New Zealand in clean-up mode after 7.5-magnitude quake

Winemakers in New Zealand are in clean-up mode after an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale rocked the North Canterbury region on South Island.

Captipn

The cellar at Huia Vineyards in Marlborough following the 7.5-magnitude earthquake

The earthquake occurred just after midnight on Monday 14 November and was felt as far away at Wellington on North Island. Two people died following the quake and a tsunami warning, since removed, led to thousands of residents being evacuated from their homes.

The earthquake caused severe damage in roads and buildings, while a large river dammed up by a landslide also breached its banks, sending a “wall of water” downstream, according to BBC reports.

More than 100 aftershocks have followed the original earthquake, including one single quake with a magnitude of 6.3.

Wineries in Marlborough and North Canterbury are now cleaning up after the earthquakes, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

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“We have emailed all our members in the affected areas and as far as we can tell all our people are safe, which is great news,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Wineries are now very much in assessment and clean-up mode. There have been plenty of reports of broken bottles and damaged tanks, which is what you would expect in an earthquake of this size, but most wineries are reporting any damage as minor.”

Huia Vineyards in Raupara, Marlborough, posted an image on its Instagram page showing several steel tanks in its cellar which had been overturned or had their supports buckled by the force of the quake.

There were reports of damage at the Riverlands Industrial Estate, south of Blenheim, where tanks holding around 240,000 litres of wine were overturned, sending wine over the road, according to stuff.co.nz.

Meanwhile Yealands Wine Group operating manager Michael Wentworth reported that the company’s Seaview winery, near Seddon, was without power.

The epicentre of the main quake was northeast of Christchurch, near the town of Kaikoura. The area had been cut off by landslides, according to reports from the BBC.

Residents around the Clarence River, one of the largest rivers on South Island, were also being urged to move to higher ground.

A tsunami alert led to several thousand people being told to leave their homes and head for higher ground; however the alert was lifted after several hours. Authorities have spent the night and day rescuing and evacuating residents along the east coast.

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