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Urgent evacuation south of Kaikoura

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/11/2016

An urgent precautionary evacuation of residents from a small community near earthquake-hit Kaikoura has been completed, Civil Defence says.

The evacuation on Wednesday began after people in Goose Bay were called to a public meeting at 2.30pm.

They were told to leave the area immediately due to fears a dam formed by a landslip could burst because of continued seismic activity and forecast bad weather.

Kaikoura Civil Defence controller Murray SInclair said residents were understandably upset initially, but the majority were philosophical by the end of the meeting.

He says there are about 35 houses in Goose Bay, which is 7km south of Kaikoura, but several are holiday homes.

"We've ended up evacuating 17 people, none of whom needed emergency accommodation," he said.

"Of these, the majority are going to a nearby holiday park. A few have gone to Christchurch, one person has gone on a planned trip overseas and two have gone to Kaikoura to stay with friends."

Mr Sinclair said he was pleased with how the evacuation had gone.

He said residents were told to prepare to be away for at least 10 days while the situation was monitored.

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