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Christchurch Earthquake Information and resources
  • Earthquake in Canterbury - December 23, 2011

    A magnitude 5.8 quake struck at 1:58 pm, 23 December 2011, 20km northeast of Lyttelton, near Christchurch, with a large aftershock occurring at 3:20 pm. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in New Zealand recommend any Americans in the affected area refer to guidance provided by local authorities on building closures, transportation stoppages, power outages, and other important safety information.  read more »

  • June 14, 2011 - Latest news from the recent aftershocks to hit Christchurch

    For the latest information about the 5.7 & 6.3 magnitude aftershocks on the afternoon Monday 13 June 2011 please follow Christchurch City Council's most recent media releases. Also follow and on Twitter. more »

  • March 21: Christchurch: The Travel Alert issued on February 25, 2011, has been cancelled, effective March 18, 2011

    The Department of State has cancelled the Travel Alert for New Zealand due to improvements in safety and transportation conditions following the earthquake in Christchurch. The New Zealand National Crisis Management Center has lifted the advisory against non-essential travel to Christchurch.  

  • USADI seal
    March 4 - Earthquake factsheet

    The Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian assistance (DCHA) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) New Zealand - Earthquake Fact sheet 2 more (pdf: 60kb) »

  • Consulate General in Auckland

    If you have information regarding the whereabouts of American citizens who have been confirmed safe, or if you are seeking to notify us of a missing or unaccounted for American citizen, please send your information to: The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland Website: Location: Third floor of the Citigroup Centre, 23 Customs Street East, between Commerce and Queen Streets Telephone: (64) (9) 303-2724 ext 2900 Emergency after-hours telephone: (64) (4) 462-6000 Facsimile: (64) (9) 366-0870 

  • USAID seal
    USAID Impact Blog

    Rebecca Gustafson serves as USAID/OFDA Press Officer with the New Zealand Earthquake response DART. I started getting calls about the terrible earthquake in Christchurch almost immediately after it happened. It was clear that the devastation was great. My heart went out to those who lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods, and I couldn't help but wonder if USAID would send a team to help those searching for survivors. The office I work for at USAID is one most Americans have not heard of. With a staff of 250 people based around the world, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is smaller than many of the bands of the U.S. Military, but with an important mandate, to save lives and alleviate suffering. We are charged with leading the U.S. government's response to international disasters, maybe 70 or so natural disasters and complex emergencies each year, on behalf of the American people. Impact blog  »

  • FEMA Seal
    FEMA Blog

    Yesterday, FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Tim Manning continued to support U.S. officials working in Christchurch, New Zealand, to help Americans in need of assistance and the ongoing response and recovery efforts. Tim spoke to news outlets about what his experience was like during the earthquake, what the conditions are like on the ground, and how the local community has come together to help each other.  FEMA Blog »

  • President Obama
    Readout of the President’s call to Prime Minister Key of New Zealand

    The President called Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand to express deep condolences over the devastating earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 22, and to reaffirm the offer of American assistance as New Zealand recovers. The President noted that a U.S. search and rescue team was on its way to New Zealand, and said the United States was ready to provide whatever further support was needed in this difficult time. The President underscored the close and enduring friendship between the American people and the people of New Zealand. Prime Minister Key described the determination of the people of Christchurch and New Zealand in the face of this tragedy, and expressed appreciation for U.S. support. pdf document »

  • Embassy Seal
    The United States response to the Christchurch earthquake

    Over the last 24 hours, the United States Mission New Zealand has been working very closely with the emergency responders in Christchurch. U.S. Ambassador David Huebner says, “We have been concentrating our full attention since 12:51pm on Tuesday on practical ways in which the U.S. could quickly help those affected by this tragedy.” The steps taken include: * U.S.-based search and rescue teams were quickly put on standby, and equipment and personnel were positioned to facilitate deployment. When the Government of New Zealand signaled that such assistance would be useful, a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team, which includes the Los Angeles County (California) Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team, was dispatched. This “heavy team” is en route and will bring more than seventy specialized personnel and all necessary equipment to rescue those trapped, in even the most precarious situations. Full text (pdf) »

  • Embassy seal
    Christchurch Earthquake email address

    The US Mission has established a dedicated email address for those both seeking information, or providing information, about the welfare/whereabouts of Americans in Christchurch. Please email the information to: Those needing assistance, please call 09 303 2724 x 2900. Listen to the recorded message: if you need further information from the American Citizens Services section during normal duty hours, wait for the message to finish, then please follow the telephone prompts (dial x2800, x2900). American Citizens in Christchurch needing travel documents are encouraged to make their way to Auckland if possible, as they will need to pick up any replacement documents at the U.S. Consulate General there (Although initial paperwork assistance can be offered in Wellington. New passports will still have to be picked up in Auckland.) Please call 09 303 2724 x 2900 or email:  

  • Canterbury Earthquake Response information about the 22nd February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, New Zealand is managed by Environment Canterbury. It was set up to collate a range of sources relating to the September 2010 Canterbury Earthquake and has been reactivated in response to the February 22nd 2011 Earthquake. »

  • Civil Defence Logo
    Christchurch Earthquake Civil Defense Updates

    Visit the New Zealand Civil Defence website for all information and updates »

  • President Obama
    Statement by the President on the Earthquake in New Zealand

    On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand and to the families and friends of the victims in Christchurch, which has suffered its second major earthquake in just six months.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives have been touched by this tragedy, especially as they search for their loved ones and work to recover from this disaster. The United States is a close friend and partner of New Zealand, as evidenced by the meeting of the U.S.-New Zealand Partnership Forum that was underway in Christchurch when the earthquake struck.  To assist in the rescue and recovery efforts, we have agreed to deploy a U.S. Agency for International Development Disaster Assistance Response Team, including an Urban Search and Rescue Team, and we stand ready to provide more assistance as needed.  As our New Zealand friends move forward, may they find some comfort and strength in knowing that they will have the enduring friendship and support of many partners around the world, including the United States. more text »

  • Secretary Clinton
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s statement: Earthquake in Christchurch

    I am deeply saddened by the news that a second major earthquake in 6 months has struck Christchurch. On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send our sincere condolences and sympathy to the people of New Zealand. When the earthquake struck, American and Kiwi officials were in the middle of a meeting in Christchurch, discussing plans to further develop and expand the broad partnership between our nations. The United States stands ready to provide assistance to the government of New Zealand and to the brave people of Christchurch. Our long history of friendship and mutual support in times of need is an example of our enduring bond. more text »

  • FEMA Logo

    The thoughts and prayers of every member of the FEMA team go out to the victims and survivors of the terrible earthquake that struck New Zealand yesterday. As with all international disasters, FEMA is supporting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the U.S. Government's response to the earthquake. FEMA Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Tim Manning, was in Christchurch at the time of the quake, as part of a trip to New Zealand and Australia to discuss a broad range of emergency management issues, as part of ongoing international cooperation efforts. Tim is safe and is in close contact with the U.S. Embassy. more text »

  • USAID logo
    February 23 - USAID Responds to New Zealand Earthquake

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the earthquake in New Zealand and upon request from the New Zealand government, the United States is deploying a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). The Response Team will include the Los Angeles County (California) Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) to assist with the search and rescue efforts.  more text »

  • Seal of The House of Representatives

    The largest Congressional Delegation ever to visit New Zealand was in Christchurch to attend the U.S. –New Zealand Partnership Forum hours before the devastating earthquake hit the city and surrounding Canterbury region. The bipartisan delegation is led by Chairman Donald Manzullo of the Subcommittee on Asia-Pacific, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and also includes Representatives Dan Lungren, Kevin Brady, Eni Faleomavaega, Gregory Meeks, Joe Crowley, Rick Larsen, and Gregorio Sablan. more text »

Earthquake Recovery Information 2012

  • CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) –
    New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management-
    Christchurch City Council –
    Earthquake Commission –
    Environment Canterbury –
    Canterbury Emergency Management Group –
    Ministry of Social Development –
    Canterbury District Health Board –
    Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild –
    Orion New Zealand Ltd –
    Waimakariri District Council –
    Selwyn District Council –
    Metro bus services for Greater Christchurch and Timaru –

  • American Friends of Christchurch

    A group called American Friends of Christchurch has been formed to raise funds to support recovery and reconstruction projects in Canterbury.

    American friends of Christchurch logo

    The American Friends group is an initiative of the American business community, supported as well by individual citizens.

    American Friends of Christchurch group has been set up as a 501(3)(c) not-for-profit entity under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please email the group directly at, or visit their website, or Facebook page.

    If you would like to contribute to this organization, please contact Greg Keeney, ( the Executive Director of the American Friends of Christchurch.

  • The New Zealand Government has launched an appeal to help the people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region during this time of great need. You can help make a difference by donating to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

     See website for details: 

    * Red Cross - visit:
    Salvation Army: 0800 53 00 00 (Specify that your donation is for the ‘Canterbury Earthquake Appeal’) 

    *Txt QUAKE to 555 to donate $5 or TXT QUAKE to 333 to donate $3 (100% of your donation will go to the Red Cross)

    * Grabone donation site

    Direct deposit a donation from your bank:

    * Mayoral relief fund at any BNZ branch: Account number 02-0800-084958-000 

    *Any ANZ Bank branch: Account number 01-1839-0188939-00 
    * Any National Bank branch: Account number 06-0869-0548507-00
    * Any Westpac Bank branch:  Account number 03-0207-0617331-00
    * Any ASB Bank branch: Account number 12-3205-0146808-00
    * Any BNZ Bank branch: Account number 02-0500-0982004-000 
    * Any Kiwibank branch: Account number: 38-9009-0759479-00

    Other ways to contribute in Wellington:

    Saturday 26th February

    ·         International track meet - the meet will feature perhaps the best line up of international milers seen in New Zealand for decades and The Salvation Army will be collecting donations. From 5-6:30pm at Newtown Park.  Find out more

    ·         Mishmosh, Lagerfield, Tokyo Tea House & Lotus Room will donate $1 from every drink sold on Saturday 26th February

    ·         Real Groovy on Cuba Street will donate 10% of sales this Saturday (their busiest day)

    ·         Medusa Bar on Vivian Street - 10% of all bar earnings from Saturday night will be donated

    Sunday 27th February

    ·         The Great Sunday Bake-off - bake your favourite treat and drop it off on Monday 28th February, from 7am to 9am at Civic Square. The goods will then be taken to Christchurch.  Find out more

    ·         Cafe L'affare on College Street will donate all cafe proceeds from Sunday 27th February. They'll be open as usual from 8am.

    ·         'Love Birds' movie fundraiser at Empire Cinema in Island Bay at 8.30pm. Tickets are $25 per head including a glass of bubbles. Book with Lotty here.

    ·         City Market - Martin Bosley, and Angus and Kashia from Harrington's will together be selling Bulldog Bacon Butties with all proceeds being donated. There will also be boxes throughout the Market for donations and several of the providores will be contributing some or all of their proceeds. Find out more 

    Friday 4th March

    ·         A Memorial Organ Recital - a concert to celebrate the lives that have been lost and raise money for the Red Cross at St Peter's on Willis Street, from 5.30pm. Find out more

Emergency financial support available to foreign nationals

  • ACC Logo
    ACC Cover

    - all people, whether visitors, resident with foreign nationality or NZ citizens, are covered by ACC for accidental injury or death. A pamphlet outlining ACC's grants available in the case of accidental death is attached. ACC noted that, in terms of ongoing income support for dependents of a deceased person, each case would need to be assessed on its individual merits - e.g. if spouse was living overseas they may not be considered to be a dependent. In general though, ongoing income support would be available for dependents of foreign nationals in NZ.

    The ACC Service Centre in Christchurch is currently non-operational and an assessment will be made tomorrow (Friday) as to whether it can be re-opened. In the meantime, those who need to submit a claim should be directed to the ACC website - or by phoning: 

    Claims helpline
    0800 101 996

    Accidental death
    0800 222 075

    From overseas
    +64 7 848 7403 

    email to for injuries for deaths in the South Island

    It should be noted that ACC support is restricted to injury or death arising from an accident. It does not apply to other illnesses  (e.g. sickness developed post-earthquake)  or provide any insurance cover in a more general sense.

  • WINZ emergency grants and victim support

    - Ministry of Social Development has advised that emergency benefits, grants and other victim support assistance is available only to those foreign nationals who have been resident in New Zealand for the past two years.

    Queries and requests for help can be directed to the WINZ helpline:

    0800 559 009