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USAR teams to assess rural Kaikoura houses

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/11/2016

Empty trucks return to be filled as repair crews clear a landslide on State Highway 1 caused by the November 14, 7.8 earthquake that hit Kaikoura. © Marty Melville/Getty Images Empty trucks return to be filled as repair crews clear a landslide on State Highway 1 caused by the November 14, 7.8 earthquake that hit Kaikoura. Urban Search and Rescue teams are visiting houses in rural Kaikoura District over the coming week to make an initial assessment of earthquake damage.

Kaikoura Civil Defence is deploying the USAR teams to undertake "rapid disaster assessments" of all dwellings in country areas.

The aim is to have the assessments done by next Wednesday.

The teams' focus is buildings, but Civil Defence says they will also be doing checks on the well-being of residents.

Anyone found to have urgent needs will be given priority for follow-up visits that are being co-ordinated by Civil Defence.

The Kaikoura area has been hardest hit by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck 10 days ago.

Over the past week, NZ Defence Force personnel, police, Red Cross staff and Te Runanaga O Kaikoura volunteers have been to isolated farms and homes to drop off supplies and check on immediate needs.

Federated Farmers has also been in touch with its members to arrange support.

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