lead from you."

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