News Release

Mormon Helping Hands At Work Again in Christchurch

More than sixty members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started the clean up in Christchurch's eastern suburbs hours after quakes rocked the city last week.

Many homes and properties were filled with liquefaction (a muddy liquid that spurts out of the ground during some earthquakes) following a series of earthquakes on Friday, 23 December. The largest was 6.0 magnitude.

The group of Latter-day Saint volunteers cleared ten properties. Residents expressed their gratitude for the assistance given, particularly for it being so prompt and before Christmas Day.

The people of Christchurch were shaken by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake at 1.58 pm on Friday followed by another significant aftershock at 3.18pm measuring at 6.0. There have been several smaller aftershocks since.

There have been no deaths related to the event however there have been a number of people with minor injuries.

This has been a less significant event in comparison to that of September 2010 and February 2011. Power has been restored to almost all areas. The east side of the city was again the area most affected. There has been no major destruction to buildings in comparison to the February quakes. Liquefaction and silt build-up again is significant in the most affected areas.

The Christchurch Airport is open.

According to local Church leaders the Cashmere Chapel has been checked by an engineer and is in order and can be used for church services. Opawa Chapel has some additional damage but engineers are yet to assess it.

Stake and ward units have activated their emergency response plans according to Christchurch Stake President, Jared Ormsby. Approximately 20 families have need for assistance (food, water etc.). This is being organised by stake and ward welfare specialists.

15 families are receiving assistance by member work teams to help clean up the liquefaction and silt.

"The cleanup work is mostly complete now and we are continuing to check with bishops to make sure everyone is okay," said President Ormsby today. "As a membership we have really enjoyed helping each other and others in the community with the clean-up and have felt great reward in doing so. Power is restored and everyone has food and water. We are just continuing to monitor that situation. I cannot express how grateful and supported the members in the affected area are feeling."

Updates will follow as information comes to hand.


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